Forums > Photography Talk > Second Shooter Contract

Photographer

JonesCustom Photography

Posts: 265

Kennewick, Washington, US

I need a contract for a a second shooter for weddings and events. Another photographer reccommended the contracts at photographerstoolkit.com

Any feelings either way on photographers toolkit?

Anyone have a sample second shooter or assistant contract?

I tried google and searching on here but I didn't find anything.

May 29 09 12:04 pm Link

Photographer

Sockpuppet Studios

Posts: 7862

San Francisco, California, US

Contracts cover your ass, they are a good idea.
For the most part each photograpehr I assist works differently.

Some I own full copyrights and I send them the images after the events.
Others, I am just work for hire and they download and wipe my cards before I go home.

I have never been asked to sign a contract yet though, I must have an honest face...

May 29 09 12:07 pm Link

Photographer

JonesCustom Photography

Posts: 265

Kennewick, Washington, US

I want one for sure. I just wanted to see what other people were doing dor them. Our second shooter is someone trying to start up her own photography business so I just want to make sure we are covered and that she is too.

May 29 09 12:42 pm Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22724

Salem, Oregon, US

i'd look for something (if there is anything like that) that would help prevent a state labor board from coming after you. an illustrator friend of ours had his wife helping out a bit with his business and the state labor board wanted to classify her as an employee and they had to go to court to settle it. people think camera gear is expensive but what about lawyers?

when i have an unpaid 2nd shooter i generally let them do whatever they want with their photos. i'm just glad to have their help.

May 29 09 01:11 pm Link

Photographer

Paul Brecht

Posts: 12232

Colton, California, US

Sockpuppet Studios  wrote:
Contracts cover your ass, they are a good idea.

Just to clarify...

Properly drawn up contracts cover your ass. Poorly done ones can cause you more problems than they're worth... (which might not be such a good idea)

Paul

May 29 09 03:53 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 21965

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

Sockpuppet Studios  wrote:
Contracts cover your ass, they are a good idea.
For the most part each photograpehr I assist works differently.

Some I own full copyrights and I send them the images after the events.
Others, I am just work for hire and they download and wipe my cards before I go home.

I have never been asked to sign a contract yet though, I must have an honest face...

Here's an observation. You [and them] should really stop and consider your respective positions. If you allow them to download your cards and then wipe them but DO NOT have a written agreement on the assignment of the copyright then YOU STILL OWN IT. That kind of deal, without committing it to writing, is chock full of "FAIL !!!" Copyright can ONLY be transferred IN WRITING.

Hell, even an underlying WMFH agreement MUST, at some point, be committed to writing, as well, exactly because one of it's effects is to assign the copyright.

Studio36

May 29 09 04:44 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36665

San Francisco, California, US

studio36uk wrote:
Here's an observation. You [and them] should really stop and consider your respective positions. If you allow them to download your cards and then wipe them but DO NOT have a written agreement on the assignment of the copyright then YOU STILL OWN IT. That kind of deal, without committing it to writing, is chock full of "FAIL !!!" Copyright can ONLY be transferred IN WRITING.

That is true, but the danger is to the other photographer, not the commenter.  If it is truly his intent to turn over the images, lock, stock and barrel, there really is no issue.  He isn't going to sue the photographer who hired hiim and therefore, effectively the copyright has been transferred, whether properly or not.

The issue you are raising comes on the other end.  If you hire someone and you expect the transfer of copyright, you need either a work for hire or a transfer memorandum.  If you don't have one, then you probably don't own the copyright.

With respect to the commenter, you are making an issue for him that doesn't exist.

May 29 09 08:04 pm Link

Photographer

Thornton Harris

Posts: 1684

San Francisco, California, US

studio36uk wrote:

Here's an observation. You [and them] should really stop and consider your respective positions. If you allow them to download your cards and then wipe them but DO NOT have a written agreement on the assignment of the copyright then YOU STILL OWN IT. That kind of deal, without committing it to writing, is chock full of "FAIL !!!" Copyright can ONLY be transferred IN WRITING.

Hell, even an underlying WMFH agreement MUST, at some point, be committed to writing, as well, exactly because one of it's effects is to assign the copyright.

Studio36

Ms. Sockpuppet lives and works in California. In general, the State of California believes that assistants are employees and will insist that the hiring party treat them as such. No written contract is required to establish an employer/employee relationship. The establishment of such a relationship makes the employer the author for copyright purposes. Done deal. This same situation is likely in other states.

May 29 09 09:14 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 21965

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

ei Total Productions wrote:

PHT wrote:

In respect of both your comments. Yes, the problem is for the other photographer who engages the OP's services, not the OP. However, lacking an agreement in writing is still a loose end that should not exist.

California may indeed treat the OP as an employee, so may some but not all other states, but the ownership of copyright is a federal law matter, and the law is clear on it. It requires a written instrument to transfer the copyright. It also requires a written instrument to give effect to a WMFH agreement. And even, reading between the lines, it assumes a formalisation of an agreement on employment.

And I certainly, from either side of that, wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of a dispute over the images. That dispute might even arise from another direction rather than from or between these two parties.

Studio36

May 30 09 02:47 am Link