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Photographer
Star
Posts: 17,942
Los Angeles, California, US


You are hired by a performer who will be performing at a specific club. You are not hired by the club, nor is the performer an employee of the club.

The set that you'll be photographing starts at 10 PM and goes till 12 AM.

At 1130 the manager of the club comes to you. Only at that point they had to do a contract they want you to sign that states that you will provide them with all media recorded and collected on that date, and agree that you will post their watermark on any image that you place anywhere on any website. This would include images that you use in your personal portfolio.

Remember the club is not your employer, the performers your employer. You have no affiliation with the club, nor the club offering it any renumeration for your images.
This contract was not given to you until you had almost completed your job, even though you've been on the premises since 9 PM.

What would you do?

If you signed the agreement could there be a case for the coercion because the club waited such a long time to request the agreement and stated that if you did not sign it he would never again get club privileges? In addition you know if you don't sign the agreement you won't get paid by your employer, the performer, and so then you will have done a job and will be unable to collect payment
Dec 04 12 04:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan K Photography
Posts: 5,455
STATEN ISLAND, New York, US


Not enough info. Would you be likely to shoot in the club in the future? Did you get the performer to sign a contract?
Dec 04 12 04:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
K E E L I N G
Posts: 39,798
Peoria, Illinois, US


Since I was hired by the performer I would let it be his call.  He's paying me so I've got no reason to use the images, so it's entirely his call.

I consider it his responsibility to have secured permissions from the club, and since he didn't he has the choice of agreeing to their watermark and stipulations or not.  No matter his decision, I would demand on getting paid anyway for doing the work in good faith.

Whether the final result has their watermark on it or not is no concern to me, I was simply a hired gun.
Dec 04 12 04:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Top Gun Digital
Posts: 1,258
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I would have found out what the club's policy was before I accepted the job.  If they told me all these stipulations I probably would have turned down the job unless the money was really good.  I would also have asked my client to pay me up front.

If I was in the middle of the job as described I would have walked out at that point.  Under no circumstances would I be turning any media over to the club unless they are prepared to pay me for it.  The best thing to do would probably be to speak to an attorney.
Dec 04 12 04:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Motordrive Photography
Posts: 2,749
Lodi, California, US


your obligation is to the performer, you might have time to
check with an attorney on the clubs contract, if you had permission
to shoot there I don't think they can strong arm you for images.
Dec 04 12 04:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DG at studio47
Posts: 2,365
East Ridge, Tennessee, US


Thats why when I shoot on private property, I ALWAYS talk with the owner/manager before the gig. I settle what they want and any restrictions they impose. I've shot a lot of bands [local and a few regional] and performers--dancers, theater, etc.

I've only received one warning and it was a bit unnerving. I was doing a band shoot at a Hooters [band was outdoor on the parking lot]. It was the local restaurants "motorcycle" night. At one point I went inside and spoke to the manager about making some pics of the servers [Hooters, DUH!] with their permission also. He told me it was fine but not to get any patrons faces in the images. Seems that he was aware that some of his biker customers were felons.
Dec 04 12 04:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 10,084
Santa Ana, California, US


I wouldn't deal with the club directly at all (much less agree to that nonsense).
I'd let the performer that hired you know that you were approached by the club and that there are definitely issues with you being able to comply with their request.
...and let the performer know that it's their responsibility to work out this kind of thing with their club - I'd give the performer your constraints.
Dec 04 12 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Don't sign if you want to use the images elsewhere ...
sign it if you could care less ...
collect your CASH, GOLD, SILVER OR CREDIT CARD payment ...
call it a life lesson ...

the bar/promo world is FULL of shysters and scam artist ... goes with the territory
Dec 04 12 04:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


Star wrote:
What would you do?

If you signed the agreement could there be a case for the coercion because the club waited such a long time to request the agreement and stated that if you did not sign it he would never again get club privileges? In addition you know if you don't sign the agreement you won't get paid by your employer, the performer, and so then you will have done a job and will be unable to collect payment

And why wouldn't the employer/artist pay me? I fulfilled my contract with him or her. My deal is with the entertainer. Period. Any problem the entertainer has with the club is the entertainer's problem, not mine.

