PDA

View Full Version : Gallery Scams



pdmoylan
1-Aug-2014, 14:18
Anyone suspect gallery owners of surrepticiously printing digitial submissions or scanning and printing submitted prints and reselling them without the photographer's permission? A recent event has stoked my concern in which a gallery requested digital images that they would print, frame and sell for a small commission to the photographer.

What's stopping them from selling the images multiple times.

I thoughtfully asked lots of questions and of course received no responses.

I tend to be cynical but this seems ripe for abuse.

PDM

Peter Gomena
2-Aug-2014, 11:54
The entire premise of this sort of gallery makes me suspicious. There is a gallery near me that offers this kind of "service." I've heard nothing bad about the gallery, mind you, but I'd be hesitant to trust my work to such a business.

The experience of some photographers I've met whose work sells through traditional galleries is that it's sometimes difficult to collect on any gallery sale, never mind one that holds your digital files. Perhaps the younger generation is more trusting than I.

Iluvmyviewcam
2-Aug-2014, 14:35
Don't know. But there are galleries that charge high fees to present the work. That is where they make a portion of their $ from.

gregmo
2-Aug-2014, 15:03
Don't know. But there are galleries that charge high fees to present the work. That is where they make a portion of their $ from.

These are commonly referred to as "vanity galleries."

gregmo
2-Aug-2014, 15:12
Anyone suspect gallery owners of surrepticiously printing digitial submissions or scanning and printing submitted prints and reselling them without the photographer's permission? A recent event has stoked my concern in which a gallery requested digital images that they would print, frame and sell for a small commission to the photographer.

What's stopping them from selling the images multiple times.

I thoughtfully asked lots of questions and of course received no responses.

I tend to be cynical but this seems ripe for abuse.

PDM

Essentially the artist and gallery is entering into a licensing agreement. Need to do your homework..check the reputation of the company, reach out to current artist to get their feedback. The contract details are very important.
I do art licensing with a company to sell canvas gallery wraps thru Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Overstock, Amazon, ex.. Royalties are paid quarterly with a statement of prints, title, sizes sold. I only send them a file needed to print up to a certain size.

koh303
2-Aug-2014, 16:34
I remember when a bunch of professors were talking about how their gallery contracts demanded they destroy the negatives after the amount of prints has been made, and provide a proof that there is no equivalent digital file of the image. This was in 2003, and was a silly discussion even then, i can't even begin to think about why you are bothered with this. Don't want someone else to use your images, and god forbid make a dime doing it with or without including you? dont scan your negatives, dont shoot digital, dont leave the house, do it Eugene Smith style.

Old_Dick
2-Aug-2014, 16:43
You got me curious, what did Eugene do?

Thanks

Peter Gomena
2-Aug-2014, 16:52
Smith was rumored to lock himself in his darkroom with cigarettes and a bottle of scotch.

Tracy Storer
2-Aug-2014, 18:42
Smith did employ others to print his work at some point in his career. My old photo prof (Jim Dow) used to print for him.

jp
2-Aug-2014, 19:06
Anyone suspect gallery owners of surrepticiously printing digitial submissions or scanning and printing submitted prints and reselling them without the photographer's permission? A recent event has stoked my concern in which a gallery requested digital images that they would print, frame and sell for a small commission to the photographer.

What's stopping them from selling the images multiple times.

I thoughtfully asked lots of questions and of course received no responses.

I tend to be cynical but this seems ripe for abuse.

PDM

Simple vertical integration most likely. There are galleries that sell and frame photos/artwork, why not galleries that print/sell/frame the artwork? Many people aren't awesome at printing or would rather be photographing than printing.

You could still sign/number their output with pencil if you felt a need for that control/verification over copies produced. Any business relationship can be abused if you don't do a little homework and planning.

Frank_E
2-Aug-2014, 19:24
Isn't there always and issue of trust involved if you shoot and print digitally (or scan and print digitally). Most photographers don't have the huge ink jet printers required to print large images, so they take them to a a print shop. You give the print shop your digital file, they load it into their computer and print the image. It becomes a matter of trust that they then erase that file. So isn't it really always a matter of trust?

koh303
3-Aug-2014, 05:20
You got me curious, what did Eugene do?

Thanks
After a breakdown, he locked himself in his apartment, covered all the windows with newspaper. He photographed through a hole in the newspaper.

