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Lesson 24 from: Wedding Photography

Joe Buissink

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Lesson Info

24. Copyright

Lesson Info


we can go and jump into copyright. I think that's probably now that I touched on that for a second. Um, yeah, let's talk a little bit about copyright because a lot of people think about and I know I already stepped up to what I think on how important that is and what we do. Um, I don't do work for hires. I mean, it's ah, the minute that shows up and you have to understand something us normal people, you and I, and everybody is looking. We would never entertain those words in hiring a vendor. You're you're hired as a work for hire because we don't think that way, right? The celebrities do because they have to. It protects them. It locks out, uh, the ability of the person taking the photograph from using their images for anything that they want. And so they usually have an attorney send the contract back and the words work for hire is in there. I don't do that. The first thing I do is I know I'm not a lawyer. The first thing I do is I let them know those words have to be removed. I mean,...

you can kind of work, a little massage, a little bit around my copyright clauses, which says that I own the copyright with celebrities is really hard for you to shoot a celebrity gig unless you give up a little something, something. So what I do to them, because here's what it usually entails. It entails the celebrity to be able to use my images for, say, a deal, an exclusive deal with People magazine. That's maybe worth a $1,000, million. Okay, sometimes three million. Okay, it's worth that much, but its exclusive. So what that means is, if there's one photo that gets out, whether through me or some moron out there that's working the cake and he's serving cake and he has a little point in shooting, grabs it and sends it out before the exclusive deal happens with people or OK magazine, whatever the deal is off, because if there's one image that gets out, you understand how tricky this is. They stand to lose $3 million. It now all a sudden becomes $250,000. That's a big deal to them. It be a bigger deal to me. I don't make that kind of money. But having said that, copyright two celebrities are huge deal. So what I do is this. It's my copyright, but I'll license it to you. So for the two weeks or the month that you might need to run with my photos and make all the tons of money is that you want feel free to do that. However it comes at a fee, so I may charge a flat fee. When I photographed Jessica Simpson wedding, that was exactly that. I owned the copyright and then just made a beautiful book. All the I Do book, and they used all my images. We worked out a deal through the attorneys that I was to be paid $30,000 for releasing the copyright to them so that she could publish the book. Would I ever stop them from doing something like that? No, because that guess what that is for me advertising that I can't pay for. So the deal was 30 grand and my name goes on the front. Initially, the lawyer wanted to name in the back cover on the inside with only Jesse's name on the front. This had nothing to do with Jess. She she's out of the loop. Its lawyers talking to lawyers. So a lot. My lawyer said they her lawyer doesn't want your name on the front. Only Jessica Simpson's name. I said no. That's my advertising. I want my name on the front. All right. We gotta have to work at massage This a little. So initially started out with more money, but no name, I say. All right. I'm gonna sacrifice some of the money. I want my name on the front. It's important. That is my advertising. That is where I might spend some bucks in terms of not making as much in this particular case. Okay, so copyright I license it to her. She publishes the book. Now, after it's all done, the agreed upon thing, the copyright reverts back to me to where now in Star magazine. Uh, Vogue in Europe wants a photo. I now make that money. The money comes to me so D Day deal directly with me and for the one photo. And I've now made this deal already with Jess and saying, Look, the Onley, once I'm willing to give up our the once you're letting me give up So even though I own the copyright, I'm going to go beyond that a little bit. I'm gonna tell my client I would never let go of anything that you wouldn't want me to. So when I say to the publicist, Justice Publicist, there's, ah, a request for X, Y or Z photo. Here's the ones they want and I send it to her. Well, just is Ah, little you know, she's kind of hole over this whole thing here. Maybe this one's okay. Cool. So that one is okay. The other two aren't I'm fine with that. I respect my client's privacy and their wishes. I own the copyright. I could be a total moron about it and just said no, but I don't care. It's copyright. I'm gonna sell him. It's not about that. It's about getting referrals from them. It's about respect for their day. It's It's their day. I just happened to be there. I was invited in the photograph it so that oneness released. I now let Vogue Europe now say Okay, I can give you this. That money comes to me so that they tell me, how much do you want to know what's your space, right? Well, we normally give $75 for 1/4 page. This one might be half page, so it's 150 bucks. Okay, I'm accustomed to 500 for 1/2 page because So I've learned this over the wild because they'll lowball you magazines wanna lowballing? Especially if you're in experience. But I know the space, right? I might ask them What's your space right there? Give me a number. I said this is the number one and then get back to me. Said my publisher said It's OK, OK, so I invoiced them. They send me the money so that copyright reverts back to me. Most of us don't have to deal with this. So all my contracts to my normal clients, you and me say that I owned the copyright and that the only thing that they can do with the images is print for themselves. They can use it for their own personal use. So I don't mind that after I sell them the raw files or the J pegs, whatever they get, the small J pegs and they make four by six is I'm cool with that. They can't sell them without my permission. And I have had a client sell one of their images that I had to go after. For now, it was amicable, but I She wasn't very clear on how that work. I had to explain to her. You can't do that yet. You have to ask me. And I would have been okay with it, so yeah, but I didn't know I was starting a ah candy shop. And I wanted my photo. My