If the club popped their own contract on me near the end of the evening, I'd suggest they work it out with the entertainer. It would also depend greatly on the nature of the agreement I had with the entertainer. If I was getting paid enough to hand over ownership of the images to the entertainer, I'd be less likely to complain about letting the club brand the pictures - that's between the entertainer and the club. But if the entertainer was paying me merely for the licensed use of the images, I'd tell the club that if they want to take the images, they'll have to be willing to pay.

Dec 04 12 04:41 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 6,178
New York, New York, US


I'd say, "Take it up with my employer."  If your employer wants you to sign the contract, I'd say "Sure, the additional fee will be $ X.xx, since it goes beyond the scope of our agreement."

I certainly wouldn't worry about future privileges at the club--they clearly will be more trouble than they are worth.

Or, if the good will is worth it to you (and I see no indication that it is) then the better choice might be to just say "Anything you say, boss" and suck it up.

One thing I wouldn't do is rely on any opinions I saw here relative to any legal questions.

All IMHO, as always.
Dec 04 12 04:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,679
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


K E E L I N G wrote:
Since I was hired by the performer I would let it be his call.  He's paying me so I've got no reason to use the images, so it's entirely his call.

I consider it his responsibility to have secured permissions from the club, and since he didn't he has the choice of agreeing to their watermark and stipulations or not.  No matter his decision, I would demand on getting paid anyway for doing the work in good faith.

Whether the final result has their watermark on it or not is no concern to me, I was simply a hired gun.

This...

Dec 04 12 04:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PDF IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY
Posts: 4,603
Jacksonville, Florida, US


Motordrive Photography wrote:
your obligation is to the performer, you might have time to
check with an attorney on the clubs contract, if you had permission
to shoot there I don't think they can strong arm you for images.

if we are talking $$$$, I would suggest the same inquire with an attorney, don't seek advice in legal issues concerning your professional livelihood from MM..... JMHO

Dec 04 12 04:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


Depending on the venue, and since most of it has been shot, I would either have them talk with the band/artist or (and more fun) I'd just say no - if they were being a dick about it I'd format the card in front of them and tell them to go away - and recover the shots later.


Or, I'd sign it as Karl Johnston and give his email address on their forms.

big_smile




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com
Dec 04 12 04:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


IF it's a public building and a public event, I'd ask them why, what agreement they had with the performer. Ask them why this wasn't presented to you earlier and then tell them to fuck off.

I may even charge the client more for the headaches of dealing with that crap DURING a shoot.

However you handle it, one thing is for sure. The club has no right or reason to include their watermark on the images no matter where they're used.
Dec 04 12 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Charlie-CNP
Posts: 2,644
New York, New York, US


Star wrote:
In addition you know if you don't sign the agreement you won't get paid by your employer, the performer, and so then you will have done a job and will be unable to collect payment

I'm confused by this part as to why you wouldn't get payment if you didn't sign the clubs contract when there is no mention of the performer stating that this would be part of the deal. I also agree that there is not enough info here to provide accurate insight.

Did the performer fail to communicate directly with you that they had made some form of agreement with the club about the club receiving images that you shoot without your consent? If so, then the performer does not understand the terms of usage for the gig unless they are paying you outright for the copyright of the images included. In that case if someone wants to fork over the right price for me personally, I would be more than happy to do whatever they ask as long as I got paid.

However, in the instance that the club sees you shooting said performer and tries to "get in on the action" per say just because you are on their property gets into another tricky realm. Technically the club is a private business entity which may potentially be considered private property. In this case, they may potentially have a legal right to say how images are used with permissions in their venue, in which you would be best off consulting a lawyer about vs. coming to MM.  Also in this case, you and the performer (your client) may have potentially not considered the realm of shooting on private property for what is most likely deemed as a commercial usage. If you were a general patron for instance that just shot a couple band photos, they wouldn't care most of the time, but I'm sure being it was a client gig that you were shooting that there was other gear involved that may give them the incling that you are a hired photographer.

