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Darin Boville
19-Mar-2014, 23:23
So my gallery is not officially open yet but I'm there a lot, lights are on, door is open.

I'm talking with a friend, young woman comes into the doorway. Can she come in? Sure I say, feel free, walk around look at the images. She's from out of town, can't come back. No problem, I say. Welcome.

So while I'm chatting with my friend I look over at her once and a while--and then I notice it. She's taking her iphone, carefully framing up an image of mine and making a copy. She made at least two photographs that I saw. Maybe more that I didn't.

While she's shooting I think to myself, you know, I don't really have a policy on this, do I?

Should I have a policy on this? I debated various aspects and thought I had come to a conclusion but then at dinner that night my fifteen-year-old daughter had a better idea. I'll share her idea later--for now, what do *you* think the policy should be? Let them shoot? Post a sign saying no? Something else?

I thought it an interesting quandary...

--Darin

Leigh
19-Mar-2014, 23:37
Add "self-copy" to your price list.

- Leigh

analoguey
20-Mar-2014, 01:28
Provide a 'post to facebook/Twitter/pinterest facility at your gallery?

Rollinhofuji
20-Mar-2014, 01:56
Add "self-copy" to your price list.

- Leigh

Perfect!

Struan Gray
20-Mar-2014, 02:38
One of my motivations for learning how to take photographs properly was that museums and galleries almost never sold slides or postcards of the paintings and other objects that I found most interesting. A lot of places get upset these days at the sight of a decent camera – let alone the 6x6 SLR with lens on extension tube I used to press up against display cases – but they mostly don't mind mobiles, so I still take quite a few record shots with mine as an aide memoire.

Your visitor may have been doing something similar. I know I regularly still do at exhibitions of art and photography, even if there is a dedicated website. If nothing else, the snaps are a useful record of what I thought I should look up later.

My instinct would be to permit, and even encourage, this kind of behaviour, while making it hard for those who are looking to rip you off. How likely is it that an in-gallery shot with a mobile is going to be marketed on Etsy, or passed off as their own work? Not very, I would guess, although it must happen occasionally.

I often take a record shot of the information plaque or label on the wall beside works, so one option is to keep comprehensive online catalogues with small, but quality, images of all the works on show. Put a catalogue number, or even a QR code, on the label or wall-plaque which identifies the works. Make it easy for people to re-connect with the work or the artist (not to mention you) a few days or even weeks/months after visiting the gallery.

Heroique
20-Mar-2014, 03:41
I can see this is leading to a postcard rack at your gift shop.

Next to the Café!

AtlantaTerry
20-Mar-2014, 04:56
WWCD?

What would Clyde do?

Iluvmyviewcam
20-Mar-2014, 07:52
OP...I let anyone copy whatever they like of my images. But, I don't sell prints.

I have donated my works to over 70 museums and public collections around the world. If I was money hungry then I would not like people copying my work. I would want every last penny. I would not donate to museums, I would just want $$$.

I would be like Helmut Newton. He would tell his printer to make his prints used for fashion mags to fade away in a couple of months. That is what money does to you.

I prefer to live by the credo 'don't shit where you eat' I do photography for love of the medium and freezing time. If I had to do it as a job or to make money I would hate it.

We had a thread here one time asking what you do with scrap prints. One member replied he used to trash them. Then he found an artist picking them out of the trash to make collages from them. He said he cuts them up now so the artists can't use them.

What do I do with mine? I donate scrap prints to artists to make collages out of them. That sums up the $$ based mentality versus love of the art based mentality.

Here is an Irish bagpipper I shot recently.

http://wheelingwv.tumblr.com/image/79834256130

I wrote him and asked if he liked the shot I'd be glad to send him a free 11 x 14 Baryta print. I never got a reply.

What would a $$ based photog do? He would send him a watermarked image asking for $$.

SebastianK
20-Mar-2014, 08:03
I wouldn't bother as long as nobody starts to set up a view camera with a scanning back. Today the smartphone is the second brain for a lot of people and posting stuff they like on facebook is an important part of their lives. I'd just see it as free PR with high credibility. Most companies try hard to get people share their stuff online (and most fail). It might even be a smart move to actively encourage sharing pics of your gallery. Ideally they'd link back to you, so having an FB fan page is a must as well I think. These guys might come back after a few weeks when they look for a piece for their new flat or their mum's birthday.

Use of images (or content in general) can't be controlled or limited online anyway (without getting flamed by the online community) so why not use it to your advantage?

Just my 2cents,
Sebastian

PS: I like your space a lot. Will stop by if I ever get the chance.

adelorenzo
20-Mar-2014, 09:29
Well, it is possible she was copying your images to steal them and get filthy rich selling them on greeting cards or mugs or maybe your image will appear in a magazine ad soon.

OR....

Maybe she did it so she can pin, post or tweet your photo and share it with her friends because she thinks it's cool.
Maybe she's looking for art for her walls and is taking pictures of ones she likes.
Maybe she's an interior designer who buys hundreds of pieces of art a year and keeps things on her phone to show her clients.
etc...

People pay a lot of money to try to get their work out there. IMHO someone who willingly wants to share your work for free is a good thing. There is a small chance they are evil but I wouldn't worry about it.

I'd look at what other galleries do but I suspect that most of them will allow photography, just no flashes.

cgrab
20-Mar-2014, 09:41
Interesting , and nice to see a relaxed consensus about the possible damage done by this, in my opinion, still somewhat impolite behaviour. If ever she comes back, please ask about her motive and share.

Christoph

Kodachrome25
20-Mar-2014, 09:44
The woman was on private property that you pay for, she should have asked permission and said what she was doing it for. I personally do not allow it in my gallery and I have never seen it being done in any gallery that I have been in for that matter, it's rather rude considering your are in the business of selling something visual that will not be mass produced aka Peter Lik.

