Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This may sound like a stupid question (total newbie here), but what do you do when people try to photograph your work in your booth? I participated in my first "supposedly" juried art fair last weekend, (which wasn't really juried, and lame, but that is probably for another thread) and several people took pictures of my work with their cell phones. I asked the one guy who did it why he was photographing my work and he said he wanted to put it on his blog. I didn't know what to think. What do you ya'll tell people to do when this happens?
Post a sign in your booth- NO PHOTOS Please. Stop people from taking photos of your work. Your is YOUR work. No one else should be posting it in any blogs, on any webpages. It is YOUR work. If someone complains, tough. It is yours.
Tell them it's copyrighted, patented, protected- whatever, but stop others from photographing your work. If they like it they can purchase.
Tell all of the schmucks that your work is copyrighted or trademarked and that by photographing your work, especially if they publish it (a blog is publishing), they are violating the law and may be sued. I'm coming down hard on this, but most of those people don't know the law, they just want to copy your work, for whatever reasons. Be strict about this or they'll just laugh in your face. If necessary, step in front of their camera/cell phone and block the view of your work.
We've had at length discussions on AFI about photographing artists' work/booths and the consensus seems to be that hanging a NO PHOTOS sign in your booth can turn a lot of people off, kind of like hanging a NO SMOKING sign in your booth. It could be construed as a bit of overkill.
But - make sure you ask them first why are they doing this. Sometimes an art show will have a photographer shoot the booths, either for advertising and/or for making sure your booth matches the juried booth image. However, almost all shows make sure that the photographer announces his/her presence and says that they're with the show. Smile and let them at it!
But then there are the people who might be unsure if they want a piece of your artwork and want to take a picture of it to show their spouse/partner and they'll get back to you later. This is a tough call. I've made good sales from these quick snaps and I've had people who've also said something like that so that they can just steal an image. Go with your gut on this, maybe get their phone/cell # and contact them later in the weekend to see if they've considered the piece.
Just keep a smile on your face and the sun behind your eyes and things will be OK. Plus a good drink after the show is over for the day. Let Nels be your mentor on all things relaxing and unwinding!
the photo they take is copyrighted as well. it may even be legitimate new work as a derivative. if it's on a blog it may be protected speech because it's newsworthy
basically it comes down to this-
you brought your work to a public location. there's not much more you can do than to ask not to.
there's no not letting someone take photos. you ask politely and you let. photography is protected under the first amendment as a form of expression. it's so well covered one of the only federal laws mentioning photography explicitly allows photography in the situation. this law also mentions the word "copyright"
as has been mentioned, couple the photo with a business card. don't alienate someone instead
oh, and I have several hundred photos of art booths. most artists don't care
Wow, almost missed this discussion, but have to get my two cents worth in. Call me an optimist, but I like the few comments in this topic that remained positive.
Be positive! We have a two day window, (a few that are three) to interact with a group of people. I say don't put up roadblocks. If someone wants to take a picture of my work, I say please do!
I like Micheal's comment to make sure and get their phone number for follow up. Also suggest if they really want a photo that they should also sign up for my newsletter.
We almost all have work up on a website somewhere, and if someone is really out to copy, then it's even easier there, so a photo at an art fair is really a moot point.
And my last point: keep your work new and fresh and innovative and just plan on staying ahead of the copiers.
It can be delicate. The first time I saw someone shooting a picture of my work with a cell phone, I was worried but didn’t know what to do. She said, “I’m sending this picture to my daughter; she’d like these earrings.” I didn’t know whether to believe her or not. The next day she, the daughter, and friends showed up in my booth to buy.
So you have to be careful. If they are a jerk, it’s easier to judge. But often in that few second encounter you can’t tell.
I had a young couple standing in front of my booth with a sketchpad once, the woman was drawing away like mad. I asked why. He said, “She has a project due next week and needs ideas.” I asked them to please stop. They did, but backed away very slowly, drawing all the while.