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I'm currently getting some some of my paintings photographed. I noticed that on his website it states "all images copyright his name." In some quick searching I noticed that he probably does own copyright on those images. Does this mean he can reproduce my work without my permission and do I need to get his permission to reproduce work that he photographed? When I took in the paintings I mentioned that I wanted to be able to reproduce the works for sale and to use for portfolio purposes. He has only shot a few of them. I think I need a contract. I'd like to hear from photographers out there that shoot artwork and find out how you handle this. I would be willing to pay him a percentage of my profit if I ever got a large commission for work that he did not print.

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Touchy subject.

Photographers do own the copyright on any photographs they take. That includes any person who clicks the shutter of a camera. That's why I make sure artists know that I would never make a claim on the photographs I take of their artwork, and I also give them full size files (along with all sizes they need for jurying) on the CD I provide.

The best way to handle it is to have him sign a work for hire contract before you give him the work to photograph. Then you own the copyright.

Though he would own the copyright to the photographs without a work for hire contract, he can't do anything with them without your permission. But I'd get that clear and in writing before hiring him. And also make sure the photographer is giving you full size files and not requiring his permission for you to use them. In exchange, you should always provide his copyright or name as a credit whenever it's appropriate.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

I have already given him the work to photograph but he's only shot a couple. I will require a contract before he shoots more of them. I am paying less for smaller files. He charges more for full size images but his native resolution is HUGE and what I'm getting is enough to reproduce at full size or larger (depending on the size of the original) with the option of paying the additional at a later date if I need to reproduce something really big.

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