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prints from professional photographer?
On a couple of occasions we have used a professional photographer. They wouldn't sell us the raw photo files, only selling additional prints..

1) is it typical that you can't buy the raw file?.

2) How much quality would I lose by scanning the printed photo into photoshop?.

What resolution should I scan a 4x6 image with to get to a 5-7 print?.

P.s. The reason I want to PS is to make several changes/improvements to the photo, not to save the cost of a larger print...

Comments (16)

Tleaming wrote:.

On a couple of occasions we have used a professional photographer.They wouldn't sell us the raw photo files, only selling additionalprints..

1) is it typical that you can't buy the raw file?.

Yes, many professionals use that business model. They want to be able to control the quality of the final result. If they sell a digital file and you print it badly on a cheap printer - or manipulate it in some way that is outside their control - and people say 'who took that photo?' their reputation will suffer..

It is getting more common however to be able to buy the digital file. Usually the charging structure is different. if you pay per print, often the fee for taking the photos is smaller because the photog makes money by print sales. If they cannot make money from print sales, they may charge much more for the image file..

2) How much quality would I lose by scanning the printed photo intophotoshop?.

What resolution should I scan a 4x6 image with to get to a 5-7 print?.

P.s. The reason I want to PS is to make several changes/improvementsto the photo, not to save the cost of a larger print..

You could do it perfectly easily if you are careful, and get a result that looked fine; you would need to scan at around 400 dpi. BUT it is illegal. The copyright lies with the photgrapher. If you think that the photographer did not do a good job of making the print and it needs 'improvements', go back to him/her and ask for a replacement..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

Next time tell them that you are wanting the raw files at the first meeting. If they say no then interview the next photog. It's not right or wrong for them to say no but it is their choice..

You will probably have to pay a little more for the raw files..

If they know what you want upfront then they don't feel ambushed..

I design custom homes for a living. I own the drawings and the cad files and that's something I make clear in the first meeting. If the owner whats to own the drawings or the cad files and they arrange for that in the beginning, I price it differently. If they spring it on me at the end of the job if feel ambushed and am not as likely to agree..

Hope you can get it worked out in your favor next time..

If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #2

I feel that I have the right to my personal portraits. If I dont want a photographer to keep pictures of me, film or digital, that choice should be mine with no penalty. if they want to use my prints to help advertise buisiness, I can refuse or accept, but I should also benifit. I also would not expect a photographer to keep my originals (negatives) indefinitly. if I want them for same keeping, or to reprint if something happens to the first prints, I can bring them back, or take them somewhere else if they perhaps are no longer in buisiness..

As far as cost, it seems it should be cheaper. I dont have to pay for their time and materials to process. just a 'sitting fee should suffice. depending on your buisiness model this could meen more or less profit in the end...

Comment #3

PhotonFiend wrote:.

I feel that I have the right to my personal portraits. If I dontwant a photographer to keep pictures of me, film or digital, thatchoice should be mine with no penalty. if they want to use my printsto help advertise buisiness, I can refuse or accept, but I shouldalso benifit. I also would not expect a photographer to keep myoriginals (negatives) indefinitly. if I want them for same keeping,or to reprint if something happens to the first prints, I can bringthem back, or take them somewhere else if they perhaps are no longerin buisiness..

As far as cost, it seems it should be cheaper. I dont have to pay fortheir time and materials to process. just a 'sitting fee shouldsuffice. depending on your buisiness model this could meen more orless profit in the end..

You can feel however you wish. Unless you have the rights to copy, create derivative works, and distribute you're most likly violating copyright. IANAL..

You are paying the photographer for more than just pushing the shutter button. Experience, equipment, time and effort, marketing, etc. It's like the joke about a person who takes their car to the mechanic because it won't run right. The mechanic hits the engine with a hammer and says that will be $25. The person says, $25 dollars for what?!. The mechanic says $1 for hitting it with the hammer, $24 for knowing where to hit it..

I too wish more items were free and I'm willing to pay for it in monetary terms. See http://creativecommons.org/for one example...

Comment #4

Photographers have specific revenue & profit targets for each job, and use several business models to achieve this. Some will split these targets into initial fees and the sale of prints while retaining all rights to the images. Others will build it all into a one-time charge and give the client a CD with all of the images..

