Friday, June 11, 2004

Digital Photos

During the Wenatchee race, a local photographer was on the course snapping photos of everyone. He had prints up at the end of every event and thumbnails on his website later in the day. When all of the thumbnails were online I enthusiastically went to his site, ready to purchase my pictures. I find my photos, and click the dropdown to see that my only purchase option are prints. Huh? These are digital photos and I want a digital version.

After a short email exchange in which I offered to pay for the digital originals, the photographer gave me the following reasoning for not selling them:
"The reasoning is that having control of intellectual property, especially with photographs, is paramount. With the advent of the web and digital media, no telling where and with whom any given image may be used, and in any fashion. Sometimes the image is used not in the spirit of the original use request. Just protecting everyone involved. [ ... ]"

I don't agree with his reasoning at all. Sure, if this was a major sporting event then he has a point, but it wasn't. People aren't going to be spreading these photos all over. The most likely case is that people would post them to their website to share with friends. They might even print a few copies and send them around. Are people going to spend $10 per print (the smallest print, btw) to send a copy to their friends and family? I doubt it.

So, by refusing to relinquish just a little control over these images, he is probably losing money. I would have paid $10 for the digital original. Yeah, I would have posted a reduced version of it online and might have made a print or two, but that's it. Instead of getting $10 or $20 from me, he gets nothing.


At 6:59 PM, Blogger Jim Carson said...

This is very short-sighted on his part.

Of the events i've done, only 1/4 have a digital photo available as an option, and even then, it's pretty expensive -- north of $30. During RSVP last year, there was a freelance photographer who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. He posted his for order and delivered the prints before Marathon, the official photographer, even sent the proof sheets to view.

So I'm curious if you'd mind polling your fellow racers if they'd pay $15 for a digital photo. (Photography's a hobby of mine, I'd need to justify the digital camera, though.) For a nominal charge, I'd even photoshop in an image of Mt. Rushmore or Lance.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Doug W said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger Doug W said...

Heh, you're stealing my idea.. :)

After this little episode I started thinkingthe same thing. I thought, hmm, I'm at the race anyway so why not stay the rest of the day and photograph the remaining races. I figured a good digital camera, laptop, printer, and some other gear wouldn't be terribly expensive and I'd be able to offer better service than most of these people.

That said, I probably won't go through with it so I'll ask around for you. :)


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