The Thieving Duck Photoshoot

Many moons ago I posted the infamous Thieving Duck that went viral when someone robbed it, added a funny story and emailed it around. Apparently it’s been seen all over the world which is kinda cool. It even made it to too!

Thieving Duck

Anyway, I can finally reveal a few more shots from that photoshoot in Chicago. All the talk about the new Batman movie got me digging into my old Chicago photos and I found these shots I took on State Street way back in 2005.

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

Looking for a wedding photographer?

When Thomas Hawk had a less than satisfactory experience with a family photographer he blogged about it and the resulting discussion is interesting because there are comments from customers and photographers. The problem is that photographs own the copyright of any images they take. They don’t have to give the customer digital files because part of the revenue stream photographers depend on is making prints. The reasoning goes that the customer can make as many prints as they want if they had the files.

If you think portrait photography is over-priced, consider for a moment the investment the photographer has made in equipment, time, insurance, salaries and other expenses. They have to make a living too. Chris Garrett provides his own views on the matter with some good advice:

  1. Discuss beforehand your requirements (both Photographer and client)
  2. Provide the option of work-for-hire rather than traditional portrait shoot.

My own experiences with a photographer were much more positive. We hired Mike English to shoot our wedding after making enquiries of many other photographers. Mike is based in Cork and works from home so he can keep his costs down, a bonus when you’re paying for an expensive wedding. From the moment we met him he was pleasant and patient, answering our questions and showing us prints of past weddings. Most importantly, he’s very good at what he does. We have great memories and photos of the day and he gave us the digital files so I can work on the photos in my own time and compile a wedding album myself. Oh, and his son shot the video and did a great job, without a huge halogen lamp beaming down on the dance floor. I still cringe when I see my speech however!

Selling Out, Selling Cheap

A few days ago Strobist published an article about how it’s harder for professional photographers to sell their wares online because of the burgeoning business of the royalty free stock photography market.

I have some sympathy for him, and I even feel slightly guilty because I received a cheque for over $120 from Shutterstock a while back from the sale of my photos and referrals. It’s not much, but I haven’t tried very hard to upload images there and it does ease the pain of being payed in US Dollars. The difference in Euro and Dollars must be killing European exporters, never mind that imported goods have to become more expensive in the United States.

The article is very convincing and compelling but it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves. Read the following posts by two bloggers before you make up your mind:

  • Jason Dunsmore summarised some of the key ideas but he’s obviously in favour of people selling their images whichever way they like.
  • Chris Garret makes a great rebuttal on several points.
    You have to decide what the difference is between your photograph and some kids $1 stock photo. If there is no difference who’s fault is that? Not the kid and not the customer, that’s for sure.

The commoditisation of industries happens all the time and I’ve covered the argument between the professional and amateur sites before. I’ll even give away photos too. I’m glad whenever someone tells me they’re using the image, there’s nothing stopping them downloading them without so much as a nod in my direction. Did I mention I sell prints too through Deviant Art? More images will be uploaded there as I get the time to do so.

The real winners? They people running the stock photography sites.

A timely post by Stock Photo Talk – Some people do make money from microstock photography. I suspect they’re in the minority but where there’s a will..