Delivering only the best images from a shoot is standard practice.
Photographers take a wide range of shots on any assignment to deliver the best results. However, this doesn’t mean that the client will see all of those shots. Typically the photographer will select the best compositions for editing and final submission. Shots that are discarded can include those there individuals may be blinking or momentarily not their best, images where the lighting was poor, blurred and shaky photos (yes, it happens even to the pro) and any images that do not meet the photographers high standards.
Clients sometimes ask if I’m CRB checked. The short answer to this question is “yes”, although CRB checks were replaced with DBS checks with the establishment of the Disclosure and Barring Service in December 2012.
However, there area few myths about these checks, most often surrounding who requires them and where they’re needed.
Firstly, you can’t apply for a check yourself. This is the duty of an employer or organisation responsible for children’s welfare. This means that individuals and self employed people cannot obtain a DBS check themselves. It has to be done by the organisation employing or contracting them,.
Secondly, a DBS check is not necessary for photographing children. It is only necessary for people who are responsible for the care of vulnerable individuals or groups. Typically this means that photographers can work with children as long as they are supervised. However, any photographer working regularly with children benefits from having been checked as this provides customers with an added level of assurance.
As a self-employed person I am not able to apply for a DBS check myself. However, an educational establishment for whom I do regular work has performed an enhanced check with the Disclosure & Barring Service, which provides me with the necessary certification.
Update: Since writing this article I’ve learned that it is possible to apply for a copy of your criminal record (called a ‘basic disclosure’). This simply shows any unspent criminal convictions, as opposed to a DBS check that would also detail spent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands.
I sometimes get asked about who owns photographs – the photographer or the client? Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 all rights are owned by the person who created the image, ie the photographer, even when that image has been commissioned by a client.
Copyright exists by default as soon as an image is created. It doesn’t need to be registered or formalised, nor is it affected by whether or not money changes hands. There is also no requirement to label or identify the copyright in an image.
A photographer will typically grant a licence to the client for use of the images. This can often be an informal arrangement that allows more or less free use or defined by a specific form of words that sets out the precise uses that the photo can be put to. The uses (or activities as they’re sometimes known) that a copyright holder controls can include printing, copying, publication (commercial or otherwise) and display.
In practice, little of this has any impact on my own customers. I am happy for people to copy and distribute their images freely, asking only that I receive credit for my work. However, if the images are resold then there may be financial implications beyond the initial charge and licensing conditions may kick in.
None of the above guidance overrides any specific licensing terms agree with a client. For more information about copyright you can visit the government’s Intellectual Property Office website. Alternatively, you can read about some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding copyright at Hall Ellis Solicitors’ website – 14 Copyright Myths.
Many assignments start with a pre-shoot consultation, during which I discuss a client’s requirements, timescales and delivery of the finished job.
For photography involving people, such as portraiture, lifestyle and event photography, we’ll sit down and chat about what you’re looking for and the environment in which the shoot will take place. With any such assignment it’s important for me to see the location beforehand so that I can get an idea of lighting, shooting angles and features within the environment that might be used to advantage, or those that may present difficulties. For Portraiture and Lifestyle Photography we’ll also discuss what you’ll wear and any accessories that you might use.
For product photography, a pre-shoot consultation gives me an opportunity to see the product and get an idea of how you want to use the images and the sort of results you want to see.
Another important part of the process is to establish a relationship with the client, something I regard as an important part of doing business.