And obviously, ignore post #8 because he was banned under the name of "Slackercruster" and is showing no respect for your need to run a business. Nor should you listen the person in post #11 who rubs it in peoples faces that he gives his work away for free and instead really promotes sharing of any kind just to get that precious "like".

Either way, it is part of a growing problem of a self entitled "just because I have a smartphone, I CAN and WILL do anything I want"....bullshit.

I would definitely set a policy on it....

I plan on having post cards made that will be priced cheap enough in that I either break even or make a tiny profit on in order to get my work out there in a way that everyone can feel good about. I also print promos for upcoming shows that are nice keep sakes too. But let a person take an iPhone 5 to one of my prints on the wall for god knows what? No way, they can *actually* make a decent print out of that if they used it in HDR and took it into post.

Jmarmck
20-Mar-2014, 10:14
Hmmm. Interesting dilemma. As a former newspaper hack (and not very good at it) and as a musician, I see this type of thing a lot. The question is how do you feel about it. Surely, there are no absolutes to your feelings, thus the question. There are many opinions but none are right. They are opinions based upon what the artist's needs. I have known many musicians that are rabid about free online music in both directions. The ones who hate free are those who try to make a living on stage and with on site sales.

I personally, do not charge for my music. So you know where I stand with the professionals. Download it for free. Use it for free. All are just fine..........until you try to make money off it. Then we have a problem. I put music of lesser quality out there for free. If someone wants a high bit rate they go to my site and get it...........free. All other sites have lesser quality versions. The only time a person needs a license is if they use it in a commercial sense.

I take the same approach with my photography. I will let anyone download for free.....as you cannot prevent it anyway. So I only upload lesser quality imagery. Let people know that the high quality is available for price. Be very vocal about the quality bit. In a shop that means placing the imagery at a distance. If they are truly interested they will ask. Just a thought.

Oh, I have a day job. If I were trying to make a dollar off my creativity, I imagine my views might be somewhat different. I will say though that I do not share the belief of many onliners that everything should be free. I simply cannot wrap my feeble mind around that one. Do people think this because they want it and are not willing to pay, not willing to support you? I have no idea. I have never understood that mentality.

Sal Santamaura
20-Mar-2014, 10:21
...Today the smartphone is the second brain for a lot of people...Actually, for most people with smartphones, it's the only thing they've got remotely resembling a brain. The technology apparently works very effectively to empty their crania.

toyotadesigner
20-Mar-2014, 10:51
I fully agree with Kodachrom25. Bad manners are spreading too fast. Looks like people don't have a good education anymore.

I definitely would draw a border and post a sign (or several). In addition I would offer postcards for a $. You do this to finance your income! If people know they have to pay for your work, they will start to value it accordingly.

Hm, do any of the famous galleries allow photography in their exhibitions? The ones I know don't - for an obvious reason.

Brian C. Miller
20-Mar-2014, 10:55
Legally, the lady was violating your copyright. Sure, she could be sharing the images on her social network amongst her friends, or do it just for personal comparison to something else. However, that's more than enough for your copyright to get the **** violated out of it, once it gets spread around.

Do you remember how far she stood from the photographs? Place a light so that it reflects off the glazing. Then when someone in the future does it, there will be light bulbs in the snapshot.

adelorenzo
20-Mar-2014, 11:20
Legally, the lady was violating your copyright. Sure, she could be sharing the images on her social network amongst her friends, or do it just for personal comparison to something else. However, that's more than enough for your copyright to get the **** violated out of it, once it gets spread around.

I'm not a legal expert but I don't think this is correct. Here in Canada at least, there are a number of ways that this could fall under fair dealing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing_in_Canadian_copyright_law#Elements) and not an infringement of copyright whatsoever. It all depends what she does with the images ultimately.

More importantly if you make a habit of suing your potential customers I don't think that you are going to be in business for very long.

Thom Bennett
20-Mar-2014, 11:31
I work as a catalog photographer in an antique store and when customers ask the salesmen if they can take photos of items they say, "Sure, but we have all of our images online and in our catalogs. May I add you to our mailing list?" In other words, they use it as a way to get their contact info and then bombard them with stuff until they buy. For your situation, I would think postcards would be a nice little income stream.

Merg Ross
20-Mar-2014, 13:51
You could take her interest in your work as a compliment, or be upset by her action. Personally, I find such behavior without permission to be insensitive and rude. Assuming that this will not be the last such incident, a simple sign in a prominent place banning photography should do the trick.

Another thought would be to make a representative selection of postcard size reproductions available for sale. It was from buying postcards at the local museum as a kid that I learned about art. Back then they were 25 cents, and for a buck I had a Klee, Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Modigliani to pin to my bedroom wall! Kids today could collect the work of Boville.

Congratulations on your progress, a man of action! Hope you do well.

Michael E
20-Mar-2014, 15:42
A good policy would be to walk up to any visitor who is taking photos and ask them about the purpose - friendly and open. It's a good way to get a conversation started. Few visitors will snap images to hang them on a wall or sell them. Most other uses are fine and actually beneficial for you.

Jim Jones
20-Mar-2014, 18:04
I'm with Struan (post 5). Art should be a passion: that's what makes it art. Business is business. If someone wants to snap a memento in my exhibits, fine. If they can't afford the modest price of my photos or have no place to hang a print, at least they have the snapshot. If they buy a print, that is nice, too.

Thad Gerheim
20-Mar-2014, 19:48
This is a tough question, because you don't want to seem negative and yet this is downright stealing. When I see this happening, which happens a fair amount, I try to explain what it takes and costs me to get that photo that they are casually copying. I have people ask if they can take a picture to show their spouse to see if they're interested, I say yes, and maybe 10% or less do buy.

