Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Let's Talk Copyright for Retouching Fauxtographs Reply To: Let's Talk Copyright for Retouching Fauxtographs


I;d like to start by sayin that i’m not a layer and we are missing alot of information here. You and your friends should consult a lawyer lisenced to practice law in your legal jurisdiction for proper legal advice.

That is ALOT of text …

“Usually do pictures before also I cut you a amazing deal a 100.00 for almost seven hours and copyrights for all pictures” 

followed by

“All I ask is you give me the credit on pictures when adding them since they are copyrighted etc.”

What does the contract say? Was this fauxtog stupid enough to do a full copyright assignment or did she simply give them a print lisence? this is going to be crucialas your friends right to the photos are determined by the contract. Otherwise the fauxtog has (in most countries) full rights to the images and is technically correct in their assessment of the situation.

Get your friends to remove the pictures for now and have them give you a copy of the contract they signed with the fauxtog.

This photographer had charged some friends of mine nearly $200 for a engagement/wedding package and photography for the event.

That should have been a warning sign right there. 200$ barely covers wear and tear + gas on my car for a tpical wedding. the fact that she charged 100$ (as you quoted her saying further below), is a clear sign that you were dealing with an idiot who has no experience and no understanding of the business of photography.

She was 38 weeks pregnant at the time.

Wedding photography is a physically demanding job … nothing like being a lumberjack or anything like that but it still requires that you be moving about and on your feet fo hours on end. She should not have been doing such a physically demanding  job at that point in her pregnancy.

When R & C received their photos on a Wal*Mart photo CD


 they were extremely disappointed by the results.

No duh!

every picture had such a severe angle to it that you had to look at the photos with your neck tilted to the side.

Dutch angle done in moderation can be nice but yeah, I have a friend who shot like that 60% of the time. she finally got out of that bad habit.

R (the bride) was devastated as this was such an important day and 80% of the photos recording the wedding were unusable.

She should have hired a proper profesional …

And she gets this response: …

I love how the fauxtog keeps refering to the money question. That’s not the clients problem, the client made an offer and the fauxtog accepted it. I’ve refused clients who tried to nickle and dime me to death … it’s better not to shoot than to shoot at a loss.

I also love how the fauxtog blames other photographers for causing issues. When other photographers start causing issues at my weddings during the formals, I talk to the Maid of Honor or the Best man and get them to talk to the guests. I also offer to take my shots and let the guest take a few AFTER I’m done with that setup.

She is angry because I have used my handle at the bottom to prevent theft on the images. In the description it states:

And she is technically right (most likelly, again, read the ocntract they signed). The fauxtog has probably own the copyright to the images and so is the only one who can authorise the creation of derivative works and the distribution of the images (posting on FB is distribution). The fauxtog may also have moral rights to the images (depending on where in the world all this is hapenning) and one of those rights is the right to be asosciated OR NOT to the image.

Simply stating that the images are not yours doesn’t make what you did legal.

I also state in the description folder that I did not earn any profit by retouching the photos.

Copyright violation (again, depending on where in the world you are) has nothing to do with the presence or absence of profits.

The way that I see it (and I could be very wrong which is why this post has been made), the photographer failed to provide an adequate and satisfying service to the client. R made it clear that she was not satisfied, and the Photographer threw out excuse after excuse and waited until the very end to offer fixing or refund the money.

Unfortunatly, that doesn;t negate the fautogs claim to the copyright of the images. The only thing your friend can do is take the fauxtog to court for failiure to perform (or similar, again, depends on the laws where all this is going on).

There was never a contract signed, no model release form or anything–in fact, C stated when he received the CD that she had said verbatim “They are yours to do whatever you want.”

No contract, her word against there’s … the fauxtog will win.

My questions:

Are R & C in the wrong for asking me to retouch photos?

Since there is no contract stating that there is copyright asignement or a liscence to create derivative works? Yes, they are in the wrong.

Should I adjust my tag on the photos I upload to my Facebook Photography page to read the name of her photography business “########### ## ####, Broken Focus Photography”?

Nope, at this point, I’d pull them off the website and contact your lawyer.

Does she have a leg to stand on in court if it goes that far?

Yes, she’ll sue for copyright violation (can be anywhere from 25000$ to 150000$ PER INFRACTION depending on where in the world you are). On the other hand, your friends should sue her for doing a shitty job and they will most likelly win.

I understand that copyright begins once the image is created but don’t you have to register an image for copyright if you intend to take it into court?

Nope. Registration (again, depending on where in the world you are) happens the moment the puicture is taken. In the states you have something like 60 days to register the image AFTER THE INFRACTION and registering will simply help insure that the maximum damages will be claimed.

She did state to C verbally that they can use them however they choose but does that nullify her claims that we are infringing on her copyright? Each photo I have uploaded has HAD to be adjusted in some fashion. I am not using a single image that she has edited or using the original photo alone.

Her word against theirs … without proof the judge will have to side with the Fauxtog. You should ALWAYS sign a contract! If he website states “full copyright assignment on all packages” or “You are free to do as oyu please with the images” that might help your case. Hit her website and scree grab anything useful there.

Examples of the photography in question:




Her pictures are god aweful and your edits are pretty decent.

Any links or sources would be greatly appreciated. I would like to clear up this issue before she actually calls a lawyer. I don’t think it’ll come down to that, but it is something I want to be aware of beforehand.

Call a lawyer. I don’t even know what continent you are on much less what country or state/province. Laws vary from place to place. It;s best to get legal advice from a liscensed profesional. Assuming she won;t contact a lawyer is a bad move … she is looking at potentially 150,000$ PER IMAGE YOU edited. Why would she NOT call her lawyer and send you a letter for an out of court settlement of 10,000$ ?