was the best photo. No, I understand. But the contract states that that is only with Joe's permission, cause I own the copyright on this. I just happen to see a web page with my image on. And this is what What? What do we do? I said, Well, you're gonna keep it right there. I just wanted to educate you on that, so it's not a big deal. If my client wants to use it, run it by me. It's the same thing with me and the client. I'm not gonna put it out there. I'm gonna run it to you first, and you can say no. Now there's a reasonable amount of images that can say no to, you know, I think, to fine tune once with celebrities that I have my contract that you going to see have three pages. My celebrity contracts sometimes have 10 to 15 pages deep in it. It states that they have reasonable nos up to 10. They can kill the 1st images I send him that I want to use for my portfolio. Kill it, kill it, kill it After 10 they got to take number 11. And the reason that's in there is because What if I ask for private images while you were so beautiful half naked? I want to use that on my website. Well, I would never do that. I would never show that without their permission. So of course, A I'm not gonna ask for that or be if it's really striking and she's seen it before and loves it. I might ask her, but she could still say no to me. Okay, Until I come across images that now she has to accept so that part of the contract gets a little tricky. Its intellectual property. It's yours If you hit the shutter in the state of California, the person grabbing the shot owns the copyright unless otherwise stated in a contract, and you were hired as a work for hire. Then click That goes right to the client or whoever you signed that over. Two owns that copyright to that image. So ask me what my primary shooters second shooter's sign before they work with me. They It's a work for hire now. It's a modified work for hire. I don't use the words work for hire. I simply state that what they hit when they hit that shutter. That copyright belongs to the studio. Having said that, do I allow my primary shooters to use the images that they capture for their own personal use? Yes, under one condition that it's okay with the client. So my second shooter, primary shooters, will say, Oh, because I expect that they're going out on their own eventually. They're not just gonna work for Joe for the next 20 years right there, trying to develop a skill there watching how I work. They're getting experience. That's worth a lot of money. If you think about it, I should actually charge for that. Now that I think about now, I'm kidding. Um, but the experience means everything, so Of course, when they get thes, really after a couple of years working, when they get really juicy photos that they want to use for their own websites, they run it by me. I really love this photo. Can I use it? Sure. Hang on. I send that off to the client. Are you okay with my second shooter using this for his website? He's developing his his business, and he really loves the photo. Frankly, I love the photo. It's brilliant. Are you okay with it? The client 90% of the time says yes, 95% Bingo. It's hiss. He could put his name on it. You can do whatever he wants to. That's my photo. Absolutely. Can he put copyright name? No, you can't copyright defining the moment. My second shooter's work on their my company, an LLC called Defining the Moment I'm known as Job You Sink. But defining the moment has all my other photographers underneath it. Yeah, that's my company. So it will always be see defining a moment and then his name. So if something gets published in People magazine, uh, if it's my shot, it's job using. If it's his shot it's defining the moment and then his name or her name. I do as best as I can to give photo credit to my second shooter's always because rightly so. They took the photo. So be very careful, because if you do not sign your associates shooters to a contract to your studio, you will be liable and you will be sued by the client that did not give approval of that image to go out and have someone use it like that. Because what if it was a celebrity gig and I didn't have him to a contract and you got this most amazing shot? Maybe it was a little revealing, emotionally or otherwise, of the client, and he decided it's on my website. It's so cool and I don't have a contract and he's decides to say to me when I say Take it down because she said, It's not okay And he says, Sorry, I own the copyright. I shot it and in the court of law in the state of California and check with your state. It's different from state to state. State of California is he clicked it. It's hiss. It's his copyright, So copyright in the contract is a huge issue for most of us. I'm very adamant about it being run intellectual property. And having said that, I also give leeway to the celebrities and the reasons why they would need to lock this thing down. And there are times where the celebrity says, I need these words in a work for hire. I don't get hired by those people. I will not work with someone that has that in the contract work for hire. I can't because what happens typically and I did it once and I will never do it again because there's always for all of us, a learning curve. I ended up having to leave the film at the gig. I had no control over how it was processed, how it was printed, and I my name wasn't associate ID. Nothing you work for hire is you leave. It's all there, you're done. You can't even talk about it. So you never against all the images. I never saw the images. Really? Really. Wow. Yeah, it was that tight. I don't think I I couldn't. And the thing was, they signed the contract where it said that that wasn't gonna happen to me. So it was stipulated in there that I was to take the film to the lab, have it processed, oversee the process, the procedure of it and the printing of it. And they said yes, and they signed it. And then at the end of the night, the security team came up. Says you're not leaving. Um, that film stays here. I said, No, it doesn't. I have a contract. He says, I don't care that you have a contract. It's not leaving. My job is to make sure this film doesn't leave. I said, Is that so? Yeah, that's so So you can either stay in the van with me overnight and you can escort me, or I can escort you to the lab and we will do this together or the film stays here. I said, I'm not staying in this little mini van with you. Dude, it's just not gonna happen. This film leaves No, doesn't. And also three guys came around me says your film is not