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The Ethics of making money photographing

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The Sandman 20 Nov 12 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Stim 20 Nov 12 - 03:43 PM
Sandra in Sydney 20 Nov 12 - 05:07 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 12 - 06:52 PM
The Sandman 21 Nov 12 - 12:31 AM
Joe Offer 21 Nov 12 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Nov 12 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Nov 12 - 05:09 AM
The Sandman 21 Nov 12 - 08:11 AM
Leadfingers 21 Nov 12 - 08:46 AM
Amergin 21 Nov 12 - 08:53 AM
John P 21 Nov 12 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Nov 12 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,michael gill 21 Nov 12 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,999 21 Nov 12 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Stim 21 Nov 12 - 02:21 PM
Jack Campin 21 Nov 12 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,999 21 Nov 12 - 03:15 PM
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Subject: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Nov 12 - 02:28 PM

A very grey area [imo], should people who make money out of photgraphing Folk/ Trad musicians performing live, donate money to the musicians they have photographed?
should there be a difference between the rock world and the traditional Music world?
I understand [although I may be misinformed] that photographers in the rock world get paid for their photographic services


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 20 Nov 12 - 03:43 PM

As you have shrewdly guessed, candid shots of performers are worth a lot of money--Editors will hand over tens of thousand of dollars or pounds, or whatever, for pictures of Justin Bieber vomiting, or of Mylie Cyrus' breasts popping out. A picture of even a minor rock star yelling at someone, or better, dead in a bathtub, would bring enough to buy a small house, or a luxury automobile.

As you might guess, pictures of traditional and folk musicians are just as prized, which is why traditional and folk events are always crowded with paparazzi...


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Nov 12 - 05:07 PM

once upon a time I realised I was among the folk paparazzi, so stepped back & got a shot of the other 6 folkies taking pics of the action on stage! 2 or 3 of us were standing, the rest were in their seats.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 12 - 06:52 PM

One of the most notorious folk photographers in American history was.....Art Thieme.

I'm sure glad he took his photographs.

I like to take photos of folk events, particularly the Getaway and Camp New Harmony, which I attend every year. I find I use my camera the first two hours of the camp and then get tired of it. There are times when I feel my photography is invasive, and then I back off right away. Taking photos also distracts my attention from what's going on, so I become an observer instead of a participant.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 12:31 AM

JOE, do you sell your pictures?if you do not, your points [although interesting] are not relevant


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 01:04 AM

Yeah, Dick, but as Stim implied, the last time anybody made any money taking a photo of a folk musician was about 1968 - unless, of course, you acknowledge Carla Bruni-Sarkozy calling herself a folksinger - but people don't take her photo because of her singing.

So, Dick, your question is as moot as my points were irrelevant.

A photographer who may have made some money on folk musician photographs was George Pickow, the late husband of Jean Ritchie....but I doubt anybody minded.

Another is John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers.

I think we should thank the photographers who have chronicled the world of folk music. We shouldn't bill them for their services, because I doubt they made much money after 1968.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 04:28 AM

as with most media/creative things these days, hardly anyone gets paid anything at all these days.

Sure, if you're snapping music celebs at paparazzi level (photos of Lada Gaga, Adele etc), but increasingly magazines do their best to source photographic content for free (or near-as-damn free).

I'd say being a professional music photographer is very similar to being a professional musician these days, in that it is next to impossible to do it and scrape a living.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 05:09 AM

Who are these people that make money from photographing Folk Singers?

George Pickow probably sold a few photographs of folk singers, John Cohen has done likewise, David Gahr is another. But whether they made money from it is another question.
There is a bumper sticker which reads : "Real Musicians Have Day Jobs"
or words to that effect. That I believe in most cases is true and from my own knowledge of photography in the music world I believe the same thing applies. You need a "proper job" to be able to finance your activities.
I appreciate good photography as well as good music and good writing and am thankful that there are some people with the ability to come up with the goods.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 08:11 AM

in my opinion, the least a professional photographer can do is to ask first and then to offer a free copy of the photo to the musician.
"the last time anybody made any money taking a photo of a folk musician was about 1968" you got any proof or facts to back this up, Joe, or is it an unsubstantiated statement.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 08:46 AM

A couple of years ago I was asked "How much is YOUR cut?" The enquiry came from someone who had seen photograps of myself and Gerry Milne on sale at an exhibition in Sidmouth ! Sadly I was not able to track the photographer down , as I only heard about it on the last night of the Folk Week .


