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I want to take more photos with people in it doing stuff, but like me, all my friends are shy. If I ever make enough money at this, I'll hire a model, but it's a long way until my photography skills are good enough to do this.  So I use what I have. 

It's easier to get a friend to volunteer to help carry stuff and be behind the camera than be in the photo.  So, I'm thinking of setting up some shots where I'm in the photo, put my camera on a tripod, set everything up exactly so, then ask the person to press the trigger.

timer - I've been using these a bit, but there's a lot of running back and forth to be in the shot and I often miss the timing.  

remote shutter - I've only got a wired remote and it only reaches about 10 feet.  Not quite far enough.  And it gets in the shot.

I think using this other person to help take the photos is a great option, but I worry about ownership of the photo, especially in regards to SS policy.  

Is it still my photo if someone else presses the shutter button?

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That's a gray legal area that has been litigated in the past.  Is the photographer the one who owns the equipment or the one who takes the picture? For Shutterstock's purposes, the one who trips the shutter is the photographer of record, and the owner of the copyright.  In other words, SS cares only about whether you own the picture, not whether you own the gear. 

You can get wireless triggers cheap on Amazon that will not only eliminate the cable, but improve your range. Get the RF trigger, not the IR trigger.  Bright sunlight affects the signal from an IR trigger.

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12 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

That's a gray legal area that has been litigated in the past.  Is the photographer the one who owns the equipment or the one who takes the picture? For Shutterstock's purposes, the one who trips the shutter is the photographer of record, and the owner of the copyright.  In other words, SS cares only about whether you own the picture, not whether you own the gear. 

You can get wireless triggers cheap on Amazon that will not only eliminate the cable, but improve your range. 

Thats a good one and a good point to discuss.

My feeling says it depends on the situation. The situation what Crowing describes i would say it is the person who composes the image. His friend only pushed the bottom on command after Crowing composed everything. I think it doesn't matter if he would had a long stick to push the button or if a finger does it ;). The friend is not creating the scene or image. He only push something instructed by the composer.

Makes sense?

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Oh dear, One Thousand.  That makes things harder.

So... my original plan was.

  • I choose the location
  • I set up the props/shots
  • I choose the place for the camera
  • I set up tripod
  • I set the camera settings
  • I get in position and let them know when to press the shutter

But they are pressing the button.  Like a living remote control.

But I want to do things right by SS's standards.  If their standard is the button presser owns the photo, than that's okay.  They know more about legal stuff than I do.

I'm also not 100% keen on this idea because I can't imagine anyone would want to own a photo with me in it.  I'm not really an asset to a photo.  I just wanted to do some tests because I keep reading that "photos with people sell better".

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21 minutes ago, 1000 Words Photos said:

He only push something instructed by the composer.

The scene doesn't exist as a photograph until that final act is achieved.  Pressing the button finalizes the process, and is the only objective means of determining the ownership of the image, otherwise, who's to say how much input the assistant had in the process leading up to it?  Does helping in 10% of the setup change the owner?  50%?  90%?  And how would you prove how much an assistant was involved in setting up the gear?  That simply creates a legal mess, and it's why here, the owner of the photo is the one who snaps the photo. 

In other words, if you didn't trip the shutter, it's not your photo as far as SS is concerned.

P.S.  I'll only add that this doesn't apply to image mills, where assistants are paid a wage to produce for the company.  That work product belongs to the employer, not the photographer.

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20 minutes ago, Crowing Hen said:

Oh dear, One Thousand.  That makes things harder.

So... my original plan was.

  • I choose the location
  • I set up the props/shots
  • I choose the place for the camera
  • I set up tripod
  • I set the camera settings
  • I get in position and let them know when to press the shutter

But they are pressing the button.  Like a living remote control.

But I want to do things right by SS's standards.  If their standard is the button presser owns the photo, than that's okay.  They know more about legal stuff than I do.

I'm also not 100% keen on this idea because I can't imagine anyone would want to own a photo with me in it.  I'm not really an asset to a photo.  I just wanted to do some tests because I keep reading that "photos with people sell better".

It would be very weird for me if the person that just push the bottom after you set everything up will make it his. But you never know.... there are many weird things out there :)

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8 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

The scene doesn't exist as a photograph until that final act is achieved.  Pressing the button finalizes the process, and is the only objective means of determining the ownership of the image, otherwise, who's to say how much input the assistant had in the process leading up to it?  Does helping in 10% of the setup change the owner?  50%?  90%?  And how would you prove how much an assistant was involved in setting up the gear?  That simply creates a legal mess, and it's why here, the owner of the photo is the one who snaps the photo. 

Phil.