leaving, sir. Hand me over the film. My job. What I'm hired for is the film doesn't leave if I let you because you showing me a piece of paper that you have a contract that says the film leaves with you that I am lacking on my job and I will get fired. I will never be hired again. So my instructions were the film doesn't leave the premises. So, sir, please hand over the bag. Now, step back a little bit. In the very beginning, I had one security guard, took all my film and numbered each role with his initials one. And then the initial two and the initial all the way through, like, 40 or 50 rolls. He put it in the bag. He carried the bag and he was on my hip, the hallway shooting. When I took out Roll number three, he would check to make sure it was with his initials. Put it away and hand me roll number four. And at one point he had to go to the bathroom. He wasn't feeling well. He was gone for 15 minutes and I couldn't shoot the first dance. I guess he had the film. Explain that. How do you explain that to your client? Joe? You missed the first dance. Uh, yeah. Let me explain this to you. your security guy that your team hired wouldn't let me have the film. She didn't know she's not in charge of that, but the others were. When I deal with celebrities, I deal with other entities the attorney, the publicist, the business manager. All 3 may have a different view of how this thing should go down. And so sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand's doing. And that's when I feel handcuffed. And that is even though, And they knew that they were signing a contract that they were going to break, and what they would say is. So at the end of the day, you think you're going to sue my client and get a name suing my client. Think about how bad you're gonna look. Wedding photographers sues, and then I'm not going to mention her name but sues what's her name again on what happened? Wow, what a piece of work that guy is. And they were banking on that. So I didn't suit, and the other scenario they had is what we would do to rectify it is throw a little money at it and it'll go away so it'll never hit court. It will never have bad press because my attorney would say, we're gonna sue you now, you breach of contract, they say. Okay, what's it gonna take to fix it? 10,000. 20,000. We'll fix it. But they got their way and they broke my contract. And that's sometimes how it works. Well, you wouldn't want to run up to the bride's mom and say security guards in the bathroom. You? Nothing. You just sit there and take it. Wow. Yeah, First of all, I didn't know where the security guy waas, right? He had my film bag with all my film in it. And then when they were about to start, it was just catching a little bit of them coming in. I ran out of film. He had taken off really quickly toe do his little thing in the bathroom, and then all of the sudden, I turned around. He's not there, so I'm going. Oh, my God. What? My sister did. Did you see where he went? My assistant had no clue. We started looking for him. Now, how are we gonna know that? Also needs in the bathroom. Huge wedding. 300 people. I don't know where he went. He didn't tap me on the shoulder side. Dude, I'm gonna be back in a second. I would have asked him. Leave me roll number four, whatever. You know, you'll get it back. I promise. But he left with the film, Didn't think about it. And there they went right into the first at and what I'm not gonna do. Whoa, Don't do the first dance. Hang on. I'm needing film. Oh, my God. I want to talk to me about how bad that makes me. Look. There's no way. There's no way. So, yeah, that one did not have a first dance that winning had No. I think that the celebrity clients are used to having to cut through that red tape. So they were upset about Well, first of all, for So first of all, let me back up for a second. The celebrity did find out that a week before the wedding that the contract still wasn't signed because of the copyright issues we had and the things that I also needed for that contract. And she said Teoh, the attorney, I don't care what you do or what you have to sign. Joe better be there on Saturday. She was getting a little upset about it because I went through the publicist saying, I still don't have a contract. What do you guys do? Because I'm not gonna be there unless at that contract signed. Yeah, I'm just gonna go. So I'm letting you know with a week to go, there is no contract. No one's gotten back to me. And so they decided the end because it was back and forth between my lawyer and her lawyer, just back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And finally the lawyer calls me and says, Okay, we have a signed contract and, you know, you have the run of taking care of the business of the film and all that stuff. And then at the end of the night No, you don't. That film stays right here. Is the client pay for your lawyer if I win the case? Yes. Yes. If I win the case, my lawyer fees are paid for by the client. That's part of the arbitration to sign new. No, no, that's a huge experience. Yes, yes, that's why you know what? It's really funny, my attorney said at one point. Be careful what you ask for. You might just get it and you want to be a celebrity photographer? Have fun with that because there's a lot of stuff. Comes with it. Now I have to tell you straight up right now, every celebrity I photographed has been incredibly wonderful. They're human, you know, A lot of the press place this stuff up and stretches this stuff up, and I love them. But there are sharks around them, and some level they need to be right. They are protecting their client because there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there that would like to take advantage of this celebrity, and a lot of it revolves around money. So the attorney, the manager there, all very cautious and very protective of their clients to the degree that at some point they forget. They gotta let go of it a little bit, right? The client loves my work. I need to freedom to shoot this way, to have a guy on my hip and ask for a roll of film. It slows me down right then. This was the film day, so I slowed me down even more than when he leaves. And I can't have it, you know, Now you're gonna ask me Really? You're gonna ask me Why didn't I get it after I've told you? Where is the guy? Because I went up to the security people saying, My film guy, Where is your guy? My film guy is not around. I don't have film. They're doing first dance. I can't shoot it. I don't know where you went. Well, do you have a walking