controlling your image, the perils of performance

having run into this discussion twice in the past few weeks, therapist i guess that’s enough motivation to get me writing about it.

I also wanted to discuss distribution rights of our pictures. We did not sign a photo release and although I am pleasantly pleased that we have pictures to purchase I do not want our pictures distributed to others or used by yourself without written permission or agreed upon understanding. I have lots and lots of pictures of myself and the dance company and I usually work with photographers that enable us to purchase our negatives from them……….ever since my first photo shoot that has been my policy. Sooooooo since we do not have such an arrangement I want to ensure that I fully understand what will happen to our photos in the future.
I look forward to working with you.

Well, there this has been an interesting conversation. I thought about the paparazzi but also knew that celebrities are in a slightly different category than regular people. I also consider amateur photographers different from professional or semi-professional. I’ve seen some of the pictures the joe next door takes. They couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn! The pictures are usually VERY bad and they is not an issue of bad things happening because they took them for private memories sake only. It’s the pro & semi-pro people I pay attention to.
It shall be interesting, cheap as time goes on, whether the control will be left to the photographer or not. Personally I think rights should be shared if the photo is of someone one is a professional artist. Making a living as a grifter seems unseeingly. If they stole other than images (ie. the paparazzi) then people would be up in arms. But somehow their need to be voyeurs into the lives of others exempts them from being reigned in. I am sure I am not the only one who has issues with “just anyone” taking pictures and doing with them what they want – especially in this day and age of the internet.
And I am glad we had this conversation. You shared thought provoking ideas for me. I will reflect on this conversation over time. In the mean time let’s get down to this here’s business at hand!

I already knew or felt that I knew your intent was good. That was never in question for me. I hope our dialogue did not misdirect my energy for you. Thank you for moving the pictures. We have had – how shall I say – “special” people keep track of us and safety has been a major concern at least three times that I can remember. Your immediate attention to this matter is much appreciated.
Now about the pricing? Where do we stand on a pricing package?

I just received a forwarded email about the photographs you took at our
August 22 performance. Whereas I certainly understand the positive nature
of offering photographs to students of their performance, I am somewhat
concerned that we were not made aware of this. Our general assumption is
the photographs being taken at performances by audience members are being
taken for their personal use and are generally photographs of friends and
family members. I have had photographers contact me, and we have usually
established some sort of trade or other arrangement when someone has wanted
to have photographs for their portfolio or to offer to students. My belief
is that this performance is a Joy of Motion event whose images are ours to
market and sell. In addition, when we have a photographer, we do this with
the awareness and consent of performers and also the artist – whose work is
being showcased.

Assuming that this is all for the benefit of the student and participants in
our showcase, please contact me so that we can come to some mutual
agreement.

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