In the future, if you want high resolution or RAW files and a photog refuses, just find one that will meet your needs. It's not unreasonable for you to require this, but ensure it's understood and agreed to upfront..

I can't provide a definitive answer your second question. The resolution and image quality of the scanner are naturally the key variables. Keep in mind that it appears the photographer owns the copyright to the photos, consequently there are limits to what one can do with the photos. Although I wouldn't be worried about scanning & editing a photo for your own personal use..

Best regards,Doughttp://pbase.com/dougj..

Comment #5

PhotonFiend wrote:.

I feel that I have the right to my personal portraits..

And you have those rights. If you create the portraits. If you have contracted with someone else to do it, then you must also negotiate a transfer of those rights if you want them..

You may feel that you have that right, but most governments around the world would disagree with you..

If I dontwant a photographer to keep pictures of me, film or digital, thatchoice should be mine with no penalty..

Again, you are out of luck. If you don't want a photographer having your photos, don't have them take them. Or, again, negotiate (and pay for) the ownership if you feel you must, but don't expect it to be your God given right..

If they want to use my printsto help advertise buisiness, I can refuse or accept, but I shouldalso benifit..

Generally speaking, you already have. A model release for the purpose of self promotion is often included in the contract. You did read that, right? The benefits you have received are the skills and time of the photographer as well as the prints they provided. Sure, you paid for this, but just see how much different the price becomes when you want full copyrights and no release to the photographer. The cost WILL go up. (Or at least it will with any photographer worth his salt.).

I also would not expect a photographer to keep myoriginals (negatives) indefinitly. if I want them for same keeping,or to reprint if something happens to the first prints, I can bringthem back, or take them somewhere else if they perhaps are no longerin buisiness..

You obviously haven't used professonal photographers much (or this is a massive troll) because this is pretty much how it has always been. In fact, before digital, you really DID want the photographer taking care of the negatives since he should be doing a much better job of it than you could ever do. (Climate controlled storage, for example.).

In fact, even today you are probably more likely to be able to get those reprints if the photographer keeps up with them for you. Even if you get a CD or DVD with your images, those will fail over time or become obsolete. A good pro will have multiple backups (running one on my system right now in fact) and should be more likely to be able to maintain an indefinate copy. Most people do not do that level of backup (if any) at home..

However, more and more photogs (usually the lower end ones) do offer a DVD and full rights. It gets the job over and done with quickly and absolves them of any responsibility for producing good prints as well as confident backups..

As far as cost, it seems it should be cheaper. I dont have to pay fortheir time and materials to process. just a 'sitting fee shouldsuffice. depending on your buisiness model this could meen more orless profit in the end..

Always remember, you get what you pay for. I know I take pride in what I produce and people find value in it. Like I said, there a a lot of people out there doing just what you ask. (As well as a lot of people asking for the same thing.) But by and large the better quality, more professional photographers, don't. At least not without a hefty price tag.Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #6

Tleaming wrote:.

On a couple of occasions we have used a professional photographer.They wouldn't sell us the raw photo files, only selling additionalprints..

1) is it typical that you can't buy the raw file?.

Quite typical. For one thing the reprints are part of the revenue stream for their business model. Been that way for a long time. There are may photographers who will sell you print ready JPG files, but few who will actually part with the RAW files. For one thing very few people would be able to do anything with them and no lab will make prints from RAW files. (At least none I have heard of.).

Also, often some serious ills have been fixed in the RAW conversion and no one wants it known they stuffed a shot that badly..

2) How much quality would I lose by scanning the printed photo intophotoshop?.

For starters, unless you negotiated some level of copyright (rights to make reprints) you are violating copyright law. And you probably (hopefully) won't have a lot of luck getting prints made at any lab if it is obviously a professional's work..

Quality loss will come in two stages. (compared to the original print file) First, some quality would be lost in the printing. Then when scanning some detail may be lost. Although it is possible to scan at a higher resolution that the print was printed at, so that may be a wash..

What resolution should I scan a 4x6 image with to get to a 5-7 print?.

The more the better. Keep in mind you are talking two different aspect ratios here. So you will likely have to crop the top and bottom off the scan to make the 5x7. Either that of have white bars on the side..

