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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

High school football freelancing
Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 11:15 AM on 10.18.07
->> I've been freelancing for new weekly paper since August shooting high school football. It is owned by a larger paper in the Scripps network, so I signed their freelance agreement, which I keep the copyright to the photos and can sell them for editorial and commercial purposes. I get paid $75/game, and I usually shoot 2 games each night, providing 4-5 photos from each game for publication.

I got an email from the editor yesterday asking me for a cd at the end of the season, which is the Oct 26 here, with ALL of my photos, not just the ones I provided for publication, captioned and put into folders by game. She will pay me a game's pay, so $75, to go back through the entire season editing and captioning, giving her 200+ images for an additional $75.

Being my first freelancing job, I'm unsure what I should do. It will take me awhile to do all this and I feel the $75 is just too low. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Rene Mireles, Photographer
Holland | MI | USA | Posted: 11:25 AM on 10.18.07
->> For all that work $75 is not worth it. Was this part of your freelance contract or did it just come up?

How many photos of each game are they expecting? and what are they gonna use them for since you already submitted your required photos for publication.

I would say first let her know that this is very time consuming, since she wants edits and captions and $75 will not cover it. $75/hr is a dif story if they agree to that.
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Juliann Tallino, Photographer, Photo Editor
Port Townsend/Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 11:37 AM on 10.18.07
->> You own the copyright but they want you to give them all YOUR images for free (75 bucks doesn't even cover burning a CD)? Not only should you get a lot more than $75, you need to find out what they're doing with YOUR photos. Are they planning on making galleries to sell prints to parents? Seriously even the 4-5 images you gave them each game should have had a shelf life (licensing) of one time publication. If you do come to some agreement about the CD, there should be a seperate contract to go with it.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 11:37 AM on 10.18.07
->> Brian I just pointed out your question in another thread...

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=26835

Only to make a point about diminished value etc. So please do not take offense, it is not about you.

But yes $75 is not worth your time. You could do better probably at one shift at Starbucks and they don't make you buy your own coffee maker, coffee filters, checkout register and coffee. And they even give you benefits.

$75/hr is more like it but I suspect that it was not an error in communication. Just say no... and explain.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 11:46 AM on 10.18.07
->> That would be a horrible deal if you ask me. Making $75 per game for 4-5 photos is certainly reasonable and its actually more than I make in my market where we only get $65/game and need to turn in 5 or 6 photos per team.

The time it would take to edit and caption all the photos would just be insane though! Especially since they would all be different teams. You'd be looking at a project that would take several days. I probably shoot 400-500 shots per game. I can't even imagine how long it would take to simply sort out all those shots much less the time to actually process and caption all the good photos from all those games. Needless to say its a project that would need to pay a "little" more than $75.

That really sounds like they are taking advantage of you asking you to do that. Your already giving them your best 4-5 photos per game each week, over the course of a season that adds up to 40-50 photos per team. I can't imagine why they'd possibily need more than that.

Way they play football around here I honestly have a hard time coming up with 5 or 6 photos some weeks. When the only offense play is an option with the RB running it up the middle 40 times a game its not like you get much variety LOL
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Armando Solares, Photographer
Englewood | FL | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian,

As Nancy Reagan said; "Just Say No."
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Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 12:08 PM on 10.18.07
->> I knew it was a very low offer when she sent it to me. They want to run a best-of type spread. I just didn't know how to respond to it. My first thought was $500 for a whole cd. As far as I know the usage rights were for that week only, but I'm honestly not sure. I signed the Scripps freelance contract, so if anybody is familiar with it I am curious to know about the usage rights, I'm currently looking for mine now. I know either side can "terminate" the contract at any time.

