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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Should Family Photogs be Allowed??
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12/13/2009 07:02:27 PM · #1
Last friday I went to my nephew´s high school graduation, taking the camera with me, in attention to my sister´s request to some photos.
While there, the manager of the cerimonial told me that nobody, except the official photographers, was allowed to shoot with professional cameras (meaning DSLR, because most of the official photographers where using discontinued entry level DSLRs).
She said that the agreement made with the parents and students statued that they had the right to shoot the ceremony on an excluive basis, and video recording was forbidden, and also shooting with DSLR´s. However, shooting with P&S was allowed to everybody.
My sister told me that she did not executed any agreement, and if her daughter did it, she was not entitled to do so (she is a minor). I added to the discussion that, if everybody was allowed to shoot with P&S, there wasn´t a logical way to admit that I wasn´t supposed to shoot with my camera, because I was an amateur relative, as the majority of the audience with their P&S.
Well, after a long debate, we settled an agreement where I could make the photos, but would not use the flashgun, and would stay sitted on the audience to avoid getting attention over me.
Thankfully, my new camera managed the available light (with ISO 6400) and I could get some acceptable shots. It wasn´t what I expected, but I think my sister will enjoy some of the pictures.
What do you think about what happened? Do you think that is right to forbid parents and relatives to use DSLRs, but admit that they use P&S? Do you think that the usage of DSLRs could be a threat to the official photographers work?
12/13/2009 07:05:27 PM · #2
omg! That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!! Either you ban all cameras (and have a riot) or you let people take pictures. And you say no flash or let people do what they want. (although a hot shoe flash does block people's view more than a regular one.)
12/13/2009 07:08:09 PM · #3
A reasonable thing for a pro to want to make money. It was no doubt part of their agreement with the school. I doubt they could make it stick, but it clearly made it difficult when you challenged them.

If you hadn't been there with your DSLR, would your family have purchased some of the pro's photos? If the answer is yes, then you were a threat to his work.

I think the whole idea is nonsense.

Message edited by author 2009-12-13 19:11:22.
12/13/2009 07:13:01 PM · #4
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

A reasonable thing for a pro to want to make money. It was no doubt part of their agreement with the school. I doubt they could make it stick, but it clearly made it difficult when you challenged them.

If you hadn't been there with your DSLR, would your family have purchased some of the pro's photos? If the answer is yes, then you were a threat to his work.


Thinking this way, I am sure I was a threat, because my sister would have to buy the album (those pros dont sell individual pictures, just the entire work, priced at the same level of the cost of the total of the graduation cerimonial fees). I think that this offering way was, indeed, what made my sister request for my pictures.
12/13/2009 07:15:03 PM · #5
Wow. A graduation is something that those students earned over a long period of time, and to hold them hostage by not letting them capture their own memories is absolute, total, complete bullcrap.

With such a restriction, I think it would be hilarious to hear about someone suing the photographer for failing to capture their grad in focus, or poorly composed, or otherwise not up to snuff.

No school should allow a photographer to dictate this kind of thing. I can see where this kind of agreement could be appropriate in some situations, but not a high school graduation. That's crap.
12/13/2009 07:22:40 PM · #6
Originally posted by alanfreed:

With such a restriction, I think it would be hilarious to hear about someone suing the photographer for failing to capture their grad in focus, or poorly composed, or otherwise not up to snuff.


I told this to them, because before the beggining of the ceremony, I saw that they were taking just one picture of each student with the certificate, posing in front an scenario.

ETA: I am a lawyer (wich added some salt over all the discussion)... ;-D
12/13/2009 07:24:49 PM · #7
My son graduated just this Spring, and they did have pro photogs who were stationed on the stage and other prime areas off limits to family and amateurs, which is the reasonable thing to do. Families could get their own shots, but if you wanted that closeup with the Principal you had to order their photos.

I am hearing all too often that DSLR's are "pro" cameras. I think that the general public needs to be better informed. Would a Leica M9 be considered an amateur camera, even though it lists for $7000?
12/13/2009 07:32:27 PM · #8
Not sure if this is the case for the school mentioned, but I know that for the school I work at, the graduation ceremony can take a long time, with all the diplomas, and awards being handed out. If photography is limited, it may just be to ensure that the evening proceeds as quickly as is reasonable. While our school never has a hired photographer, we do limit applause to the end of the ceremony, and ask parents to take photos in some spaces only.

I do not think it is reasonable for some parents to be told they cannot take photos, while other can, simply because of a difference in the type of camera used.
12/13/2009 07:53:24 PM · #9
Ridiculous!
12/13/2009 07:56:20 PM · #10
No policy should infringe on a family's right to take photos of a loved one graduating. Totally ridiculous.
12/13/2009 08:09:29 PM · #11
Originally posted by PGerst:

Ridiculous!