Either way whether it is a mis-communication, or if the club is trying to flex their muscles under whatever rights they think they have, I would again suggest to consult with a lawyer to see where you stand. Good luck.

Dec 04 12 05:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DarrylPascoePhotography
Posts: 477
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


As stated by others, if you have a contract with the performer, that is who you work for. You do not owe anything at all to the club period. If the performer decides to give them the shots to use that's their business, the performer paid you and that is what I would tell the club. Get the images from "performer", and as far as what I do with the images, my contract with "performer" was this and this, and I will not be signing over my rights to use the photographs to you specifically unless I am paid to do so.

If the client paid you and the contract was that they had complete rights to the shots then again, get the shots from "performer" deal with them not me.

Of course if the performer pays you to give the rights to the club so be it, but make sure its an amount your comfortable doing that for.

Wouldn't bother me that the performer couldn't use the club again etc, that's between them.
Dec 04 12 05:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Best
Posts: 1,294
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


No you dont do it . you job it to promote the performer not the club.. when the owner approach you up til than i would use the photos and after he gives you a paper any photos taken after that would be concidered .. or tell him to fuck off would be my first thought to  come to think of it
Dec 04 12 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,654
Salinas, California, US


K E E L I N G wrote:
Since I was hired by the performer I would let it be his call.  He's paying me so I've got no reason to use the images, so it's entirely his call.

I consider it his responsibility to have secured permissions from the club, and since he didn't he has the choice of agreeing to their watermark and stipulations or not.  No matter his decision, I would demand on getting paid anyway for doing the work in good faith.

Whether the final result has their watermark on it or not is no concern to me, I was simply a hired gun.

This!  I would refuse to sign, and let the band know what was going on.   I've shot bands hundreds of times at different venues, and many people will try to mess with you if they think they can get away with it.  One bit of advise .... always be nice!  If I were presented with that contract just before shooting, I would "be" confused and kindly ask to talk with the leader of the band or the manager of the band (if they are indeed the ones who hired you) ... AND I would say "I don't know that I can sign this because it may conflict with the agreement I have with the band."  That is the truth! 

My "Lt. Columbo" routine works quite well for me in these circumstances.  What that is exactly is to play "dumb" ... yet ask pertinent questions while thinking ahead.  I never get aggressive, pushy, or in the face of anyone about things like this ... I just play along like I need help understanding what they want from me.  Also in some cases, I've been lost, clueless or look like I needed help ... because people LOVE being helpful in this business!  I do not act like a "know it all."  I've seen people physically kicked out for acting that way.

Any way, Star, I would find a way to avoid signing that "contract" and do my best to communicate to the band (my client) that the venue was asking me to sign said contract.   Also, sometimes venues make you sign "contracts" that are worthless.  You didn't have a chance to consult an attorney regarding this one though.

Dec 04 12 05:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,679
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Aaron Lewis Photography wrote:
However you handle it, one thing is for sure. The club has no right or reason to include their watermark on the images no matter where they're used.

I wouldn't be to sure of that.

Dec 04 12 05:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,654
Salinas, California, US


Star wrote:
In addition you know if you don't sign the agreement you won't get paid by your employer, the performer, and so then you will have done a job and will be unable to collect payment

Charlie-CNP wrote:
I'm confused by this part as to why you wouldn't get payment if you didn't sign the clubs contract when there is no mention of the performer stating that this would be part of the deal. I also agree that there is not enough info here to provide accurate insight.

Yes, I'm a bit confused by this too.

Dec 04 12 05:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
name removed3
Posts: 264
Boston, Massachusetts, US


just get paid, honestly
Dec 04 12 05:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GCobb Photography
Posts: 15,894
Southaven, Mississippi, US


Aaron Lewis Photography wrote:
However you handle it, one thing is for sure. The club has no right or reason to include their watermark on the images no matter where they're used.

Images by MR wrote:
I wouldn't be to sure of that.