I had a wealthy lady ask me to print a photo of some art work she took pictures of while on a cruise, I explained to her that it was probably copyright violation and outright stealing to do this. That was four years ago and she hasn't talked to me since.

A realtor told me that she sold a house that had one of my photos in it that the new buyers wanted, but was not going with the house so she took it to have it scanned and printed for the new owners. I couldn't believe it, and told her that it was wrong to do that, it was like she had no idea.

Darin Boville
20-Mar-2014, 21:41
O.K., great discussion. Here's what happened on my end.

My first reaction was that I should prohibit photography in my gallery. That would prevent copying but that also means that I would have to enforce that policy. Maybe be rude or accidentally rude. Change the whole vibe of the gallery.

Then it occurred to me that the girl was not a customer. She was not buying and probably would never buy. So i wasn't losing sales due to her iPhone.

Then I thought about how seemingly impossible it would be to really police the situation. Then I remembered my web page, where the images can be take at will. Oh.

A "no photography" rule seemed to have a lot of downside but not much upside.

So why not *not* worry about it. Let people take photographs, at least phone images. It makes them happy, maybe remind them of my gallery. Maybe they'll talk about it, maybe they'll come back. Heck, maybe they are shooting to remind themselves or to show another person a print they want to buy. Who knows. Why should I care? (And then, I though, if the experience of viewing one of my prints can be that easily replicated by an iPhone photo maybe I'm in the wrong medium--can you snap a pict of a Bernini and confuse it with the original? But that's a different topic...)

So that's where I was until at dinner when my fifteen-year-old daughter had a better idea. Their picture probably won't be very good, she said. Misframed, blurry, bad colors. They'll hang them on their wall or cubicle and it won't look as good as it should. It's your photo and it won't look good. And no one will know where it came from. Why not, she suggested, make a nice 5x8 inch postcard of one image from each exhibit area, put them near the door, and give them away for free. Have the gallery name n the corner of the postcard, unobtrusive.

Don't stop them from stealing the image, don't ignore them stealing the image, instead, give them the image. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. It made a lot of sense on a lot of different levels.

I ordered postcards that night, Sunday and, surprisingly, they arrived today.

112532

--Darin

Andrew O'Neill
20-Mar-2014, 21:50
Fine, but she should have asked first. That's just down right rude on her part.

marfa boomboom tx
21-Mar-2014, 00:16
O.K., .......
So that's where I was until at dinner when my fifteen-year-old daughter had a better idea. Their picture probably won't be very good, she said. Misframed, blurry, bad colors. They'll hang them on their wall or cubicle and it won't look as good as it should. It's your photo and it won't look good. And no one will know where it came from. Why not, she suggested, make a nice 5x8 inch postcard of one image from each exhibit area, put them near the door, and give them away for free. Have the gallery name n the corner of the postcard, unobtrusive.

Don't stop them from stealing the image, don't ignore them stealing the image, instead, give them the image. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. It made a lot of sense on a lot of different levels.

I ordered postcards that night, Sunday and, surprisingly, they arrived today.

112532

--Darin

Welcome to take one, leave one.

rL

AtlantaTerry
21-Mar-2014, 02:24
I ordered postcards that night, Sunday and, surprisingly, they arrived today.

112532

--Darin

I can't see in the photo but I hope your postcards have your Copyright notice on them. A little CYA.

Struan Gray
21-Mar-2014, 02:58
Jim: ta very much :-)

Darin: the free postcard thing is done quite a lot by European galleries and museums. There was a 90s craze for bars and coffee shops to have racks of free postcards from various museums and other organisations, often advertising the show of the moment. If you know of other galleries in the area - or other units in your gallery's building - who might be interested, it is an effective way to advertise in the local area.


PS: there *is* a downside. My four-year-old was found staggering towards the doors of a gallery under the weight of a ream or so of nicely printed A4 exhibition flyers on good, stiff paper. 'They're fantastic for paper aeroplanes!'

matthew blais
21-Mar-2014, 04:29
On the positive she could be texting that image to a friend as "Hey check out the new gallery here"...or maybe her hubby..."Hey Honey, should we buy this one?"
Next time...Talk to her...People do actually converse and you should be chatting her up anyway since you let her in.
Could be a positive for marketing your work and space.

I highly doubt she's gonna make a print off a cell phone shot, or go in search of your tripod marks.

Jmarmck
21-Mar-2014, 05:47
Darin, You need to hire your daughter.

marfa boomboom tx
21-Mar-2014, 06:18
Welcome to take one, leave one.



a big bend photographer leaves his pictures around the store on shelves, free for the taking
http://www.frenchcogrocer.com/Home.html


occasionally I drop some off here too, as payment to him.


I first saw this back at SFAI days(68). It assumes a different pathway.

Drew Wiley
21-Mar-2014, 10:15
There have been incidents where people will plagiarize displayed images using their cell phone; but they could do the same thing off the web. What do they get?
Nothing really, not unless you're live prints are so abominably bad that they look like they came off the web themselves. This isn't like photojournalism, where there
a horse race to see whose shot of some disaster or assassination first gets disseminated. A stolen shot on the wall will look like a cheesy stolen shot, that's all.

Mike Anderson
21-Mar-2014, 10:35
I think allowing snapshot photography of the gallery and things in the gallery is a net win for you. The potential free advertising outweighs the potential copyright dilution.

alavergh
7-Apr-2014, 22:55
While it does seem rude or insensitive at first, I think it's a fine practice. There's really nothing she can do with a cell phone image of something that you've got on display. What is she stealing? How can it be used? A few times I'll photograph a piece of art in a store to use for inspiration later, either in painting or photography. It's the same as if I had a very good memory. People are just looking for reasons to have their feelings hurt that say how horrible she is. The two reactions that I like best involve striking up a conversation and making postcards available with information on them concerning your work and how to see/buy more.

