As some of you may have figured, I have been involved in (traditional aka 'film' forms of photography) for a long time.
Recently, due to change opportunities (or getting retrenched fighting against younger, lower paid staff), I got re-involved in various forms of photography within a professional capacity.
Recently, a discussion about a specialised area of 'pet photography' came up in one of Singapore's most heavily popluated dog lovers' websites.
Please be informed that I do NOT post this message to put into question the website's owner's nor the administrators' guidelines nor ways of managing their website, and I IMPLORE ALL OF YOU TO REFRAIN from diverging from the main issues being discussed (and engaging in a potential flame war), being:
*1) What are your opinions about the different photographers practices and approaches, good or bad, with special regards to the practise of watermarking their creations? Are they entitled to, and under what circumstances? What do you think are possible good or bad practises that can affect our business, and how can we improve upon such?
*2) How do clients perceive such moves with regards to paid and commissioned assignments as opposed to 'favours' or freebies? (I know the answer to this one, but your views would be appreciated). Bear in mind that many a time, a paid assigmnet may not necessarily cover the true extent and mobility of the usage of your work.
2.1) How much 'openess' of information do you think is reasonable to askt clients to conmmit to, given our current client mind-sets (good and bad, and the avarage percentages affecting which)?
2.2) How would you go about acieving point #2.1 without possibly scaring off or offending (and losing business, existing orpotential)?
3) In light of Clubsnap members being mentioned, despite what I feel is 'a lack of clearer understanding' as to the practise of copyrighting and watermarking clubsnap members' creations, how would you like such issues to be addressed, if you had your say?
I tried to provide a simple and clear explanation of the situation as I thought I understood it, but I feel that I am far from being adequetely equipped to cover the relevant issues without being too anal.
I have tried more than my very best to conduct my business as a professional pet photographer in an ethical and above board manner, yet I feel that in this area, as in many other areas of professional photography, lies many potential pitfalls which may (and have) contributed, if not caused the downfall of many talents in the past.
Such issues may carry across other areas of professional photography as well.
It would be interesting if we could discuss this in an open-minded and civilised manner, and like I mentioned before, please try to put emotions second to insightful thought and if any wisdom and learning can come from this discussion, I feel that my taking the risk of posting this was worthwhile.
LINK TO THE DISCUSSION ON THE DOG LOVERS' WEBSITE REGARDING PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS:
* I am not asking you to reveal your deepest industrial secrets...these 'in-depth' or what I hope to be, 'thought-provoking' questions were asked to achieve simply this: - get our minds to think more thoroughly if we were to pursue our chosen art form as a means of making a living...more discerningly, and hopefully, in the spirit of kindered spirits, we can all share and learn from each other, without worrying about jepodising our own business interestes ... and even if we do not necessarily agree with each other.
p.s. Please pardon my lack of oversight, and forany spelling or grammatical mistakes. I am tired as it is now what...6am?
Also, if I may have better phrased some of the thoughts involved, and did not do so, please feel free to point it out if it is in the interest of positive contribution to this discussion of our lives as ... photographers...or ... errr .... , 'cameraman'.