I think he's right.  The club's only purpose is to allow the photographer in there to take pictures, something the band should have covered long before the time they played.  The club has no rights to the images.

Dec 04 12 05:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John David Studio
Posts: 1,724
Fort Myers, Florida, US


Read this from ASMP:

Property and Model Releases

Intro

Why you need releases

A release is a written agreement between you and the person you are photographing, or the person who owns the property you are photographing. The purpose of the release is to protect you from any future lawsuits the person might file for claims such as defamation and invasion of privacy.


Get the ASMP Release App

Releases A "must have" for professional photographers working in all genres of the business, this free app allows you to take a photograph of the subject, customize the release for the specific use of the images, sign the release and email it as a PDF to photographer, agent, model and client. More info, tech support & download links.

A model release says the person being photographed has given consent to be photographed and to the use of the images you capture. It doesn’t just apply to professional models or situations where people know they are posing for photos. You should seek to get a signed model release any time that your photos contain recognizable images of people, unless you are certain that you will never want to use them for anything other than editorial purposes.

A property release says that the owner of a certain property, such as a pet or a building, has given you consent to take and use images of the property. You don’t need one for public property, such as government buildings (although you may run into problems just from photographing them, for security reasons). But for images of private property — and particularly of objects that are closely identified with specific people — you are safer if you get a release.


The releases you obtain should be saved forever and should be linked in some way with the photographs to which they relate. You can expect to be asked to produce them whenever you license an image, and you will need them if you ever have to defend yourself in court.



The Right of Privacy

Although the laws of the 50 states vary, all states recognize that individuals have a right to be let alone in their daily lives and that harm (in the form of embarrassment, scorn or loss of status) can result if that right is violated.



However, the right of privacy is not absolute. In particular, the courts have long held that news reporting and social, political and economic commentary — the things the First Amendment was designed to protect — are more valuable to society than an individual’s right to be let alone. Therefore, images that are part of the public colloquy about events have usually been exempt from privacy lawsuits. In contrast, the courts have generally held that making money is distinctly less valuable to society than the right to be let alone.


Thus, privacy issues typically arise when an image is used for purposes of trade or advertising. That is, it’s not the picture, but how it is used that determines the need for a release. For instance, an image that is printed in a newspaper, shown in an exhibition or reproduced in a book might well be immune from a privacy suit. But the commercial sale of coffee mugs or t-shirts with the same image would probably not enjoy such protection. An advertisement almost certainly would not be immune.


Therefore, if you are on an advertising assignment, you will need to collect releases from every person in your shots. News assignments are a little trickier. You are always better off if you have permission to photograph your subjects and can prove it. But it’s not always possible to get permission and, in the U.S., you can report the news without it. Lacking a release, however, you are limited in how you can license the image later on.


These days, even editorial clients are requiring releases — and releases using their specific forms — with more and more frequency, so you need to check the terms of your agreements with your clients and stock houses to see what is required.


The Right of Publicity

In an increasing number of states (California in particular), a famous individual has an additional “right of publicity”: the right to control how his fame can be exploited for commercial purposes. Unlike rights of privacy, which die with the persons to whom they belong, rights of publicity survive their owners and can be passed along for generations. Rights of publicity also tend to be more specific in their prohibitions than rights of privacy.


Attorney Andrew Berger offers a more in-depth explanation of this right, with examples, on the Editorial Photographers web site.



For photographers and their clients, the right of publicity can become a problem when people become celebrities after you have taken their picture. It can especially be a problem with crowd scenes.



Defamation

A defamation lawsuit alleges that a person has been portrayed falsely or maliciously in such a way as to damage his reputation. (The term “defamation” includes both slander, which is spoken, and libel, which is published in some tangible medium.) The falsity may be direct, such as by compositing several images to depict a scene that did not happen, or indirect, such as advertising a rehabilitation clinic with a picture of someone who has never been a patient there. As always, there is a distinction between commercial use and editorial use, with commercial uses being held to stricter standards of truthfulness.