Darin Boville
7-Apr-2014, 23:01
The postcards have been popular so far. Almost everyone who visits has taken one or two, sometimes three (there are three different ones). As far as I can tell no one has yet taken more than one of a single version--at least without asking first.

Some people seem surprised when I tell them they are free.

The information sheets I printed out about each of the three projects are not nearly as popular, even when I'm right there, suggesting they take a copy, signing the praises of background info, etc. I'm thinking there should go on the walls as posters or something. Also thinking that people really want/need individual wall labels for each print, despite the fact that each label will say the same thing, over and over, with just the image number changing. The Pier 24 display aesthetic is not working!

--Darin

angusparker
7-Apr-2014, 23:49
The postcards have been popular so far. Almost everyone who visits has taken one or two, sometimes three (there are three different ones). As far as I can tell no one has yet taken more than one of a single version--at least without asking first.

Some people seem surprised when I tell them they are free.

The information sheets I printed out about each of the three projects are not nearly as popular, even when I'm right there, suggesting they take a copy, signing the praises of background info, etc. I'm thinking there should go on the walls as posters or something. Also thinking that people really want/need individual wall labels for each print, despite the fact that each label will say the same thing, over and over, with just the image number changing. The Pier 24 display aesthetic is not working!

--Darin

Had to laugh. Pier 24 does provide a walk around document that you can correlate to the image .... but I agree it's a little too much the 'no label' thing, still I'm not complaining .... we are getting a world class resource for free and I am very thankful and inspired by their shows.

AtlantaTerry
8-Apr-2014, 00:16
Sorry? What is "Pier 24" and how does it relate to this thread?

Darin Boville
8-Apr-2014, 01:03
Sorry? What is "Pier 24" and how does it relate to this thread?

Pier 24 is a wonderful photography gallery--really a museum--in San Francisco on, you guessed it, Pier 24. It's a private museum and idiosyncratic (in a good way). Someone has given real thought to the viewer's experience and all that si wrong with the traditional museum and has tried to offer an alternative. There are no crowds--you have to reserve your slot in advance--it is free--but that also means you can take your time in the exhibit and really look. And think. No gift shop, no cafe. The employees are knowledgeable.

There are no wall labels next to the images--no doubt this comes from a common complaint--certainly one of mine--that far too many people look at the label more than the artwork and are artificially impressed by famous names on the label, no matter what is in the frame. No no labels, although you can ask for a cheat sheet, as augustparker mentions. They also sell, very inexpensively, catalogs of the show, which often are pictures of the installation rather than just images of the work in isolation. You can buy the catalogs online at the spaces bookstore.

A exhibit will last months and months, giving you ample time to go back again and again.

http://www.pier24.org

It's just a wonderful experience, a great way to see photographs. Real top shelf stuff of all sorts. I wish I lived next door.

The reference is here because in my own gallery I haven't (yet) put up wall labels for each of the images--not really part of any master plan, just haven't done it. Not quite sure I needed to given they are all part of one project. I did print out info sheets on each project. So, sort of accidentally (or not?) like Pier 24 in trying to offer the viewer a better experience yet at the same time asking a little more than normal from the viewer.

Maybe I'll start offering limited time slots next!

--Darin

Jmarmck
8-Apr-2014, 06:24
Seems to me that if you are offering a project that the project would be displayed within a set area of a gallery. If descriptions are not applicable for each image then why not put an easel with a single description and perhaps some of the free media that is associated, and index so to speak? I am not a curator nor a display expert but this seems plausible.

Jim Cole
9-Apr-2014, 08:59
While it does seem rude or insensitive at first, I think it's a fine practice. There's really nothing she can do with a cell phone image of something that you've got on display.

Actually, not always true. A friend of mine, a well known abstract painter was victimized by cell phone pics taken of her work in several galleries, including the one she and I were in together. The pics were sent to China where hired artists were paid a pittance to copy the work. The copied paintings were sold to dealers as originals by the victimized artist. Her long-time dealers told her of the pirated work when they were approached by the company selling the fakes. There was noting she could do. These cell phone photographers traveled all over the US to photograph well known artists' work to copy. Pictures of photographs are not likely to be used this way, but I feel that photography in a gallery should be prohibited unless the visitor asks permission. This allows students of art a chance to study and research while friends can share with friends as long as while photographing, they are not observed to take extreme care with how they photograph the work. Casual photographers take pictures differently than people intending to copy the art.

ROL
9-Apr-2014, 09:11
So that's where I was until at dinner when my fifteen-year-old daughter had a better idea. Their picture probably won't be very good, she said. Misframed, blurry, bad colors. They'll hang them on their wall or cubicle and it won't look as good as it should. It's your photo and it won't look good. And no one will know where it came from. Why not, she suggested, make a nice 5x8 inch postcard of one image from each exhibit area, put them near the door, and give them away for free. Have the gallery name n the corner of the postcard, unobtrusive.

She's a keeper.

Drew Wiley
9-Apr-2014, 10:55
What's the difference, Cole? .... probably tens of thousand of painted copies of Van Gogh's sunflowers and Monet's sunsets have been made over the years, just like
ten buck Rolex watches. Then photomechanical reproductions have been made in the millions. Heck, there are a few bozo painters who had their own work faked,
or mass-produced in third-world painter sweatshops, for distribution. A fake is a fake is a fake. Unless someone is fishing for the ultra-rich, or trying to sucker a
museum, fakes generally look like fakes. A cell phone is not a darkroom.