Thanks for everybody's quick responses.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:15 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian I agree with what everyone here is telling you. $75 for what they want is a joke, a bad one at that. But there is a not so subtle voice in my head that keeps asking what the contract that you signed says. Is it possible that you "co" own the copyright to all the images from each of those games? I've seen this done a few times now.
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Karsten Moran, Photographer, Photo Editor
New York | NY | United States of America | Posted: 12:22 PM on 10.18.07
->> Watch out, most newspaper contracts are downright evil to freelancers. Read and then re-read the contract. All but one such contract i've looked at states that the newspaper retains the right to publish, re-publish, and re-sell freelancers' images indefinitely.
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Michael R. Sisak, Student/Intern, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:24 PM on 10.18.07
->> If it's in the contract that they can run stuff you've already sent them in this end of the season package, why should you have to do all that extra work for little pay? If they press you, perhaps you could ask for a plug on the newspaper page for whatever website you sell the photos on. This way, while the newspaper might not be able to "afford" to pay you more, you can see some publicity and potential incremental revenue. I know it's not the best solution, but it could be helpful if the newspaper presses you for those photos.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 12:34 PM on 10.18.07
->> If it's for a "best-of", wouldn't what you already submitted cover that? Do they believe you were holding back the "good stuff"?

Also, they certainly don't need "everything" you've shot. Let them do some leg work. You have a website selling to parents correct? Have them go to your website and identify exactly what images they would like to use.

Then you can just work those and price accordingly.
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Eric Francis, Photographer
Omaha | NE | United States | Posted: 12:41 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian,

Tell her they already have your best images.
IMHO, they just want you images so they can gallery and sell them out from underneath you.

eric
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 12:43 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian:

Not only is it a bad deal ... but if they're selling your photos to parents, etc., didn't you say in your post that you have the copyright? Does your sale of the photos to the paper for editorial purposes give them one-time or all rights?
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 12:43 PM on 10.18.07
->> If they want to run a "best of" spread, I've really got to wonder what makes them think the "best of" are going to be found in a photographers out takes from the season?

For me personally, if the editors aren't happy with what I think are my 5 or so best per game, then me sending them a few hundred more photos I didn't feel were publication worthy the first time around most likely wouldn't impress them either.

I'd just flat out say that your not intrested in doing it. If this paper doesn't value you, your time and your work based on what you've already been providing then I don't think its the type of company you want to be working with.

If your giving them a 100% effort to get the best images you can per game, getting them in on time and correctly captioned and they still feel you need to give them 200+ captioned images at the end of the season then you need to just walk away from that.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 12:53 PM on 10.18.07
->> I would do (actually it is what I do on a very regular basis) as Mr. Peters suggested and post the images online or give the editor a CD of low res images and then charge them on a per image basis with the stipulation that the fee is for one time usage. If they desire extend rights beyond one time usage then charge according to the actual rights they want to have.

I know you really, really, really want to maintain a positive relationship with the paper so be gentle, but firm. In the long run they will respect you and your work if you work to negotiate a deal that reflects what you should be compensated for.

Good luck!
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Vincent Johnson, Photographer
Chicago | IL | USA | Posted: 1:11 PM on 10.18.07
->> I'm going to say that I'm with everyone on the board, but I wouldn't say no until I heard what the images were to be used for.

A "best of" truck layout in the sports section with your images is a nice portfolio piece. Them selling your images and taking 100% of the profit, well I think South Carolina still has sodomy laws, so it technically would be illegal. You basically need to get more info and post back here. Your entire season captioned & filed is a lot of work, even if you use a program like Lightroom or Aperture.

I know when I shoot HS football I've got at least 400 images a game, so I'd politely decline as it would interfere with your schedule (personal or photo related). You'll lose less money staying at home playing NCAA football.
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Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 1:24 PM on 10.18.07
->> Here's the wording of the contract I signed:

"6. License of Materials Created by Contributor:
Contributor grants to the Company and any other company (including Scripps Howard News Service) under common control with the Company the non-exclusive right to publish or broadcast the Materials in any media form in any part of the world. For purposes hereof, "media form" will include, without limitation, all non-print and all non-broadcast media such as the internet and other electronic databases. Contributor agrees to execute such instruments as Company may from time to time deem necessary to desirable to evidence, establish, maintain, or protect Comapny's right to publish the Materials."

To me this means they have the right to publish, and re-publish, only what I provided them for each game. I could definitely be wrong though.

I have a website where I sell the photos, and as Michael suggested I was actually going to call her today to talk about a plug for my website on the Sports page, but I'm holding off because of this cd issue.

