This past weekend, we hung an old chandelier that came from my parents’ dining room that I made pretty for our bedroom, and after it was up and lit and decidedly not going to burn the house down, I decided the rest of the room needed a little makeover, too. I hit the computer, pulled up all of our engagement, wedding, and trash the dress photos, picked about 20 of my faves and turned them black and white, then uploaded them to Walgreens to have printed as 8×10’s.
Later that day when I went to pick them up, the cashier lady was a tiny little thing, she couldn’t have been taller than 5 feet and had sparkly eyes and a pretty smile. When I gave her my name, she lit up and became super chatty and started saying things like, “beautiful wedding!” and “amazing photos!” and was asking me all about the wedding and jumping in the ocean with our wedding duds on. And I’ll admit it was a lot of fun reminiscing. After our chat, I left with a smile and my photos in hand, I hit up the dollar store for a bunch of frames and mirrors, and hung them all when I got home.
Only, after they were all hung, I took a step back I realized they looked kinda…. vanilla.
Meh. There was way too much empty space on the wall that was screaming at me for more. So I went back to the computer, again, chose a couple dozen of my favorites, again, uploaded them to Walgreens, again, and the next morning I went to pick them up and do it all over – again. And this time when I got to the photo counter, there was a different cashier, a younger guy with moppy hair and freckles as far as the eye could see. I gave him my name and as he was grabbing the envelope with my photos he asked if I took the pictures myself or if they were done by a photographer. I was flattered that he not only thought I could take such amazing photographs, but that I could take amazing photographs of myself in the ocean from 100 feet away. I may rock a mean camera phone photo once in a while but I’m not that good. So I told him that we had them taken by a friend of ours, a photographer friend, and I waited for a repeat of the praise of the beautiful pictures I had gotten from the sweet lady the very day before. Only he started speaking another language that I had never heard before where ‘beautiful’ sounded more like copyright and ‘wedding’ sounded more like you can’t have these photos.
He said I needed a photo contract to pick up my pictures, little jerk all doing his job the right way and stuff. Where was that sweet little lady when I needed her? Lucky for me I had a signed contract at home and also lucky for me my hubs is super organized otherwise I’d be buried alive under my basement stairs and a pile of papers right now still looking for a contract we signed almost 2 years ago. So I went home, again, grabbed the contract, went back to Walgreens, again, and gave Freckles what he needed to hand over my pics to me. And finally my photo wall is complete.
I don’t remember when I had first been told to make a contract up for the rights to the photos but thank goodness I listened otherwise Walgreens would currently be the proud owners of 2 dozen pictures of my mug. Having a friendor as our photographer made it very easy to have all right and photographs signed over to us, he had no problem with any of that and while I’m not sure if a non-friendor photographer would be as quick to surrender any and all rights, if you need a starting point, this is our contract that was all copyright inclusive:
for an editable Word doc, click here —> Right of Photo Ownership Contract
Right of Photo Ownership Contract
1) This agreement constitutes an order for portraiture services, including the taking of pictures, as agreed to by all parties:
and the below assigned photographer from: _____________________________ (Company if applicable),
on this ___ day of _________, 2012.
2) Unless otherwise specified, it is understood that any and all rights including editing, printing, duplication, distribution and all other copyright ownership entitlements and privileges regarding proofs, final, sample prints, DVD’s, or any other media in connection with this event thereof, shall remain the property and authority of the above mentioned parties excluding the assigned photographer(s) and/or affiliated company and may not be used for advertising display, or any other purpose, without express written consent.
3) We, the undersigned involved parties, hereby warrant that we are competent to contract in our own names. We confirm that we have read the herein agreement prior to its execution, and we are fully familiar with the contents thereof. This agreement shall be binding upon us, our heirs, legal representatives, and assigns. We verify that we have received a complete copy of this agreement with all blank lines completed.
Print/ Sign/ Date
Print/ Sign/ Date
Print (Photographer Assigned)/ Sign/ Date
Please feel free to copy this if you need it! Have you ever run into resistance trying to print professional pictures without a contract in hand?