Property owners’ rights

Privacy and defamation cannot apply to objects (although defamation can apply to business entities). Things — cars, buildings, statuary, costumes, animals, etc. — don’t have legal rights. But the people who are closely associated with those objects do have rights and could claim that your photo of their property has caused harm. This is a tricky area of law, with few precedents to guide us. We discuss property releases in more detail on a separate page. In general, though, we advocate following the cautious rule, “When in doubt, try to get a release.”


Why we take this seriously

Most of the time, you take your pictures, everybody gets paid and that’s the end of it. Once in a while, though, things can go very wrong.


An article in the Los Angeles Times for Feb. 1, 2005 (no longer available online) described how Nestlé got slapped with a $15 million jury award because it used a model’s picture without taking care of the paperwork. In this case, there was no blame on the photographer; rather, the client (Nestlé) was accused of failing to pay all the fees that were specified in the model’s contract. But the size of the verdict shows that juries do take model’s rights very seriously.

The passage of time doesn’t necessarily reduce your risk. In the Nov. 22, 1999, edition of the New York Observer, an article relates that Peter Beard was threatened with a lawsuit for a photo he’d taken a dozen years earlier. In 1987, Beard had photographed a 17-year-old girl near Lake Rudolph in Kenya. But by 1997, that girl had moved to Los Angeles, where she was waiting tables and looking for work as a model. A New York friend called to tell her that a SoHo gallery was selling her picture for thousands of dollars. She reacted by hiring a lawyer and demanding $50,000 plus 15 percent of Beard’s sales. (It appears that the matter was settled out of court, so we don’t know what really happened.)


Where to go next

Before using these forms, be sure to look over our discussion of two 21st century worries: digital image manipulation and people’s heightened awareness of socially sensitive topics.
Dec 04 12 05:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio MD - Casting
Posts: 1,213
New York, New York, US


Star wrote:
What would you do?

If you signed the agreement could there be a case for the coercion because the club waited such a long time to request the agreement and stated that if you did not sign it he would never again get club privileges? In addition you know if you don't sign the agreement you won't get paid by your employer, the performer, and so then you will have done a job and will be unable to collect payment

That's a shitty spot to be in.

I would not sign. I'd just get the clients rep (manager/agent/PR/lawyer/whoever-the-fuck-is-there-drinking-in-the-back-while-the-client-performs) and have him get it cleared. After the fact, I'd try to make sure I got everything my client needed and then see if I should do a reshoot or partial reshoot.

And, since I had it in my agreement with my client, I'd make sure that it was covered in the "House Rules" section of the agreement that starts with "Photographer is limited by the guidelines of the Event officials and/or Event location site management......" I had a whole section about this in all my agreements when I was starting and was still doing events.

Also - something you can do early on is have your client introduce you to the house managers when they're still getting set up or when the opening acts are performing. Usually this clears everything up right away and they'll typically show you around. The simplest way is asking if you can shoot from rafters or other obscure places. They'll usually give you the entire place to work from and you can befriend them.

Also - you should be getting paid sooner. Most of the time I'm paid in one lump sums when working with musicians, and it is often paid BEFORE I even show up. Musicians tend to respect photographers as artists and will usually pay a fair rate, and pay when it's requested (they understand how it feels to be fucked). Just expect to be paid up front - I've never done ANY work with musicians without getting paid up front (excluding licensing deals that were negotiated afterwards for obvious reasons)

Dec 04 12 05:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


GCobb Photography wrote:

I think he's right.  The club's only purpose is to allow the photographer in there to take pictures, something the band should have covered long before the time they played.  The club has no rights to the images.

If it's a public performance in a public building. If it's a private event or if the event were say in someones home, it's a different story. But a public event in a public venue, yeah

Dec 04 12 05:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A N D E R S O N
Posts: 2,553
Garden Grove, California, US


This happened to me recently at an award show, I told them to f*** off. I already had what I needed and stopped shooting. I'll give them images if they pay for them.
Dec 04 12 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,778
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


Aaron Lewis Photography wrote:
If it's a public performance in a public building. If it's a private event or if the event were say in someones home, it's a different story. But a public event in a public venue, yeah

A club is not likely to be a "public building" but it is conversely likely to be "a building open to the public".  There is a difference. But what Star describes is taking place there, either way, would be a performance open to the public.

