Mar 10, 2008

Photographers and Scrappers

I ran across this interesting conversation on a message board for photographers. LINK

A client wanted proofs on CD from the photographer so that they could scrap them. This is a dilemma between photographers and digital scrappers. I, too, have been part of the "wish I could get the photos digitally to scrapbook with" crowd. The other issue is making a digital book - really, without a photo release from the photographer, I don't believe a digital book company can legally print a book with a professional photo in it. But, most of them just ask you if you have legal ownership of the photos.

The other issue we run into is the fact that consumers can now take photos that LOOK like professionally done photos. Some photo processing places are refusing to process photos that look too good because the consumer can neither prove or disprove that they took the photo. Large pixel digital SLR's have turned nearly everyone with a good eye into a "pro". And, home photo printers and scanners have made it ultra easy to reproduce professional photos without having to take them to a drug store processor that may reject them.

Digital photography and scrapbooking have created quite a lot of gray in an area that was pretty black and white for decades. No one could afford that expensive camera and photographers didn't give out negatives and without home scanners or photo printers, you pretty much got what you got or had to go back and order more. My own wedding photos were limited to a single package I purchased 21 years ago. Recently, the photographer who shot my wedding closed down and my parents were able to purchase many of the negatives (yes, he had kept them for nearly 20 years) for me. But still, despite the fact that I have them and the photographer has gone out of business, I wonder if I could ever get anyone to make prints without me doing it myself?

Another issue that is brought up elsewhere made several valid points. How many reprint orders do MOST photographers get anyway? Wouldn't it be better to charge me a little more and give me the whole thing - including a release? As one photographer said, "Get the most money you can the first time around because you won't get any reorders down the road." Interesting thought...

The photographic industry has had to adapt with the change in the way photographs are taken and processed in the 21st century. They continue to look for ways to adapt their businesses. I think the scrapbook industry should look to them for ideas on how we also adapt in our changing universe.

I guess this is one reason that the scrapbook industry needs to open a dialogue with the photo industry and talk about these types of issues and come up with ways to solve them in a manner that is a win for everyone. If you do a search of SCRAPBOOKING at this same forum, you see that the photographers here are either talking about scrapbooking or scrapbookers themselves.

The photos are central to scrapbooking and we need to both understand the point of view of the professional photographer as well as help them understand why we crave as many shots as possible and in a format that we can easily use.

1 comment:

Focus said...

Very interesting post. I recently had two photo books printed on line by two different companies, and was not asked if the photos were mine or not. I am developing another photo web site that has the ability for me to add a water mark to all my photos to make them more secure,and the site has a way to make it impossible to right click on a photo to save it.

Yes, anyone can be a photographer these days, and with photoshop, you don't even have to be a good photographer. ;-)