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Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

  • 1.  Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

    Posted 07-03-2017 10:57
    Hello all,

    I am wondering what the general experience and norm have been with getting projects published. In particular, I am wondering about photo rights and flexibility to use photos of (your own project) photographed by a 3rd party photographer. I have a project which is in the process of getting published in a national magazine. I had previously engaged a professional photographer to photograph the project (with the intent of my using the photos for any type of related marketing purposes). The magazine is now preparing the article and will be using the photographs (by the professional photographer). The professional photographer has been sent a contract by the magazine which apparently cites the right of the magazine to use (short of giving away the coypright) the photographs for the article and also further to 90 days after, have the right to re-use and/or edit the photos for future uses and possibly sub-lease the photos for other uses. Is this the norm/ standard practice for publications when they use somebody else's photos?

    Would it be reasonable for the 3rd party photographer to ask the magazine/publication to inform or obtain his/her prior approval before any other future use?

    In your experience, what is the reasonable request when it comes to use of project photos for publications?

    Thank you all in advance for your response. This has been an invaluable and supportive online community for small practitioners like us! Thank you all again!

    Kind regards,
    Joana Tan Jamo, AIA, NCARB
    Licensed Architect (CT, Maine, NY)
    J T J   A R C H I T E C T S   L L C
    P. O. Box 1257
    Woodbury | Connecticut 06798
    (+1) 203.586.9843

  • 2.  RE: Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

    Posted 07-04-2017 19:38
    It has been my experience that photos are the  property of the photographer, even though I hired the photographer.  In general, the photographer can sell the license to use his photos to whomever he wishes - in your case the magazine. For example, on more than one occasion an interior designer has hired a photographer to shoot the interiors of one of my projects. I have been able to purchase from the photographer the license to use those photos for my own promotional materials. The photographer owns his photos just as an architect owns his drawings.

    Robert Larsen AIA
    Robert R. Larsen, A.I.A.
    Denver CO

  • 3.  RE: Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

    Posted 07-05-2017 18:00
    Read your contract with the photographer.  {They did have you sign an agreement, of course ...]

    best regards,
    Joel Niemi
    - Architect

  • 4.  RE: Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

    Posted 07-05-2017 20:18
    We get a 'Group Rate' from one of the photographers we use. It is a little higher than normal, but in addition to the right to use the images for marketing & publication, it also allows me to sell them as I see fit.  This saves the photographer from dealing with a lot of individual requests for images, and allows me to split the cost with others.  I use a simple licensing agreement to restrict how the images can be used and to prevent their resale.  On a recent $4,000 shoot, I was able to reduce my cost to $500 by selling images to various product manufacturers.  Under this 'Group' agreement the photographer maintains the copyright, and can sell the images as well, though this would likely be to a different audience.

    Scott Rappe AIA, LEED AP
    Kuklinski + Rappe Architects
    Chicago IL

  • 5.  RE: Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

    Posted 07-05-2017 09:05
    I agree with Robert Larson.  Photographer owns the copyright and control of pictures.  When I have paid for the shoot, I get to use pictures for my promotion, but the photographer should get paid by the magazine, and they don't get to control future use of the shots.  The mag. is trying get away with something here.  You need to get published, but they need to sell magazines, so it's a two way street and they should back off.

    Robert Knight AIA
    Knight Archtitect LLC
    Brooksville ME

  • 6.  RE: Use of Project photos by 3rd Party Photographer

    Posted 07-05-2017 12:57

    As an architectural photographer, as well as an architect, everything stated thus far is generally correct.  Photography, like architecture, has standard practices.  However, also like architecture, if two parties agree to something its a contract.  I have found that the photography industry varies on such things as use rights, sharing, and transferring of images to third parties (beyond the photographer and the client).

    My agreements allow for the client to use the images, for whatever marketing purposes, rights free.  I retain the copyright.  Image transfer to, or sharing with, a third party is prohibited without knowledge of who the third party is and potentially obtaining compensation for the use.  I control the transfer and I have a use agreement that accompanied the transfer, which prohibits the transfer to a fourth party.  I have found out the hard way, however, that you still cannot totally control who can access and obtains the images.  Once the article is published, or a press release is sent out by you or your client announcing the project, most likely the images will be available thru a Google search.  Regardless of Google printing "copyright may apply" on the posting, the images will be available for anyone to grab.

    The magazine seems to be going beyond confirming the copyright with the photographer and wants the right to transfer the images to a fourth party, with the magazine being compensated (sub-lease).  I would not allow this to happen without first, knowing who the image is being transferred to and second, to have the ability to be compensated for that fourth party use.  If the magazine wants to skip the "advise and consent" requirement, then I would look at the magazine's "contract" as a transfer of copyright, or shared copyright - something I would not agree to.

    Robert Schmid AIA
    RCS AIRdesign
    Denver CO