Assuming that Star had no prior notice of the club's objections then the club should go and lick monkey's nuts before she should be expected to sign off on their "contract".

The bottom line is that if she was almost done in any case she could have just packed up, not signed their "contract" and walked off with her client's photos. What the hell could they do about it? Nothing!

A N D E R S O N wrote:
This happened to me recently at an award show, I told them to f*** off. I already had what I needed and stopped shooting. I'll give them images if they pay for them.

YUPPERS!!!

Studio36

Dec 04 12 05:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peach Jones
Posts: 6,232
Champaign, Illinois, US


In hindsight you should have cleared it through the club to shoot there. Kind of like when a bride hires you to shoot her wedding, but the church has certain rules you must abide by. This is the same situation. If you really want to work there again just sign the paper and give them copies of all you have done, and also give the performer the same thing. Both parties are happy. It is an annoyance (and a bit stupid) but in the end it won't be any great sacrifice to you.
Dec 04 12 06:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


A N D E R S O N wrote:
This happened to me recently at an award show, I told them to f*** off. I already had what I needed and stopped shooting. I'll give them images if they pay for them.

Exactly!


studio36uk wrote:
A club is not likely to be a "public building" but it is conversely likely to be "a building open to the public".  There is a difference. But what Star describes is taking place there, either way, would be a performance open to the public.

OK I'll buy that

Dec 04 12 06:01 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,778
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


Peach Jones wrote:
In hindsight you should have cleared it through the club to shoot there.

There's an old saying: "If you don't ask then no one has a chance to say 'no'."

Studio36

Dec 04 12 06:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
All Yours Photography
Posts: 2,331
Toledo, Ohio, US


I once did a training video for my then full time employer (photography was not my normal duty) that would involve shooting on a military base (normally NOT allowed).

I had them sign my normal contract that allows me to use the project as sample work for other clients and I added a paragraph stating that it was their responsibility to secure any permissions and model releases needed.

The manager signed it without reading it and I sincerely doubt that she acted on it, but I was covered.
Dec 04 12 06:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D S P
Posts: 510
Portland, Oregon, US


Been there, done that in '97 or '98 in Santa Barbara. I didn't sign, stopped shooting and had over an hour's worth of imaged to provide to my client.

That was my learning experience. Now everything is spelled out in a contract long before the shoot. I've passed on job offers that were last minute when a written contract was not secured.

Add that venue to your Assclowns-R-Us list.
Dec 04 12 06:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DennisRoliffPhotography
Posts: 1,928
Akron, Ohio, US


Top Gun Digital wrote:
I would have found out what the club's policy was before I accepted the job.  If they told me all these stipulations I probably would have turned down the job unless the money was really good.  I would also have asked my client to pay me up front.

If I was in the middle of the job as described I would have walked out at that point.  Under no circumstances would I be turning any media over to the club unless they are prepared to pay me for it.  The best thing to do would probably be to speak to an attorney.

BAM! /thread  common business sense for the win!

Dec 04 12 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


Top Gun Digital wrote:
I would have found out what the club's policy was before I accepted the job.  If they told me all these stipulations I probably would have turned down the job unless the money was really good.  I would also have asked my client to pay me up front.

Yeah I would have asked to meet with the manager prior to the event but we can't go back and do that.

Dec 04 12 06:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photomezzo
Posts: 235
Venice, California, US


I'm assuming the end goal of this discussion is that there is a compelling argument for you getting paid.

What you mean instead of "coercion" is that you are being asked to enter into a contraction of adhesion (i.e. a very one sided contract that may or may not be enforceable).

The position I assume you would take is that the client (not actually your "employer") should have verified you could shoot at the club (or why use your services). And its their responsibility to pay you even if you declined to sign the agreement with the club (which any reasonable photographer would decline to do). A reasonable person, however, might also conclude that its a little naive to think you could use the club as your studio unmolested (ie you had a duty to warn your client that things might not go well).