Jim Cole
9-Apr-2014, 18:29
What's the difference, Cole? .... probably tens of thousand of painted copies of Van Gogh's sunflowers and Monet's sunsets have been made over the years, just like
ten buck Rolex watches. Then photomechanical reproductions have been made in the millions. Heck, there are a few bozo painters who had their own work faked,
or mass-produced in third-world painter sweatshops, for distribution. A fake is a fake is a fake. Unless someone is fishing for the ultra-rich, or trying to sucker a
museum, fakes generally look like fakes. A cell phone is not a darkroom.

Drew,

It made a difference to the artist in question. Why so belligerent?

goamules
9-Apr-2014, 19:24
Some galleries allow photography, I've found.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/13750839814_c18186f6b7_o.jpg

Darin Boville
9-Apr-2014, 19:48
Some galleries allow photography, I've found.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/13750839814_c18186f6b7_o.jpg

Many, maybe most, do. They don't on loaner exhibitions and flash is always a no-no.

Of course, at the Louvre they have large skylights and don't seem to give a crap about a million flashes going off all day long!

--Darin

Leszek Vogt
9-Apr-2014, 20:01
Hmmm, I thought they (the Louvre) didn't permit flash photos. The answer is on their website.

Photography is forbidden with flash throughout the entire museum.

Les

Darin Boville
9-Apr-2014, 20:38
Hmmm, I thought they (the Louvre) didn't permit flash photos. The answer is on their website.

Photography is forbidden with flash throughout the entire museum.

Les

Not enforced in the slightest. The Mono Lisa is behind glass (for physical protection) but the other paintings are open to the air. It's bizarre to be near a famous painting--there will be a small crowd and then suddenly, bam, a tourist group shows up and it's like a World War Ii movie.

Here's a typical moment at the busy Mono Lisa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCTH8ht2RuA

--Darin

Dirk Rösler
10-Apr-2014, 01:51
I would love to see a fat "No Photography" sign in a photo gallery. That would save me a lot of time because I would know instantly that the gallery owner knows nothing about photography so I would not waste my time going in, as the stuff on display is likely to be totally unattractive and well past its due date. Of course, if the business model is in conflict with the very nature of the medium you will have to play that card - good luck to the business!

Darin Boville
10-Apr-2014, 02:08
I would love to see a fat "No Photography" sign in a photo gallery. That would save me a lot of time because I would know instantly that the gallery owner knows nothing about photography so I would not waste my time going in, as the stuff on display is likely to be totally unattractive and well past its due date. Of course, if the business model is in conflict with the very nature of the medium you will have to play that card - good luck to the business!

I was sort of worried that such a sign might be interpreted as critical commentary on my work!

--Darin

Dirk Rösler
10-Apr-2014, 03:46
I was a little provocative, and did not mean to imply that you would. I read your other opening a gallery post and would not expected it from you. But it is an easy option for some people.

You cited the silicon valley crowd passing the gallery on a daily basis, and IMHO it would be very detrimental to evoke a stone age attitude with these people, who are very smart and work for the very companies that develop the technologies that (according to some people) "facilitate the theft of intellectual property". It is a clash of two mindsets, the overly possessive and the overly open who think everything deserves to be shared with everybody (for free of course).

David R Munson
10-Apr-2014, 06:21
This was in a gallery I visited last weekend. A similar sign will eventually be in my own gallery.

http://distilleryimage3.ak.instagram.com/2c60b242bb3811e3836c12c8f56b1a2b_8.jpg

goamules
10-Apr-2014, 07:40
About half the galleries in Paris allow photographing the art, but some do not. There is one that houses most of the best Impressionist works, and they'll stop you as soon as you pull a camera out. But this is not the same thing this thread is about, these are old, not copyrighted works by people long dead. There is no money to be made by the "owners" really.

If the OP or anyone is actively making a living by selling their copyrighted art, it's their choice to disallow photographic copying. I've even had vendors at the international gem and mineral show in Tucson (usually foreigners) stop me from photographing a table full of rocks. Don't quite get that one.

Like most of us are saying, it gives your more advertising and popularity to just let them do it. But "looky-loos" (people that have no possibility of wanting to buy something) are the problem with all businesses. Motorcycle dealerships, clothing boutiques, antique shops, even my business - the trick is finding the potential buyer, and giving them the best service you can. The others, you don't want to eliminate with any false action, in case they are a "hidden" buyer.

Brian C. Miller
10-Apr-2014, 08:22
... The pics were sent to China where hired artists were paid a pittance to copy the work. The copied paintings were sold to dealers as originals by the victimized artist. ...


What's the difference, Cole?

There is a major difference between a LF photograph copied with a cell phone and printed, and a painting being reproduced by another painter. When the photograph is copied with the cell phone, there is a deterioration of image quality. When the painting is reproduced by a forger, the forgery is sold instead of the original, and the living artist gets nothing. It's easy to spot a cell phone picture. Is it easy to spot a forgery of a painting that you've never seen before?

As Jim said, the painter has no recourse. I wonder about the consumer. Was the consumer notified? If the consumer knows they have a fake, can they get a refund from the gallery? If the gallery does not willingly give them a refund, then can they profitably sue? I suppose that depends on the value of the painting, and the skill of the attorneys.

But both the producer and the consumer are out some money. The gallery might lose some money, but based on things I've read about local galleries in the Seattle Times, I bet not.

Drew Wiley
10-Apr-2014, 08:41
I happen to routinely interact with the Silicon Valley crowd too. And no, their careers are not oriented to digital plagiarism, but to applications vastly more profitable
than any art gallery. Even last Sat I got stopped on the trail, once I had a good long hike with relative solitude with my 8x10, but then had to take the "freeway" trail
back to the truck to get home on time. One of them did take a picture of my camera, and one of me using it. But otherwise, they were admiring my apparent dedication of what seemed to them a lost craft. Over and over again, I've had these software engineers express an interest in doing "real" photography with a "real
darkroom", meaning "real" quality. Maybe a lot of this is just "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" mentality, meaning they're sick of their day job
in pixel and software land, and want something hands-on. I sympathize, and am eager to get away from computers myself. ... mind you, I am not criticizing the
choice many of you make to pursue digital workflows. Just a different toolbox. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if a few of these guys turned to something like
wetplate or carbon just to feel they weren't themselves slaves to modern technology, like they are sixty or seventy hours a week.