Gary Tarbert
3-Aug-2014, 05:55
Isn't there always and issue of trust involved if you shoot and print digitally (or scan and print digitally). Most photographers don't have the huge ink jet printers required to print large images, so they take them to a a print shop. You give the print shop your digital file, they load it into their computer and print the image. It becomes a matter of trust that they then erase that file. So isn't it really always a matter of trust?Too true , I had a situation where i was asked after the event was it o.k to print a copy of one of my images for her collection , She worked at a local lab , She never claimed the work as her own .And besides my sales of this image not sure if any others have been pirated , Oh BTW i now print my own .Cheers Gary

pdmoylan
3-Aug-2014, 14:35
Thanks for your comments. I am not accustomed to this arrangement while over the years have usually bought the framing at a discount from the gallery owner and shared the margins from sold images. This was usually in the context of a show. The commission ranged from 40% to 75% to the gallery owner. Of course, we would agree on a price to the public. This arrangement worked out well as I made a few dollars and the unsold inventory was ready for another show; or I could swap it with other images.

I have received more information and it appears that the objective is to sell to corporations to fill wall space and not present a show. When approached for corporate sales my experience was similar to above where I controlled the print quality/output and took an agreed commission on the sale. This worked out very well.

Of course the images were pre-sold in effect after the corporations approved enlargements of test prints.

Given that the gallery owners produce most of their income from corporate sales, and without my controlling the final image, I think I will pass on this opportunity.

I guess I don't want to get upset down the road if I found my images in a corporate or other setting without my approval or any commission associated.

It is all about trust and I guess I need more of it.

Thanks.

PDM

pdmoylan
4-Aug-2014, 11:50
Interesting. I declined the opportunity and was promptly asked what are my print prices.

So there is a deal here on my terms.


I am asking the moderator to change the thread title to add a ? after scam, please.

Thank you.
PDM

Sal Santamaura
4-Aug-2014, 12:19
...I am asking the moderator to change the thread title to add a ? after scam, please...Unless you clicked on the black triangle with an exclamation point inside it (under your name) or the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page, you've probably not asked the moderators to make that change. They don't have time to read every thread and might not have stumbled on your post.

Greg Miller
4-Aug-2014, 13:08
Thanks for your comments. I am not accustomed to this arrangement while over the years have usually bought the framing at a discount from the gallery owner and shared the margins from sold images. This was usually in the context of a show. The commission ranged from 40% to 75% to the gallery owner. Of course, we would agree on a price to the public. This arrangement worked out well as I made a few dollars and the unsold inventory was ready for another show; or I could swap it with other images.

I have received more information and it appears that the objective is to sell to corporations to fill wall space and not present a show. When approached for corporate sales my experience was similar to above where I controlled the print quality/output and took an agreed commission on the sale. This worked out very well.

Of course the images were pre-sold in effect after the corporations approved enlargements of test prints.

Given that the gallery owners produce most of their income from corporate sales, and without my controlling the final image, I think I will pass on this opportunity.

I guess I don't want to get upset down the road if I found my images in a corporate or other setting without my approval or any commission associated.

It is all about trust and I guess I need more of it.

Thanks.

PDM

FWIW I have done pretty well with corporate sales. But it has always been through art consultants. The corporation hires the consultant, they talk concepts, the consultant asks me (is my work matches the concept) to provide a portfolio of images that fit the concept, the consultant shows the client several artist portfolios that fit the concept, then they agree on the final artist. I get paid full price (e.g. no commission paid), I produce and deliver the prints to the framer that the consultant works with, and I'm done. The income isn't steady, but it does pay well when it happens.

It's hard for me to imagine a gallery having enough artists in their stable to be able to provide the breadth and depth of work to cover all the concepts that must come up.

paulr
4-Aug-2014, 18:56
I've done a couple of shows like this, but both were with non-profits who had credible curators (one was a cool outfit called artbridge, that prints shows on billboard material to create outdoor exhibits at construction sites. The other was the Museum of the City of New York, who did a show sponsored by a local printing company.

If it's a private gallery, I'd be cautious. For one thing, I don't think you should have any dealings with a gallery that you're not very familiar with. If you approach a gallery, or submit something to a gallery's juried show or contest, do your homework. Know all about them. Know who the people are, who their artists are, who there audience is. Know why you're getting involved with them. If you can answer those basic questions, you should know whether or not to trust them.