P.s. The reason I want to PS is to make several changes/improvementsto the photo, not to save the cost of a larger print..

The reason doesn't matter. It is still a copyright violation if you haven't negotiated the right to do it..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #7

Hi,.

Just a point USA and UK laws differ... Although they want the USA version to apply here..

Regards, David..

Comment #8

But just see how much different the price becomeswhen you want full copyrights and no release to the photographer.The cost WILL go up. (Or at least it will with any photographerworth his salt.).

I seriously doube this is to recover the potential loss of income the photographer might suffer my surrendering rights. I dont think any photographer will make any profit of of my photos other that what I give him;-) I am no model by any means!.

Because this is pretty much how it has always been.In fact, before digital, you really DID want the photographer takingcare of the negatives since he should be doing a much better job ofit than you could ever do. (Climate controlled storage, for example.).

Do you do this? that would be a major headace and expense. Can I expect the photographer to pull my archives from 10-15 years ago??? I would highly doubt it. I agree that the photographer is better capable of archiving my photo. but I dont expect him to keep it forever..

In fact, even today you are probably more likely to be able to getthose reprints if the photographer keeps up with them for you..

IF THE PHOTOGRAPHER KEEPS THEM... that is exactly my point for getting them myself. Yes I am respossible then, but I can take them BACK TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER and PAY HIM to skillfully reprint my photos. heck even if the photographer wanted a reprint (perhaps for examples for custumers), if he asked for them I would bring them back..

Always remember, you get what you pay for..

And some time you dont get what you pay for. I have seen "professional" portraits (from a friends wedding) that I could have done better with a P&S and home printer. they are precious and valuable prints becaue of the price that came with them! and they are all they have of the event. not to knock professional prints, I have had and would recommend them...

Comment #9

Thanks for the responses. In the future, I'll negotiate the point before the shoot..

I've done a lot of photoshop work and that's why I'd like the file. I'm willing to spend a good bit of time fixing skin tones and blemishes, hair, etc., or improving a creative aspect of a shot that I like. I print on my own printer so I'm not taking it to a photographer..

I'm pretty sure I'm not violating copyright laws if I just want to hang a picture on my wall or fridge. Doesn't that fall in the "fair use" category?..

Comment #10

Tleaming wrote:.

I'm pretty sure I'm not violating copyright laws if I just want tohang a picture on my wall or fridge. Doesn't that fall in the "fairuse" category?.

I think the only reasonable advice regarding fair use and rights is to consult a lawyer. The collective opinion of the internet doesn't count...

Comment #11

Different photographers have different business models. Most want the exclusive ability to sell you prints, at least for a while..

Just a heads up, but if you scan and print, you are actually breaking copyright law...

Comment #12

Tleaming wrote:.

I'm pretty sure I'm not violating copyright laws if I just want tohang a picture on my wall or fridge. Doesn't that fall in the "fairuse" category?.

No, you are still breaking the law..

Comment #13

Tleaming wrote:.

I'm pretty sure I'm not violating copyright laws if I just want tohang a picture on my wall or fridge. Doesn't that fall in the "fairuse" category?.

Here's a US reference on Fair Use:http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html.

And excerpt from the law.

"the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.".

It is not the same thing as non-commercial or "no one will know but me" use...

Comment #14

Tleaming wrote:.

I'm pretty sure I'm not violating copyright laws if I just want tohang a picture on my wall or fridge. Doesn't that fall in the "fairuse" category?.

Technically, yes I think you are. However, for all practical purposes you aren't likely to ever suffer any consequences for such use. Here's a link to the "fair use" article on Wikipedia. You may be able to find (with further research) that your intended use is indeed fair use under the law, but I doubt it..

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use.

I suppose you could argue that hanging it on your wall was intended as an educational tool for your kids.Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #15

Kaikopere wrote:.

It is not the same thing as non-commercial or "no one will know butme" use..

Agreed. (Although the latter is the most likely scenario.).

And the argument from the copyright holder's lawyers will be that people making their own enlargements are hurting their sales of similar items. Now whether there ever were going to be many (or any) sales such as that is irrelevant. They only need show the potential damages..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #16

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