From a practical standpoint, when you are already in the club you should have sought out the club photographer (there's always a dude like that) that could intercede on your behalf. Also, have a kill fee in your agreement with the performer that covers situations like that where you can't shoot (but you can bill) if something other than your actions shuts down a shoot (for example the stage lights didn't come up, curfew hit before the performer got on stage, etc.)
Dec 04 12 06:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Top Gun Digital
Posts: 1,258
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


It's always best to check.  Here in Vegas a lot of venues don't allow photography.  In some places they will actually ask to look in any bags you might be carrying to see if you are smuggling in alcohol or bringing a camera.
Dec 04 12 06:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,385
Portland, Oregon, US


Star wrote:
What would you do?

Here's what I would do:  when the performer approached me to make pictures of him/her performing at a club, I would require the performer to make sure that she/he has the permission of the venue for the photography.  I would make sure that all these issues were resolved before the performance.  If not, no pictures by me.

If the club manager asked me for my signature on a contract halfway through the performance, I would not sign, and I would leave.  I would still charge the performer for the full fee.  I would probably not edit or deliver any photographs until & unless the performer obtains a property release for the club ownership, a copy of which is delivered to me.

Dec 04 12 06:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rik Austin
Posts: 11,009
Austin, Texas, US


Patrick Walberg wrote:

This!  I would refuse to sign, and let the band know what was going on.   I've shot bands hundreds of times at different venues, and many people will try to mess with you if they think they can get away with it.  One bit of advise .... always be nice!  If I were presented with that contract just before shooting, I would "be" confused and kindly ask to talk with the leader of the band or the manager of the band (if they are indeed the ones who hired you) ... AND I would say "I don't know that I can sign this because it may conflict with the agreement I have with the band."  That is the truth! 

My "Lt. Columbo" routine works quite well for me in these circumstances.  What that is exactly is to play "dumb" ... yet ask pertinent questions while thinking ahead.  I never get aggressive, pushy, or in the face of anyone about things like this ... I just play along like I need help understanding what they want from me.  Also in some cases, I've been lost, clueless or look like I needed help ... because people LOVE being helpful in this business!  I do not act like a "know it all."  I've seen people physically kicked out for acting that way.

Any way, Star, I would find a way to avoid signing that "contract" and do my best to communicate to the band (my client) that the venue was asking me to sign said contract.   Also, sometimes venues make you sign "contracts" that are worthless.  You didn't have a chance to consult an attorney regarding this one though.

Yep.  Befuddled.  Good approach.  Sometimes even works with cops. 

If you are nasty people will respond in kind.  If you lose it, it's over.

Dec 04 12 07:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,819
Imperial, California, US


I'd tell the club personnel to bugger off!! If they didn't want me shooting there they should have stopped me from shooting in the first place!! But, yeah, I would not shoot somewhere without checking first. Have them call the police, any photographs taken by you are your copyrighted property and if they try to take your property?? Google photographers rights, somewhere I've seen a sheet that explains the pertinent laws.
Dec 04 12 07:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,300
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Everything is hindsight now.

The first thing I would have done, since I don’t know the answer, is ask my attorney whether I needed permission to shoot there and/or a property release.

I would have guessed that you needed one or both - most likely permission, since you weren't the one who would be using the photos.

However, studio36uk seems to believe you don’t need either, and everything I’ve read that he has posted in the forums so far has proven correct.

Assuming I didn’t need either, I would have continued to shoot (in which case most likely the bouncer would have thrown me out), or more likely I would have told them that I wasn’t signing anything until I talked with my client and my attorney – and walked out with a copy of the agreement I was asked to sign. It sounds like you pretty much had what you went there to shoot by that time.

Then I would have torn up the agreement, delivered the images to my client (who could then work out anything that needed to be worked out with the club) and (assuming I hadn't collected payment in advance) cashed the check.

Just curious. How did you handle it?
Dec 04 12 07:31 pm  Link  Quote 
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