ROL
10-Apr-2014, 09:10
Of course, at the Louvre they have large skylights and don't seem to give a crap about a million flashes going off all day long!

…and if you want to see photography too dimly lit to be seen, go to the Getty.:(

ROL
10-Apr-2014, 09:22
A cell phone is not a darkroom.

Well, there's some wisdom in that, intended or not. Much of copyright infringement concern is academic to those of us who still make limited edition wet prints. Nobody's picture of your work will ever be more than an easily identifiable inauthentic copy. A picture of Michelangelo's David doesn't make you the sculptor. This may be one of the last truly rational arguments to stay in the DR. Turned on its perceived head, imitation is then the sincerest form of flattery. Of course, for those who are exclusively digital artists or who derive income partially from image royalties, the situation becomes ever more problematic.

dsphotog
10-Apr-2014, 09:50
Darin,
Your cards look great, and will keep folks coming back to your gallery.

Drew Wiley
10-Apr-2014, 10:21
I don't think any of us have to worry about some master forger electronically faking our own work and getting rich off it. Even the Uncle Earl incident which did
momentarily cause a legal hiccup concerning authenticity didn't really fool anyone in the know. But if you're one of these guys who uses a cell phone to capture
Google Earth images on a screen, then frames that smashed bug wad of mush, or are a stock photographer marketing images electronically... well, that's a different story.

Corran
10-Apr-2014, 10:40
One of the things I thought was interesting when I visited the MoMA up in NY was that photography was totally allowed and expected. In Atlanta, at the High, you have to actually sign a waiver and get a photography "permit" to even take in a camera, and then they supposedly do not allow posting of any photos taken in the museum to be posted online (and specifically social media). I wonder how they plan on policing that. I guess I understand the point of view that they want viewers to come to the museum, rather than experience it vicariously through their friend on Facebook and lose ticket revenue. Of course, I doubt actual patrons would choose to only view crappy camera phone photos and be satisfied...

Anyway, I applaud your stance on the matter Darin.

John Koehrer
12-Apr-2014, 14:33
A good policy would be to walk up to any visitor who is taking photos and ask them about the purpose - friendly and open. It's a good way to get a conversation started. Few visitors will snap images to hang them on a wall or sell them. Most other uses are fine and actually beneficial for you.

I like this one best.
But the free post cards are great too.
Do you have a guest register for people to leave information on for future shows either by email or direct mail?

dsphotog
12-Apr-2014, 16:51
http://cpyrightvisualarts.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/art-rogers-vs-jeff-koons/

You never know what one will do once they see your photos...

Once a photographer in our club got into trouble for photographing a bronze statue, I guess it goes both ways.

Darin Boville
12-Apr-2014, 17:03
Do you have a guest register for people to leave information on for future shows either by email or direct mail?

Yes, a business card jar sort of thing with blank card available in case you don't have one...

--Darin

Randy Moe
12-Apr-2014, 18:11
Here is the policy of the Art Institute of Chicago. They are even worried about sketches.

But they do allow handheld digital of nearly any quality. I bet they stop people with MF digital. But a D800 may be just fine...

They do stipulate "personal use" only. I bet they got lawyers...

I'm taking my P7000 next week which excels in macro handheld and since it is tiny sensor, DOF is always huge. I shoot that damn thing 100 times a day.

'Photography
You are welcome to take photographs of the permanent collection and special exhibitions for personal use unless otherwise noted. Dry sketching is also permitted. Please respect signage that may prohibit photography of specific works of art or exhibitions, and please do not use flashes, tripods, and video cameras.

Members of the media should contact our Department of Public Affairs at (312) 443-3626 or aicpublicaffairs@artic.edu to arrange shoots for still photography and film.

Sketching
For pencil sketching in the museum, please consult with the security officer in the appropriate gallery. Paper and pads must be no larger than 13 x 17 inches. Easels, stools, or anything that interferes with movement in the gallery are not permitted.'

Darin Boville
12-Apr-2014, 19:11
'Photography
You are welcome to take photographs of the permanent collection and special exhibitions for personal use unless otherwise noted. Dry sketching is also permitted. Please respect signage that may prohibit photography of specific works of art or exhibitions, and please do not use flashes, tripods, and video cameras.

Members of the media should contact our Department of Public Affairs at (312) 443-3626 or aicpublicaffairs@artic.edu to arrange shoots for still photography and film.

Sketching
For pencil sketching in the museum, please consult with the security officer in the appropriate gallery. Paper and pads must be no larger than 13 x 17 inches. Easels, stools, or anything that interferes with movement in the gallery are not permitted.'

Seems very accommodating.

I used to go to a Museum and see lots of people easel painting--must have been in Boston. It was cool to watch.

--Darin

Merg Ross
12-Apr-2014, 21:52
Here is the policy of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Photography
You are welcome to take photographs of the permanent collection and special exhibitions for personal use unless otherwise noted.



Good for AIC. I see no harm in this policy. I recently noticed that a few of my photographs from the AIC collection are displayed on their website. Photographs are to be viewed (even on a monitor) rather than hidden in museum drawers.

Darin Boville
13-Apr-2014, 00:56
I recently noticed that a few of my photographs from the AIC collection are displayed on their website.

I googled and found the ones in the online catalog. I also noticed that three of them were marked "From the collection of Aaron Siskind."

That's pretty cool....

