Monday, March 2, 2020

Rude Photographers, Rude Exhibitors and Theft

Announcements at the end of the blog. We are getting ready for our busy season and will be seeing you at shows soon! Please feel free to give us questions for the blog at shows, but due to time constraints please write them down, we are literally answering everything asked in this format BECAUSE it gives us time to do so without being rude! Email and Facebook are always a great way to get in touch!

If a photographer is rude or consistently not taking quality photos what can I, as an exhibitor, do?

Like so many things, there are many reasons for any situation. IF the photographer is consistently rude or just bad at their job then contact the show chair period!  We all have bad days, frustrating times, judges that make our life more difficult than it needs to be but, to continually be rude? It might be time to change it up! We have found that notifying the show chair on any given weekend, can be very informative. Some of us, use multiple year contracts, some pay (through trophy donations, or just flat pay the show or at least the show chairman) to be there. I have used multiple year contracts but I do not pay for a show as I was raised to believe you get what you pay for and if you are getting paid you are probably getting your money's worth.

The show chair has a lot on their plate, show photographers should be fairly far down the list, if there are too many complaints then that starts to bring them to the top and that is not good for a photographer and it is definitely not our goal. Most will tell you that there is no one else available or they do not know who else to contact. Thus, it is always good to have recommendations, or even better cards, of photographers you enjoy working with or prefer. Over the years, we have learned that a club usually starts to "move" or think of a new photographer about the fourth complaint and if they hear of someone liked by many, it takes that same four times to get the club moving in their direction.

Why do photographers get mad when I take a photo of my dog with my cell phone?

First, they paid for the backdrop, the signage, and the equipment. If you only want an image with your cell that is a much cheaper venture that what I have invested in, and is my livelihood. When you take a photo behind me with your cell phone or at my backdrop you are using my equipment and expertise without any outlay.

Second, am theoretically the one with the knowledge you are after. So if you take it, from the wrong angle, the wrong set up, etc; and my sign and name are in the pic, then it looks like WE took that poor angle on the dog and at a poor quality too as most cell phones don't have the dpi quality of our cameras. Then it is US who do not know what we are doing, when others see the photo. I have lost shows and sales for that very reason. "I saw that pic they posted on Facebook, who takes a Sheltie at that angle? With those ears? I cannot hire them for...."  This is very real as is the damage done. I will never know and cannot defend myself from it. You will never know and cannot say, "Oh i took that not them." Again our name is on the sign.

Third, and probably the largest? NO most people who take the cell shot behind us, really do NOT actually buy the official photo, so they are using my time, set up, and equipment, and not paying for any of it. Technically, it is stealing my time, my equipment, my knowledge and my reputation.

Explain copyright as it relates to dog show photography, especially in the age of digital.

Copyright has not changed. We still own the image you are only buying the print of that image. Unless you purchase the digital file and then you get more rights to use the image. If you take a cell phone pic behind my back or of our computer at our sales booth then you have stolen the image. If you take a screen shot/copy the image from a website, you are stealing the image. If you take the purchased print to Staples or Wal-Mart and try to have it copied you are stealing the image.

Once you enter the dog, call us to the ring, or come to our podium, you have agreed to us taking the picture we own it. If you purchase a print, you have purchased a print of the image nothing else. So, to post to your website, to put on Facebook, to send to a friend, or put in an ad, without our permission violates the copyright. HOWEVER, in this day and age, as dog show photographers, we do understand the industry has changed. Most of us have blanket releases at the magazines, and IF THE PICTURE IS PURCHASED we waive the copyright for you to advertise with. Many also allow for Facebook and website posting with a purchased print. This is, of course, up to the individual photographer, but I believe most of us do this now. Taking a picture of or copying a physical proof or while on the website (or like mine at the show on our computers) is still theft and, at the least, could result in a private message letting you know that. Again no, most who do this DO NOT BUY THE PHOTO LATER. Nice thought but nope that is a pretty little lie and we know it.

All of the above is why a full high resolution digital image of your photo will cost more, for some this is worth it as you are buying limited rights to the image. It is still my image and I can use it for promotion as well. Don't worry I don't use bad pictures!

Heart of America Cluster starts Wednesday! Looking forward to seeing everyone there! There will be limited ringside candid availability as well as our normal win photos!

I have next weekend off and then will be doing ringside candids at Columbia, Missouri Kennel Club dog show (and associated specialties!).

Ring side candid times can be reserved with a $25 non-refundable deposit that applies to purchase!

Have questions? Ask them! Follow us on Facebook for more information. Interested in having us photograph your show? Contact us at either location!  We have updated our website! See our calendar to know where we will be next!

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