Monday, 16 August 2010

Photo brokers?

The silence following TSF's posting about how freelance photographers/videographers should broker the best cash deal for THE photo or footage was deafening.

Until we got this reply from a Canadian lawyer - a reply that, considering the number of freelancers in Canada and a new generation of videographers, might prompt a lawyer or two to get into the business.

For now, it seems Canadian freelancers could be missing out on huge amounts of money in not knowing how to broker good deals with their exclusive work. Some are probably handing over photos and video to print, online and broadcast media for little or no payment.

This is the email from Marian Hebb, of Hebb and Sheffer in Toronto:

"I don't know any lawyer who has a reputation for doing this sort of brokering, perhaps because these moments don't happen that often. I think there are many competent, experienced entertainment lawyers who could stick handle this.

"Your question reminded me of someone I had met in the UK in the 1960s, before I became a lawyer - a man from whom my then-husband was considering buying a classic car.

"As I recollect he was not a professional photographer, but he had snapped THE photo of the crash that ended the racing career of legendary car racer Stirling Moss and we understood - when we met him a few days later - that he had made a fortune from it.

"I just tried to see if I could find that photo on the Internet but am happy to say that I could not - this may mean that the photographer is still making money from occasionally licensing it. In any case I hope so."

Thank you for your email, Marian.

TSF is determined to nail down the best route for freelancers to take when they feel they have THE exclusive photo or footage with national and possibly international appeal.

When time is crucial, who are they going to call?

Time wasn't a factor, but the Sun paid $10,000 for the 1991 Bernardo/Homolka wedding photos.

What paparazzi are being paid for exclusive photos of high-profile celebs is another story.

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