Sports Photographer

Discussion in 'Sports' started by jodi_crandell|1, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. I don't have a question, I just need to vent...
    I was hired by the my towns Little League to take game shots. The Little League sent out a letter introducing me to the parents and to let them know that I will be shooting games. The season started in mid April and is over in a week.
    I was shooting a game last week, when a mother approached me and insisted I need releases for all the kids. I told her I don't and she continued to tell me that she is a photographer and she knows what is needed and suggested I look in to it. Bottom line is she wanted her kids pictures off the web-site which I had no problem doing...parents have the right to opt out. What bothers me is, her kids photos have been up on my web-site for over a month and she never contacted me before seeing me at a game last week. She was rude and in my face in front of other parents while I was working. She sent me a nasty e-mail later that evening barely giving me her children's information to take off the web-site, I worked with the league and removed all the photos.
    Bottom line, all she had to do is send me an e-mail in the beginning of the season letting me know she doesn't want her children's pictures taken.
    Anyone else run into crazies?
  2. In my experience, all mammals with offspring are slightly crazy. Which is understandable.

    The trick for situations like that - especially those that you know about in advance and can prepare for - is to have a stack of FAQ-type cards in your bag. Whip one out, and hand it to the worried/angry/excited/know-it-all adult. The card can explain:

    1) Who you are

    2) Your arrangements with the league

    3) The fact that you're only showing the images in a gallery that the league is directing people to, or which is loosely password protected for access by people who are either on the league's mailing list, or to whom you've handed the card in question (which has the gallery password right on it).

    4) A fews-sentences explanation about the concepts of copyright, licensing, and releases.

    5) Your assurance that you're always happy to make exceptions to your arrangements with the league, and will gladly remove little Johnny from being visible among his peers on the team, including that photo you took of the last pitch of the no-hitter he just won.

    6) Your assurance that you make no other commercial use of the league photos, and that if you did feel the need to, that would only happen after making specific arragements with the adults in the family.

    When confronted by Momzilla, you can cheerfully explain that she's not alone in wondering about [topic X], and that to avoid any confusion, you've got these handy cards, and here's one, and would you mind terribly if I got back to shooting little Johnny, as we both just missed him sliding into home.
  3. +1 to Matt's advice. He covered all the bases (so to speak)
    Some moms (and dads) are like that - they need to prove that they are the alpha in the pack. No matter what the situation is.
    From your discription - she may also have (to borrow from a previous thread and William W) "a bee in her bonnett" about not being the "League" photographer. She may have contacted the league and was told "no we have a photographer" or she may not have thought about doing what you did.
    A final comment:
    99% of photographers don't know the law. We think we do...but we don't. Just like 99% of lawyers don't know photography.
  4. I'm not a lawyer. But I would be concerned that if you hand out something in writing you could end up seeing it presented as evidence if the mother ever went so far as to bring a lawsuit, no matter how frivolous. I think the better approach might be to respond verbally that you have been hired/contracted by the league to photograph their games and that (name of the league director/commissioner/president etc.) is the person she needs to speak with if she has a problem with that. In some sports leagues, the paperwork for signing the kids up to play includes a waiver/release that the games will be photographed for whatever purposes the league sees fit and that the parent agrees to that.
  5. The mom was angry that she wasn't selected to take the pictures.
  6. I am not a lawyer, i'm an engineer, and I've been in a videotaped deposition with a basket full of lawyers...for a 200Million plus lawsuit....don't put anything in writing if you can avoid it.
  7. Your best defense is to have the authorization of the league to shoot the images of their members. You also did the right thing by removing the image from the web.
    From my experience in shooting T&I (team and individual) there is ALWAYS one CRAZY PARENT at every event that causes a commotion. Usually however the league also knows this is a crazy parent!
    Best advice is always have a good contact on the board and get to them with an issue before the crazy person does!

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