I dont see this scenario different then below:

My wife is working 5 hours to create a cake. She puts the cake in the oven. Set the program of the oven and ask me to push the bottom. Me pushing the bottom will make me the creator of the cake? But yes here is no legal law involved. Just the law of my wife what can be much worse then the government ;).

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Just now, 1000 Words Photos said:

My wife is working 5 hours to create a cake. She puts the cake in the oven. Set the program of the oven and ask me to push the bottom. Me pushing the bottom will make me the creator of the cake?

Completely different scenario.  There is no intellectual property involved in the baking of a cake as you describe above. 

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7 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

In other words, if you didn't trip the shutter, it's not your photo as far as SS is concerned.

That makes sense to me.  Shutter pressing is a measurable moment which make defining the creator easier.

I suspect legally it's probably very messy, so I'm glad that SS has a policy on this.  It makes it easier for me.

 

Next question: I set up the scene as above, put the timer on, but have the other human watch my camera doesn't get stolen while I am in the photo. I'm pressing the button, but I'm also in the photo?

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6 minutes ago, 1000 Words Photos said:

My wife is working 5 hours to create a cake. She puts the cake in the oven. Set the program of the oven and ask me to push the bottom. Me pushing the bottom will make me the creator of the cake? But yes here is no legal law involved. Just the law of my wife what can be much worse then the government ;).

but who applied the icing?

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Just now, Crowing Hen said:

No worries.

I like your reply too.  I'll do the safe thing in practice, but I also enjoy exploring this idea and seeing where it goes. 

Just to explain a bit further, imagine the legal mess that would be created for Shutterstock and the photographer if, one day, the guy who tripped the shutter on your picture popped up and claimed he owned the photo.  We're all asking SS to sell our work here, and, in exchange, SS requires that we certify it to be our work, not someone else's.  If someone else trips the shutter, they could claim - rightly or wrongly - that they own the image, and then, because the ownership becomes disputed, SS would have no choice but to remove the image in question.  That's the kind of nightmare scenario SS is trying to avoid, and one that we should avoid, too.

Hope this helps.

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4 minutes ago, 1000 Words Photos said:

Guys.. Alexandre, Phil and mister Hen. Whenever you make it to Poland I will bake you a personal cake. ☺️

I will be heading to Germany at some point to visit my daughter and son-in-law.  Poland's not that far!  I may just take you up on it!  Mind if I bring the family???  :)

 

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Phil's right, copyright belongs to the person who pressed the shutter, yes it's a grey area but best to just think of it that way then you wont end up with any issues.
Remember the lawsuit with the monkey selfie?! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_selfie_copyright_dispute
As for taking images of yourself, I would suggest using a wireless remote and if/when possible hook up to a monitor so you can see your shot. I've used a laptop and Lightroom. There are tutorials on YT with different ways to do it, you should find something that suits you there.

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2 hours ago, 1000 Words Photos said:

Thats a good one and a good point to discuss.

My feeling says it depends on the situation. The situation what Crowing describes i would say it is the person who composes the image. His friend only pushed the bottom on command after Crowing composed everything. I think it doesn't matter if he would had a long stick to push the button or if a finger does it ;). The friend is not creating the scene or image. He only push something instructed by the composer.

Makes sense?

It makes sense, but my understanding of US copyright law (I'm not an attorney) indicates that copyright would be owned by the person who pressed the shutter. I concur with Phill that a remote release is a good solution. The only other solution I can see is to see if your friend would sign the copyright over to you (expect to have to pay them and an attorney to work that out).

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1 hour ago, Phil Lowe said:

I will be heading to Germany at some point to visit my daughter and son-in-law.  Poland's not that far!  I may just take you up on it!  Mind if I bring the family???  :)

 

With two running kids in the house a few people more will not make a difference. 😁 

Let me know when you arrive... My finger will be ready right behind the oven switch. 

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3 hours ago, 1000 Words Photos said:

Just the law of my wife what can be much worse then the government ;).

this really made me laugh....I think my husband has the same idea as you ;)  

I was also going to do a few "selfie" images next year with my husband pushing the button of the camera....but after this discussion I might decide to put him in front of the camera and I will press the buttons ;) !!!

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6 hours ago, MJD Graphics said:

Don't know if your camera has WiFi or BlueTooth but some cameras can be controlled from an App on your phone or maybe just use the timer setting on the camera.

Camera has all that stuff, but I don't have a phone.  Also, I want my hands doing something in the shot.

I think I'm going to stick to the timer and have the other person just stand near the camera so that people don't swipe it.

The cake sounds delicious.  I have some Polish friends and it's always wonderful when they cook a family recipe.  

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