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: Amergin
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 08:53 AM

it depends...If in an art gallery, it may well sell, depending on the picture, though it would be less for the person photographed than for the style and artistic merit of the photo.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: John P
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 09:14 AM

GSS, if you want people to weigh in on what's bothering you, you should just come out with a description of the situation. There isn't any one answer, the grey area is huge, and it all depends on the details.

In general though, I'd say that if you don't want your picture taken in public, you shouldn't be out in public. Should the owner of a famous building get paid when someone takes a picture of it? Or, if you want to control the taking of pictures at your shows, you should have a policy about it that's communicated in advance and adhered to.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 09:34 AM

""the last time anybody made any money taking a photo of a folk musician was about 1968" you got any proof or facts to back this up, Joe, or is it an unsubstantiated statement?"

I know a lot of freelance photographers. Several of them music photographers, who take photographs when they go to gigs/festivals etc. They are offered risible fees. I also work in publishing. I've seen picture budgets slashed: much as I don't want to, I have to use as many free photos as I can possibly get. So yes - plenty of substance to that comment.


But let's, for the sake of argument, pretend that bottom hasn't fallen out of the entertainment industry. Let's pretend that magazines, record labels et al still have budgets to pay photographers a decent wage. Let's pretend that professional photographers weren't a dying breed, and were still scraping a living by taking photographs of musicians. Is anybody *seriously* suggesting that someone with a press pass by the side of the stage at Cambridge festival taking photographs of Seth Lakeman or Bellowhead ought to be paying the band some kind of fee?! It would never occur to me to expect that! That'd be like living in a police state!


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 10:00 AM

I you are playing a concert you either have a camera ban or you don't. And I'd say that if someone manages to sell a picture of your concert to the media - or even post a you tube vid -then your payment is the publicity. (unless you are awful and then your payment is the deserved negative publicity.

But I think that playing in the pub is different. It's not that people people shouldn't be allowed to take pictures of people in public, it's just fucking rude to do it without asking first.

I friend went to the US once and brought back (scotland) this hefty tome of "folk music inspired" academia from the Smithsonian Institute. And in it was a picture of me playing down the pub in Edinburgh. And the caption read, "A Scottish musician playing traditional Scottish music in a bar in Edinburgh". I am neither Scottish nor was I - or any other of my pals - playing Scottish music. All this could have been sorted out of course, if this dreary academic had asked to take the photo.

It gets bad in Edinburgh with cameras, so bad in fact that we often put a sign up, a silhouette of a camera in a red circle with a red line through it, with the words "Please don't photograph or film the musicians without their permission." It's pretty straight forward ... anyone can ask, and they usually do, And they get better pictures. And if they can sell them then good for them.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 10:30 AM

I've never really cared. However, if people are using a flash then I appreciate that they don't while I'm mid song. I've reached an age where I think I'm having hot flashes.

In your case, Dick, if you weren't so damned good looking it wouldn't be a problem.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 02:21 PM

Michael Gill's point about "anyone can ask, and they usually do, And they get better pictures. And if they can sell them then good for them." is a good one. And it's worth paying them for prints of any good pictures they might get.

I worked in Public Relations for a good while, and trust me, editors need good photos, whether they have money to pay for them or not, so if you can give them pictures they can use, you get the publicity. It doesn't even matter if you're a terrible musician.


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 02:32 PM

Where I draw the line is video lights. Staring into bright lights can give me a migraine. Anything else, I don't care, so long as it doesn't get uploaded somewhere with a caption saying I'm playing "Celtic music".


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Subject: RE: The Ethics of making money photographing
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 03:15 PM

Jack Campin: Just Celtic

Has a nice ring to it dontcha think?


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