I tend to agree. If the pro's work is really that good, parents will buy her/his shots If it's not, they will not. The pro obviously has the advantage of the prime spots. I strongly suspect that in this case, the pro paid the school a kick-back to try to gain exclusivity.
As for making a distinction between DLSRs and "P&S" cameras, what bunk. Either they are allowing photography by the guests, or not.
12/13/2009 08:14:49 PM · #12
what would they consider to be a "pro" camera? I Canon SX110 isn't what I would consider a "Professional" camera, but it can take pretty good pics.
12/13/2009 08:57:24 PM · #13
the easiest thing to do in these situations is have a STRONG explanation

Originally posted by guy with a professional camera:

look, i'm not here to photograph the damn graduation. i'm with the forensics lab and i just came from a murder scene. i want to see my nephew graduate, then i'm going back to work.


Originally posted by another person with a professional camera:

fine, you call my editor and explain why there are no photos from the graduation to run in the paper tomorrow


Originally posted by yet another person with a pro camera:

just show me where the rest of the staff is! i'm running late!!!
12/13/2009 09:06:17 PM · #14
Originally posted by VitaminB:

If photography is limited, it may just be to ensure that the evening proceeds as quickly as is reasonable.


It would be nice to believe that, but I would guarantee that the real reason involved a bunch of dollar signs. There's no rational reason for allowing point and shoots, but disallowing "professional" cameras.

I can understand restricting parents to a designated area so you don't have families tripping over each other to get to a spot to shoot their graduate as their names are being announced. But telling them they can only use a certain camera screams, "the photographer is kicking money back to us for the sake of making an unreasonable rule to benefit him."
12/13/2009 09:15:51 PM · #15
These are the type of situations my wife hates. :)
12/13/2009 09:22:10 PM · #16
Originally posted by Skip:

the easiest thing to do in these situations is have a STRONG explanation

[quote=guy with a professional camera]look, i'm not here to photograph the damn graduation. i'm with the forensics lab and i just came from a murder scene. i want to see my nephew graduate, then i'm going back to work.

OMFG, that's HILARIOUS!!!!!
12/13/2009 10:21:00 PM · #17
Originally posted by Skip:

the easiest thing to do in these situations is have a STRONG explanation

Originally posted by guy with a professional camera:

look, i'm not here to photograph the damn graduation. i'm with the forensics lab and i just came from a murder scene. i want to see my nephew graduate, then i'm going back to work.


Originally posted by another person with a professional camera:

fine, you call my editor and explain why there are no photos from the graduation to run in the paper tomorrow


Originally posted by yet another person with a pro camera:

just show me where the rest of the staff is! i'm running late!!!

I'm a HUGE fan of walking in like you own the place and are supposed to be there. Wear a lanyard around your neck with a work ID or a name badge and you are golden!

Edit to add:
:-p
;-)
X-D
(and other smiley faces to indicate this was written with a few extra shots of jackassery)

-d

Message edited by author 2009-12-16 23:15:22.
12/13/2009 10:42:17 PM · #18
Parents with dslrs = micro stock photographers to the pros.
12/13/2009 10:58:22 PM · #19
Originally posted by faidoi:

Parents with dslrs = micro stock photographers to the pros.

Unless those parents obtain written model releases (from the other parents) those pictures are useless for any kind of stock ...
12/13/2009 11:03:55 PM · #20
This year they banned DSLR's at football games (Mississippi State) and a lot of people were pissed. God forbid anyone take a half decent picture and try to sell it or something. Grr.
12/13/2009 11:04:39 PM · #21
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by faidoi:

Parents with dslrs = micro stock photographers to the pros.

Unless those parents obtain written model releases (from the other parents) those pictures are useless for any kind of stock ...


True. I was trying to point out the reason why photographers would be protective of their potential earnings.

People shouldn't take pictures of other kids in the background or also or there might be trouble :P

Message edited by author 2009-12-13 23:07:14.
12/13/2009 11:11:20 PM · #22
Originally posted by houstonian:

This year they banned DSLR's at football games (Mississippi State) and a lot of people were pissed. God forbid anyone take a half decent picture and try to sell it or something. Grr.


If you are taking and selling photos of NCAA teams you better be very careful. The NCAA is very strict with the use and sale of images taken of their teams.

Matt
12/13/2009 11:11:32 PM · #23
Was the ceremony at the school?
12/13/2009 11:20:46 PM · #24
Exactly! Which is exactly why I just dropped over $100 for school photos of my 3 year old! :)

Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by PGerst:

Ridiculous!


I tend to agree. If the pro's work is really that good, parents will buy her/his shots If it's not, they will not. The pro obviously has the advantage of the prime spots. I strongly suspect that in this case, the pro paid the school a kick-back to try to gain exclusivity.
As for making a distinction between DLSRs and "P&S" cameras, what bunk. Either they are allowing photography by the guests, or not.
12/13/2009 11:27:10 PM · #25
Originally posted by MattO:

Originally posted by houstonian:

This year they banned DSLR's at football games (Mississippi State) and a lot of people were pissed. God forbid anyone take a half decent picture and try to sell it or something. Grr.


If you are taking and selling photos of NCAA teams you better be very careful. The NCAA is very strict with the use and sale of images taken of their teams.

Matt


I agree that the sale of the photos is touchy...a group of us who all go there were just irritated because we couldn't take photos for our own use. We all just post pics on Flickr, none of us ever sell our photos. We are not pros =) Just annoying that we are banned from taking pics just because our cameras are better than a P&S. At least they could have us register with them or something so they can hunt someone down if they do find them selling pics.
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