--Darin

anglophone1
17-Apr-2014, 13:18
Every time I go to a gallery these days there is always at least one person copying ( not photographing as that would include more than just the image in question) individual photographs as though they have every right to - it offends me- but I guess in this " everything is free" world it's Ok?
Or is it?

anglophone1
17-Apr-2014, 13:22
Of course I was told not to photograph ( as opposed to copy) in a Cartier Bresson show in Paris some years back- I was photographing people not prints......
I wonder what they would have said to him, or indeed to Elliot Erwitt who did a whole book like that!

Shootar401
18-Apr-2014, 03:48
Call me what you will, but if someone wants to copy my work, make a painting, sculpture based off of it, take a photo of it upload it to Facebook then go right ahead. I'm not going to get a stick up my _____ over it.

If people want to display their art, photographs, sculptures, etc... in public or in a private place where there will be other people around they should know that there is a possibility of other people copying their work. If they are so concerned about it, the work should kept it at home and their feelings won't be hurt. Seriously you should be flattered that someone likes your stuff enough to copy it. The whole loosing a sale over an iPhone photo/sketching/whatever is a BS line from a greedy, self important "artist". They never "lost a sale" if there was no sale to begin with, doesn't matter who they are of what medium they work in.

Again my opinion.

Iluvmyviewcam
18-Apr-2014, 06:17
Every time I go to a gallery these days there is always at least one person copying ( not photographing as that would include more than just the image in question) individual photographs as though they have every right to - it offends me- but I guess in this " everything is free" world it's Ok?
Or is it?

It is up to the gallery, no right or wrong.

I was at a museum. They said NO photogrphy. Another museum said OK take pix. If it is your place make the rules. I don't think the person that takes the cell phone photo would buy the item if they could not take a photo. I collect lots of photos off the web. I print them up sometimes and put them in a post bound portfolio. I like looking at them once in a while. But i would not buy any of them for the most part. if some were $15 or so i may buy a couple of prints. But that is it. No lost sales for the people. they would not have sold me anything. But I can still enjoy their work.

"Looking at photographs, like taking them, can be joyful, sensuous pleasure. Looking at photographs of quality can only increase that pleasure." Pete Turner

"A photograph that has not been shared or at least printed is almost an unexistent photograph, is almost an untaken picture." Sergio Garibay

"The photographer begins to feel big and bloated and so big he can't walk through one of these doors because he gets a good byline; he gets notices all over the world and so forth; but they're really --the important people are the people he photographs. They are what make him." Gordon Parks

AnzaRunner
24-Jul-2014, 08:18
I've always thought it was petty for photographers/artists to have "no photography" signs up everywhere. I see this a lot at art shows. When I show my work, I do not have such a policy. I've had people ask if they could take a photo of my prints, and I tell them to go ahead. Some people have also asked if they could take a photo of me next to one of my prints. I see it as a sign of flattery. I'm not insecure about people taking photos of the prints because I know first hand that it would be difficult to take a good photo of them (reflections off the glass, not ideal lighting, etc), but also because a copy will never be as good as the original. I know how much effort it takes to achieve a good print, and taking a casual snapshot of a framed piece isn't going to get you anywhere.

If someone took a snapshot of my prints with a cellphone, I figure it's probably because they like the work, and want to share it with someone. Word of mouth is the best advertising. Who knows, maybe that person was snapping a photo of the image because they wanted to show it to a friend or family member who might in turn purchase a print. If you step in and say "no photography" you're now going to sound like an insecure prick, and again... that will spread via word of mouth.

People who buy your work will often times do so because not only do they like the print, but they also want to support you as an artist. It's tough to like someone who confronts an innocent gallery guest and threatens action if they take photos of their work. You'll certainly get those on the forum who say it's a copyright violation, etc --- that's just crazy talk. Seriously, it's a camera phone, and the person is shooting the image because they like your work. Take it as it was intended, a compliment. Be nice to the person, and who knows, good things will likely come from it down the line.

ROL
24-Jul-2014, 08:57
I've always thought it was petty for photographers/artists to have "no photography" signs up everywhere.

It may be for petty reasons, often for other good reasons. While I've never posted 'no cameras' at my own gallery or shows, I also think it petty (if not inscrutable) for wannabes to arrive with DSLRs plastered to their chests – in fact, it has always struck me as just plain odd. Why is there simply no expectation that one may do anything unrecorded, even at private venues, these days? My interaction with these walking cameras has mostly led me to believe their interest is anything but flattering. Frankly, they are typically not even nice people. Anyone with sincere interest in your work will ask more than politely if they can use their camera, posted or not, which more often than not is their phone or a P&S they pull out of their purse – not the lensed badge of dishonor loudly screaming, "SEE, I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER TOO! (...and have no interest in buying any of your lousy prints, because I can do better)".

dsphotog
24-Jul-2014, 10:46
This is why my prints are framed with glare glass.
Although the "copier" is most likely a photographer that wants to steal your idea, or try to find the exact same tree or rock.

drew.saunders
24-Jul-2014, 11:29
Hmmm, I thought they (the Louvre) didn't permit flash photos. The answer is on their website.

Photography is forbidden with flash throughout the entire museum.

Les

And they have a really amusing sign regarding flash and other "no-no" behavior:

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7076/7330037004_9f8438771e_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/caJmCm)
P1000479 (https://flic.kr/p/caJmCm) by Drew Saunders (https://www.flickr.com/people//), on Flickr

ROL
24-Jul-2014, 17:28
Huh? A bare-breasted woman can't touch a man's bicep. What is the world coming to?!?

Liquid Artist
25-Jul-2014, 10:28
I wish no photo policies weren't needed, but in my opinion they are these days.

