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

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

    I’m not sure, but this says she gave your friends the copyright for all images.


    Usually you can call lawyers and ask for a free phone consultation. we did that with ours (totally different issue, though) and if worse comes to worst, you can still hire that one…


    I would ask your question here too: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php

    The folks on this site friendly are extremely knowledgeable. I have seen a lot of legal-type questions asked there as far as copyright.



    her lawyers?? ha  good luck with that, they’ll see that this fauxtog probably doesnt even have a business license let alone paying taxes.


    besides, there is nothing more unprofessional than typos and just plain out mispelled words like “their” instead of “there” and “your” instead of “you’re”


    and then they go on to say, i’m just a hobbyist not a professional… then WHY would you CHARGE for your “services”


    I partly blame nikon and canon for this… they make too many cheapo “pro” looking cameras that are way too easy to use and look nice to the non photography  world but in reality suck…  too much crap equipment and even crappier people using it



    There is so much wrong with this whole situation. Broken Focus- it was a bad idea altogether for you to agree to edit those images. My response to the bride would have been “No way, that’s copyright infringement.” If she wanted so badly for you to do it still, tell her she absolutely would have to just use them for personal use like in a photo album on her coffee table, and not post them online. Posting them online, regardless of the credit you gave the fauxtographer, was just a bad idea in itself. Copyright inherently always belongs to the photographer, unless specifically in writing and signed, it is released (Seriously, WHO would release a copyright anyway?) I release print rights when purchased. You did a decent job rescuing the already horrible photos. They can never be good though, they were bad from the start, but at least I suppose the bride and groom have something they can look at to remember their day without cringing so much their eyes get stuck closed. Maybe if this fauxtographer was such a beginner she should not be doing weddings. You cannot redo a wedding. From the looks of it she needs serious practice not for hire and maybe something other than a kit lens at f/8.0 and a camera set on auto. She doesn’t even know how to take  portraits in the first place. But what can you expect having a wedding done for $100? And if she did their engagements before that, shouldn’t the couple have realized “oh shit… we need to find someone else, fast!” And I could hardly get past her grammatical errors. How unprofessional! And why would she be asking you to help her out, saying you’d both benefit- what are you going to benefit from her? And yeah, she stupidly gave a verbal agreement of them having the “copyrights.”

    Aside from that, OP, it looks like you need a little work also. Maybe you have more than what’s on your page but I saw a lot of technical shortfalls and over-editing to rescue something that probably wasn’t good at the start. You also should consult with the clients before a session and suggest they do not wear shirts with logos or words. It’s so distracting. I always do, though once in awhile I have people wear their logo shirts anyway. I recently did a family session where the man was wearing a shirt that read “Hurley” right across the front. Oh well, I tried.

    Remember, @TEV, it’s not always the gear, it’s the person using the gear. I have done some work I myself and others feel as amazing with my Rebel. However, it is much easier to me to use the 5D Mark II which I had been able to borrow for some work. The controls on the Rebel are too clunky to use, and SD cards are slower than CF. Much easier to switch focus points, aperture, and shutter speed on the 5DII, and you can bump up the ISO much higher without as much degradation of quality.


    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$ ?

    Open Focus

    I should have posted an update much sooner than now but I’ve honestly just not given this any more thought as the entire situation is just too stupid to comprehend.

    In the long run I spoke with the clients and told them they could print the images and use them in their home. Cami, the photographer agreed to me making the edits and since then, I have removed the images from my page. Good riddance.

    Looking at it now, I was desperate to get ‘fresh’ work on my portfolio and since then I have gained more work since coming back into it after a long hiatus and I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t want anything that relates to her ‘work’ to be represented on my webpage. Ever. To this, I am disappointed in myself & as I reflect on it now, shows poorly executed professionalism on my part. In Kansas, (as I’m sure any where else) if you are trying to get a business in photography launched, it’s a cut throat business. I turn down work daily because clients don’t like that my cheapest portrait session runs them around $250 when they can go to fauxtogs like this “Cami” and get the work done with pocket change.

    As it stands now, C & R are in the process of getting the funds together to hire an attorney to help them take her to small claims court. Sure, it’s a measly $200 bucks but their wedding was something to be remembered and now because of this fauxtog, those memories are clouded with skewed Dutch Angles and poor underexposed edits.

    The sad thing is that C & R are not the only ones to come to me to help ‘rescue’ their photographs, and I explain to them (in as polite a way as I can muster) that due to legal obligations, I am not allowed to and that they will have to consult with the original photographer. They SHOULD have hired a professional, but I can understand that

    I honestly don’t think I could ever pull off the amount of work that a Wedding session would demand. I’d much rather stick to classic portraiture and call it good. At least, for now.

    I will say that I have learned so much from this experience.

    By the way, a sincere thank you to everyone who has shared their advice and knowledge about this topic. I have greatly appreciated this advice before consulting a legal professional. It helped me know what to ask and what to expect when I had made the phone call.


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