A question for the future, for freelancers, do you have your own contract, do you just sign the paper's, or do you negotiate a contract with the paper?
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Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 1:26 PM on 10.18.07
->> For clarification the paper is not going to sell them to parents. I think other than the "best-of" they are looking for an archive of images to use in the future.
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Byron Hetzler, Photographer
Granby | CO | USA | Posted: 1:53 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian,
Is there a definition of "materials" in the contract? That would help clarify the section from your contract you posted.
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Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 2:02 PM on 10.18.07
->> Byron,
I don't see the "materials" defined specefically anywhere like "Company" or "Contributer". The "materials" have to be the photographs from the games, I don't know what other definition it could be.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 2:07 PM on 10.18.07
->> "they are looking for an archive"

Then they what they really want to do is pay you $75 for an unlimited license to use any image of any player for any publication purpose into perpetuity. They are buying your archive.

Today, you effectively get $12.50 - $15 per image you provide them for the same unlimited use license. Give them 9 games worth of images (assume 100 images per game) and now you just licensed those 900 images to them for $0.083 each.

Consider this. You already have the archive they are seeking to develop. Just don't delete your galleries. If they want to use an image in the future, they know where to come. And then you can charge them $15, or $75 or whatever is appropriate.

Also, consider that if they publish all or some of these images on-line - it may not be right click copy protected. Now the same mom that would otherwise buy some 4x6's of her kid for a scrap book is now making prints from what she gleaned on-line.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 2:13 PM on 10.18.07
->> If Materials is not defined, it should not be capitalized. If it does not show up in the Definitions section of the contract look elsewhere. It should be defined the first time it is used in the document.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 2:24 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian the reason Byron was asking for the definition of materials is that under most contracts anything that was created under the scope of the assignment is deemed to be covered by the contract.

In other words, if the paper sent you to cover a game for $75 then everything that you shot of that game might be covered under the contract as you were acting as an employee of the paper for the period that you were there. Just because they allowed you to edit your work for publication, doesn't mean that they don't have a non-exclusive right to the whole shoot.

If you are going to ask for more money or are planning to refuse the request make double and triple sure that you haven't already given the rights to the paper.
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian

Please post the entire contract. I would be interested in seeing what they call 'Other Company'.

The small weekly I once worked for, had what they thought would be an easy contract, that turned out to be a WFH.

The 'Other Company' for the small family of weekly papers I did work for, defined, as any company they wish to assign (or sell to anyone they please).

There was also a copyright section, though it claimed the photographer kept the copyright, they wanted Joint Copyright.

It was a bad Cut and Paste by some Lawyer, but effectivly was a work for Hire.

Re-Read the contract be sure it does not define out-takes.

Ed
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Byron Hetzler, Photographer
Granby | CO | USA | Posted: 3:27 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian,

As others have suggested, how "materials" is defined has an impact on what rights you have. If it is means everything you shot at a game, then you don't have much of a leg to stand on. If it means the images you submit from a game, then you are much better off.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | Az | USA | Posted: 4:14 PM on 10.18.07
->> From where I stand, the language isn't clear enough to define one way or another. Materials could be the entire shoot or it could be the ones Brian has already provided.

One telltale sign of something in your favor could be the request itself: The editor is trying to get you to provide all the images on a CD with cutline info for a lousy $75.

This could indicate the paper is under the impression the materials are the images you have already provided. They might believe they have no additional rights to the other images in your season's archive and they're trying to buy it dirt cheap. And this, I would say no to. My feeling is they will most likely pay you no other monies other than the $75 already offered.

Your hard work and efforts are worth much more. So is your pride.
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Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 4:50 PM on 10.18.07
->> Per Jeff's suggestion, I called the editor and nicely explained to her that I've delivered my best work, and while I have more, for their "Season in Review", they have more than enough images to use. She seemed to not realize the time it would take to edit and caption the images.

I also was able to get them to put a plug for my website on the sports page, so people can find my site easier.

Here's links to the contract I signed:
http://people.clemson.edu/~ebschne/scan0001.jpg

http://people.clemson.edu/~ebschne/scan0002.jpg

I didn't realize how vague it was when I signed it, naive I guess.
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Darren Whitley, Photographer
Maryville | MO | USA | Posted: 9:36 PM on 10.18.07
->> They are probably producing a playoff tab as a special section. We used to do this at my old paper. They just want some fresh photos. Typically, they'd just be trying to leverage creative assets created by staff. The tab is intended to generate exra revenue and it should also equate to additional revenue for you as well. You could do all that work and wouldn't even get published once they review the contribution from their staffers as well. Once you consider that, it's sort of rediculous to do the work without some temperance.
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 10:01 PM on 10.18.07
->> Two words Red Flag, in several of those clauses.