This is after my last time featured in a gallery.
I was working in a photo lab the last time, and had one woman come in, and ask how much it would cost for our biggest enlightenment. I told her, and she suddenly said she was taking a photo of a photo in a gallery and would get me to print it. So I told her it's illegal, and I can't print it. She stood there arguing with me for almost 10 minutes, saying she had the right to. This was at Christmas, in the busiest mall in the area, so she caused quite the lineup.
When she finally left she glared at me and said loudly "You Charge Too Much " directing it right at me.
That's when I realized she wanted to photograph one of my pieces and for me to print it. One of the other featured artists had told her where I had worked, although none ever admitted it.

That night we had a quick meeting in the gallery, and the next day there was a strict "No Cameras" policy.

As I told the other artists, we can always bend the rules to allow the right people to photograph our work, but we can't stop the wrong people without a policy and signs in place.

ROL
25-Jul-2014, 11:02
I was working in a photo lab the last time, and had one woman come in, and ask how much it would cost for our biggest enlightenment.

It sounds as though her biggest enlightenment may have come from you! :D





…Don't you just love auto spell checkers?

StoneNYC
25-Jul-2014, 11:44
This is kind of ridiculous, there are millions of pieces of art, and we emulate art in all of our work, someone who takes a picture of a mountain that Ansel Adams took a picture of shouldn't be sued by Adams for copying his work simply because he took that photograph first, that's ridiculous, and this is even more far-fetched because it's a sculpture of an image taken, so it's completely different it's not even a copy it's a creation based on another work which we all do...

How many photographers or sculptors or sketch artiste have taken a photograph or re-created an imitation of the statue of David or The Thinker, so we all should now throw that work away because it's an imitation of a sculpture, I don't think so, that whole concept is ridiculous and I think the only reason that court case lost was because they were arguing the wrong thing and so the judge was forced to rule off of the argument which was a poor choice rather than arguing something that would have been a better choice, not sure what the argument should have been but what they chose to use as an argument was pretty shaky ground, but still, the judge should know better.

That's my opinion anyway.

ROL
25-Jul-2014, 16:26
This is kind of ridiculous, there are millions of pieces of art, and we emulate art in all of our work, someone who takes a picture of a mountain that Ansel Adams took a picture of shouldn't be sued by Adams for copying his work simply because he took that photograph first, that's ridiculous, and this is even more far-fetched because it's a sculpture of an image taken, so it's completely different it's not even a copy it's a creation based on another work which we all do...

Huh? I thought this thread was about photography of the work of human artists (in gallery settings). I can only assume the 'This' beginning your first sentence refers to the words you have written which follow. Don't lump me into your copyist mentality mea culpa. :mad:





…and believe me, if the Adams trust could sue under the conditions you stated, they would.

StoneNYC
25-Jul-2014, 18:44
Huh? I thought this thread was about photography of the work of human artists (in gallery settings). I can only assume the 'This' beginning your first sentence refers to the words you have written which follow. Don't lump me into your copyist mentality mea culpa. :mad:





…and believe me, if the Adams trust could sue under the conditions you stated, they would.

Just because one CAN do something, does not mean that one SHOULD... ;)

ROL
27-Jul-2014, 10:52
Stone, heed thy own words. The only reason anyone should do anything in the artistic realm, is because they cannot do anything else.

dsphotog
27-Jul-2014, 10:59
Quite the dilemma... We make photographs to show others our vision, but don't want them to take them without paying.

John Olsen
28-Jul-2014, 16:34
Galleries around here generally have no-photo signs. The signs also thank people for helping to protect artists' copyrights. In fact, the sign is nearly identical in the galleries, so no visitor should feel that one shop is unusual or unfriendly.

Whenever someone asks to take a snapshot to show hubby for approval, we always say yes. This way they know we're serious about our work and we can have a respectful conversation on the way to making a sale. I don't worry about it so much for my photography; however, the artists who are doing painted, carved or clay pieces are fairly vulnerable. And yes, I have seen potters and carvers who wanted to snapshot another person's idea with obvious intention to copy.

I think standing up for your copyright is a simple matter of self-respect. You learn a lot about people when you ask them to respect you.

Kirk Gittings
28-Jul-2014, 16:39
The only reason anyone should do anything in the artistic realm, is because they cannot do anything else.

Hmm speaking only for yourself I think. For me it was a choice after successfully being an auto mechanic, a welder and then a union organizer.

Alan Gales
28-Jul-2014, 17:30
Hmm speaking only for yourself I think. For me it was a choice after successfully being an auto mechanic, a welder and then a union organizer.

I all ready liked you as a photographer, Kirk, and now you just gave me three more good reasons to like you! :cool:

I'm a retired (disabled) member of Local 36 Sheet Metal Workers. I learned to weld at apprentice school and always did my own mechanic work when I could (I let the experts work on my automatic transmissions if necessary).

Randy Moe
28-Jul-2014, 19:07
Wonderful background! I won't touch a car again, only motorcycles and I really need to get welding again. Melting metal IS magic.

One of my goals is learning to gas weld aluminum, just like the old timers. I do know about the expert in that field. I should take his class.




Hmm speaking only for yourself I think. For me it was a choice after successfully being an auto mechanic, a welder and then a union organizer.

Liquid Artist
29-Jul-2014, 14:54
Stone, heed thy own words. The only reason anyone should do anything in the artistic realm, is because they cannot do anything else.
I'm a Trucker, and have worked my way onto the iceroads, where I've been accepted by some of the best truckers in the world.
I am constantly turning down offers from other companies. So would think that I am good at what I do.

However, guess what. I have decades more experience behind the camera than I do behind the steering wheel of a big rigs.
If the transportation companies think I am worthy of a decent pay cheque, then why don't some of these people who really want my artwork feel the same way.
It's usually the people who really can't afford it that are willing to pay a fair price.

The most silly thing is that these cheap people who would never dream of doing anything for free for you.