Hello again! I must say you are looking dashing today. Now that the formalities/lies are out of the way, I’m going to tell you about a pretty lousy media practice.
As you may be aware from these pages, I take photographs. Mostly of bands and quite a lot of the time I do it because I’m interested in the band and am doing it without charge. One of the bands I approached to take photos of was The Cast of Cheers. When I first heard them I was amazed – not unlike most people into the Irish Music Scene. They were urgent, energetic and clever. The album they’d self released, Chariot was a masterpiece. So I contacted them and asked could I take their picture sometime. They agreed.
Things transpired and the shoot was awful. The guys were great fun and good sports too, but I’d cocked up loads.
The lightstands I’d brought were broken, the softbox wasn’t appropriate to use outside in the wind, the infared on the camera wasn’t picking up the infared from the flashes, a drunk woman threw a bottle at me, proclaiming “here’s yer bleedin’ photoshoot”… The list goes on.
In the end I came out with these shots:
They’re pretty awful. The first one has a half-blink, a half-covered face and a (badly) photoshopped in wall. The second one was burn-out all over the Adams’ brothers and there’s a weird red tint on it too. Suffice to say that these (along with my awful Adebisi Shank photos) are the ones I regret the most. My favourite band and I ruined it. I’ve been more prepared for shoots ever since, but even so, this still kinda kills me.
Aaaanyway, I got a text of my friend Danny just after Christmas telling me one of these pictures had been used in a national newspaper. I ran to buy it and true enough there it was.
Nothing wrong there you might think, photographer gets photo used in paper. Hardly a ‘Stop the Presses’ moment.
Except I didn’t give anyone permission to use this photo. The band had a professional photographer come to them when they were in Britain and he sorted them with some quality shots, rendering these two messes useless to them. The only other person who I allowed use was Danny (for his website where he had an interviews with them) but even then I still owned the copyright to them.
Which meant that whoever obtained the photo, did so by breaking copyright laws. They googled ‘Cast of Cheers Promo’ perhaps, and then there they were – these photos on the first row on the first page.
It seems pretty lazy if nothing else, but to be honest, it’s not the first time it’s happened. I was bullied out of what I was entitled to the last time (stupidly on my behalf), so I’ve decided not to let this happen again.
I’ve since sent off an invoice for both image use and copyright infringement. I’m not asking for much, infact it’s a very small amount I’m asking for, considering an offense has been committed.
I can’t imagine this will get settled easily (I’ve had too many photographers tell me it won’t) so I’l keep this post to let you know how it goes. Lets see how it plays out anyway; I’ll post the edits here when the time comes.
Edit #1: Phone call received. They weren’t happy, but have agreed to pay both fees.