We recently sat down with Sammy Sadler to talk about her experience of creating and distributing photos as an amateur photographer, as well as her top tips for anyone looking to get started in the industry!
Check it out and leave a comment about your experience monitoring your content.
Full Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Sammy and I’m an amateur photographer.
I’ve been doing photography since I was at school, it’s always been an amateur capacity. More recently I’ve started taking it more seriously and really want to do more professional work so started to work with events, brands, and companies.
The first place that I worked for was This Is Tomorrow Festival, that was kind of great. I was covering that as a music journalist for Popped Music and I got a bit practice on the Saturday and Sunday taking photos some of my favourite bands like Editors, The Vaccines, and Noel Gallagher.
One of the things that’s quite tricky is, and I think a lot of photographers especially ones that are starting out, don’t realise that if you’re shooting for a publication or a company, the photographs are still yours unless you’ve signed them away.
I was under the impression that if after a shoot or something, that the photos are completely their content and I was kind of fine with that, but I wasn’t sure if I was able to share on my own things and I was bit nervous as I just didn’t want to annoy anybody on basically.
With my music stuff and I’ve been quite lucky in the fact that I personally haven’t had anybody kicking off at me, but I’ve worked with places where people have taken photos for the publication and they’ve (the publication) kicked off and said “well they’re my photos” but technically they’re not, because they’re still the photographers (if an agreement hasn’t been signed).
And that’s frustrating for publications as well because they just want some good content their site, and photographers maybe don’t send the best ones to the publication. They’re creating these image and they have every right to do that, but it’s finding that nice balance.
I have had people approach me asking if they can use my photos from the weekends, and I just said yeah as long as you put my Instagram handle on there, I’m kind of happy with that.
I think for photographers starting out you don’t really know where they stand because you just really want to do well and you want to get your work into publications. But I think that you could be a danger of mugging yourself off a little bit, and you don’t really realise your true value.
You might not be able to charge hundreds of pounds for a photo in the first couple of shoots, in fact, you definitely won’t be able to. But you do have a right to your content.
I would say like the first tip I would give to people is know that it’s your content and make that quite clear with the publication or the company that you’re taking the photos for from the outset. If they want to own all of your content, they have a sign a form saying everything I (the photographer) takes for them is theirs and then they can use how they want.
I think another tip from me is to stick up for yourself a little bit, this is your right to protect your own content.
I think a third tip probably using a tool like Veritent. If you’re going to put your photos online, you should have something there that you can check that for the people aren’t just nicking them.
If you put something on Instagram for example, I heard someone say to me “if it’s on social media it’s fair game” but it’s not. It’s still your photo so it might just be that you have to email someone and say “put my name on it” or “you have to take it down”.
Yeah, I think it’s just being mindful, you know, just treating your photographs like you would treat your property because it is! You don’t want your property stolen and you don’t want people walking in your house to start nicking stuff off your walls or whatever so why would you want to want to take photos you’ve obviously spent quite a lot of time on? Especially if you bought a camera that costs hundreds, or thousands of pounds.
With using a tool like Veritent you can track where your photos being used, so if somebody has nicked them you can get in touch with them.
Veritent is also introducing something where they can send an email on your behalf you know to ask someone to take a photo down. It’s easier, it’s getting easier to keep control of your content and you know, it’s worth it!