talking? Can you call him? So they did always in the bathroom. He's not feeling well. Okay. Now what? And then the film doesn't go. The film stays right here. So what? They did the film. Stay there. The next morning, we met at the lab. My lab? Because what they were gonna do run it through their people, but to control it. No, no, no, no. That's not how this works. I have my lab and my people that I trust. That's where it goes. And that was part of the contract. So I really got upset when I had to leave that night. So that night I called the manager. I called everybody I had phone numbers on. Say, this is ridiculous. After you signed my contract, I really didn't hear anything. Except it's a security guy called me back in the morning. So okay, we're fine to go to your lab, but my team is going with you. We're gonna meet you there. And so here's what happened. They counted the roles that went into the developing machine. This was a dip and dunk machine. They counted. They numbered it. They checked it off when it came out of the back row, they took the twin check numbers with these air. The little stickies. Just think on a roll of film that you hang up and it gets dropped into the developer all the way to the end through the dryer, right When they got it out, they looked at all the roles that were hanging, and they checked off the ones that went in to make sure they all came out. Then the proofing started happening. They had a guy at the other end where the proofs came out and he made sure that the ones that weren't used, the ones that went into the bin, we're all shredded. So he was in control of the been. He held the box and the ones that the guy that was proofing couldn't do. He tossed it into the box that this guy was holding and that went to a separate shredder that they had. They brought their own shredder and they shredded all the extra prints. Now I cannot tell you how important this thing was to them. It was huge because here's what we found out. One image, if one image were to have gotten out, leaked out one way or another. We checked with wire image, which is a company I used to work for that sells these images online. I said worldwide, if you dropped off this one photo, what will we get? I'll get back to you. A day later, he comes back. Try 3.5 $1,000,000. What 3.5 $1,000,000? One picture? Because $1500 per magazine per newspaper. This celebs was so huge, per unbelievable. Across the world, they wanted to see that one photo at 1500 bucks a pop, cause that's what wire image would have been selling it for 3.5 $1,000,000. Well, Yeah. You think that I'd be a little protective of my client knowing that Yep, I would be. Here's the cool part about this client. We took that one photo. She came walking down the aisle and she said, Let me see, cause I shot with digitalis. Well, let me see the photo. So I have 100 images. Digital. This was the very beginning stages of digital. And I said, we want it. Get one out to the wire. Okay, One. Bingo. How about that one? I like that one. Okay, that went on the wire that collected 3.5 $1,000, she gave it away to charity. How cool is that? Okay, that's cool. Yeah. So it wasn't about for her. Keep it. It was her team protecting her. But in that, everything gets locked down. You know, cell phones get taken. They take pens in case there's a camera in there. They just strip you down. All the guests get stripped down. Seriously, You meet in a parking lot, you get thrown on a bus. That bus drives you somewhere so you can't drive there by yourself. Wow. Serious. It's serious. Yeah. Copyright comment from the crowd of Life Lounge from NW. Who says OMG Joe, you have to write a book. I've been told that before. Yes, I have so many amazing stories and you know, they're incredible. Look, I don't get me wrong. I feel very honored on, and I just I am so fortunate to be able to shoot these amazing weddings and it's been beautiful. But yes, there's been times where it's been tough, you know, and I understand it. It's still for me as a creative person. It's been tough some of these gigs, you know. That's why I really I love quote unquote normal weddings where I don't have issues like that. I just expressed myself and there's not someone tagging along saying Give me your cards, you know? Yeah, I have a question. Restaurants going back to the second shooter when I have a second shooter, you know, called all the images of the ones that I want to use from them. Um, let's say I pick 50 that I use of those 50 in the contract that I have signed states that they're only able to use those 50 for Web so that they client doesn't see any other images that I haven't selected? Is that something that you well, and what I told her I have some control over it because they have to show me which images. And I might say, you know, that's kind of maybe inappropriate. That image. I won't even ask the client. So they always show me the images first. And it may not be part of the 50 that you're using or I'm using. What happens for me, unpick taj, is that once we have all images of ours together, you can't distinguish him because we re number mall. So mine his We only know who they are, right? And of course, we go back to the raw. So that was my shot. Okay, All your on Nikon. It's a different tag on it, but, uh, the client has no idea. So when she makes a selection, she just select based on what she likes. And that may only be 10. Sometimes there's 30 of his in there, which great, you know, I'm not envious. No, it's it's whatever is good for the client. But what if he select something outside of the 30 that she's picked? Well, let me look at it first, and I will. I will ask her, because if it is a beautiful image, But she didn't pick it, but I think it's beautiful. He thinks it's beautiful. I'm gonna ask her. I just wouldn't want the client coming back to me saying, Oh, I seen this image that, you know, someone took. Why wasn't it in my seven? But you sees it, right? What if What if she's seen it? That's why I try to control what they post on the web. Anything else they could use portfolio wise. But she sees all of them. So she does see them. If she hasn't selected it, that means for her it was like a know nothing. She's asking about the out takes the ones that you don't know. Oh, yeah, I know he doesn't select from that. Sorry. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That's part of it. On Lee of the 800. That's all there is. Yeah, If yours is ah, comprised of 200 of those 800. Cool. You can only pick from us to to Yeah, so that you understand that. Yeah, OK,

