Originally posted by Steve Vaught:
Thanks for your time and comments.
Since I did not discuss anything about these "rights" before the shoot, it sounds like I am going to be "biting the bullet". I thought I would pay for the picture and leave it at that. I didn't know this was normal. The reason for bringing this up was because I did not want to be ignorant in an area and be taken advantage of. It sounds like it is normal for the photographer to charge for the rights. Thank you again for your help. At least now, I have some more knowledge about this kind of situation.
I know your pain. I ran a commercial photography studio for about 12 years. There are a lot of photographers out there who pray that guys like you will walk through the door. Then they hammer you to death cash wise for as long as they can.
What to do? This is actually pretty easy but not the most ego satisfying solution. You have now been educated. Go and get another photographer to shoot yet another headshot (or whatever your work was) and get the information in writing up front. It will turn out cheaper if you are planning to use these photos a lot. A lot cheaper if you got a real dirt ball.
I know when I had performers come to my studio with a story like yours I would usually give them a deal. If I liked them I would give them a GREAT deal. I was a successful guy and it was good business to do a little pro bono every now and again. Not to mention the fact that I was also a performer and we do try and take care of our own.
These people that you turned a good deed for would also sing your praises to every person they came in contact with in business. I actually made more money than I lost by doing this. Not to mention I still get a nice Christmas card and show tickets from a Grammy winning rock band I did this for when they were still working bars.
This isnt all that unusual in my area, or it wasnt 10 years ago. So if you do decide to go this route explain to the photographer up front your situation. If he is one of the good guys he will understand and take care of you. If he is one of the bad guys he will hem and haw and you will be able to tell instantaneously if he is about to do the same thing to you the other guy did.
Another big help is to use your network. Ask the guys you know professionally in your area who did their work (if you like the work they had done) and go with gleaming recommendation in mind and pass it along to the photographer. Photographers like nothing better than word of mouth referrals. It lets us know someone liked our work and it gives us an idea as to what you are looking for.
I dont know how much you already have sunk into these pictures I hope to god it isnt a ton of dough but unless the work is so stellar that you think another photographer could capture you as well I would really think about getting the stuff redone. It is a shame and if it makes you feel any better Im pretty ticked off for you.