This company, in this contract can for no additional fee re-use your images in any way you agreed upon in this contract.

They can under part 8 assign any part of this contract to another party (sell).

The other clause, that has a red flag, is the insurance indemnification clause. I am not a lawyer, but it does appear that if you mess up and cause the company to get sued, you are responsible to pay to defend the company, (including their attorney's fees)

I would have taken out my sharpie and crossed out and re-worked much of this agreement, though most are take it or leave it types.

Good luck.
Ed Szalajeski
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:37 PM on 10.18.07
->> geez I think the craziest thing I read on this thread was anyone would shoot 400-500 photos from a high school game. no offense but holy crap!
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 10.18.07
->> No offense taken, but how many shots do you typically take at a football game Chuck ?
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Brian Schneider, Student/Intern
Clemson | SC | | Posted: 11:26 PM on 10.18.07
->> Ed, It was definitely a "take it or leave it" type of thing. I honestly don't know enough legal language to know that Section 8 holds me liable.

Is there a place I can go to learn legal language myself, or should I be consulting an attorney before I sign an agreement like this?
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:44 PM on 10.18.07
->> high school or college? big difference. which one you want?
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:48 PM on 10.18.07
->> brian, take it or leave it? leave it. you gave them photos. they paid you. she wants a new agreement. she doesn't want to pay a reasonable price. move on
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 11:48 PM on 10.18.07
->> Brian, a lawyer could not hurt, however you should join editorialphoto.com they have a legal forum with must help.

In fact I posted my bad contract there, and another member helped me understand the clauses.

Just be sure you have all your members of your team, your insurance, your lawyer, and your banker all in line.

Ed
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 11:52 PM on 10.18.07
->> (it is late, sorry)

That should read, a legal forum with many people who will help.

Wish i could edit that one.

Night Night.
Ed
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 11:53 PM on 10.18.07
->> Not to make this thread get too off topic but I guess Brian got the issue resolved to his satisfaction, so out of curiosity, both.

I go about shooting high school, NCAA and NFL almost totally the same way with the obvious extra freedom you have on the typical HS sideline, and the need to just shoot a half if you've got to cover a second game.

Logistics aside though, as far as actually trying to capture action, its no different for me.
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TD Paulius, Photographer
Orland Park | IL | USA | Posted: 8:52 AM on 10.19.07
->> Brian: The editor most likely realizes that what they are asking is not within the confines of the original contract, or else they would not have offered addtitional consideration from that originally recited in the contract. This takes it outside of the original contract and makes it a modification or addendum to it.

Respectfully decline or tell them it is outside the scope of services originally agreed to by the parties and ask for an appropriate fee.

The note that the scope of services was never fully set forth in the contract and in order to interpret it, one needs to look at the actions between the parties, i.e. your two game delivery of a set amount of images.

good luck

regards
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Brian Light, Photographer
Pennsville | NJ | USA | Posted: 9:10 AM on 10.19.07
->> Interesting comment by Chuck...

Chuck Liddy ->> geez I think the craziest thing I read on this thread was anyone would shoot 400-500 photos from a high school game. no offense but holy crap!

->> high school or college? big difference. which one you want?

Brian and many others here, shoot 400 plus images of HS football all the time. The level of game shouldn't have anything to do with that, other than the fact that HS is 12 min quarters and the length of the game changes at different levels. In Brian's case, he is trying to increase his $75.00 income for the game by having a library that he offers to the players and their families for purchase. Many times you need to shoot 400 images to create this library and when he does a good job of it, he can make much more money in selling his images above the 75.00. He is meeting two diverging needs here... Photos to convey the story of the game for the newspaper, and Photos of "junior" to hang on the parents wall. When I edit, I include a much larger pool for the parents and they purchase many photos which would never end up in my edit for a paper.
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Thread Title: High school football freelancing
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