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Joe Buissink - Wedding Contract.doc
Joe Buissink - Wedding Contract.pdf
Joe Buissink - 2012 Packages.doc
Joe Buissink - 2012 Packages.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Zaldivar

Joe, This is a amazing course so much information. I am a wedding photographer that loves your ways. Your self and Dennis Reggie are my favorite photographers. This course is the best. Thank you for sharing all of your great information. God bless you for being such a great person hope some day to meet you so that I can thank you for everything. I look up to you every day and have also read your book wedding photography from the heart. Your a great inspiration to me which makes me love being a wedding photographer from the heart. Thanks again for everything you share. Carlos Zaldivar, New Jersey Carlos Zaldivar Photographers-

a Creativelive Student

I feel like this course with Joe Buissink is a basket of gems. Several times already I have been tearing up, because Joe is validating each one of us, as artists and professionals. Being ourselves, selling the experience, and knowing what we offer artistically IS enough. Of course we have to do the work, know our craft, and have good business sense...But what has been the most valueable to me is the sense of joy that happens when Joe says something that I have felt myself, him sharing so much with us makes reaching our goals real, because he has been there.... when he said he pitched in Dunkin Donuts and still made it an experience..I cried, I have done that myself. (And booked the client:) I remember wishing I had a studio at the time, but now I day I will! To hear him say he tears up at clients weddings...I do that, and felt so silly, but now I feel proud! This is a morale boost...a shot of joy in my arm. Thank you Joe Buissink for offering up your help and advise and for being so willing to share yourself with us. You are inspiring so many...and Thank you CreativeLIVE!! To anyone who is not sure if they want to purchase this workshop...DO IT!!! It is a gem.


I always feel so grateful to have Creative Live in my life, which, in turn, has given me the opportunity to have this wonderful source of information, Joe is one of them, he made find myself as a person when it comes to dealing with yourself and with the client, he vibrates in every thing that he does, every step from beginning to the end, that is the essence, put your passion in everything you do, we love what we do, It was so touching when he said that he tears up with moments of their clients in their weddings, I do too and I thought it was wrong, show our sensitivity it only proves us that we are human, and we can break barriers created by wrong schemas letting us be who we really are and then we can be free to feel and create, and do what we like to do, thanks JOE, thank you also for all the technical information, is PRICELESS. Your course it was my Birthday present that I give to myself, and I have not regret, thank you.

Student Work