Friday, January 20, 2017

How to Handle Requests for the Use of Photos You Shared Online

My 2017 started with a nice surprise courtesy of my photography hobby. Ten minutes before the new year, I decided to take out my Fujifilm X30 camera and shoot some fireworks. Despite of the lack of preparation, I was still able to come up with some decent shots, which I then shared to the Fujifilm Facebook group.

What happened next was totally unexpected. I would have been happy already to receive 100 Likes, but in just a few hours, I already got more than a thousand! It's the first time I received that number of Likes for a Facebook post so it was some sort of achievement for me. I was glad to read comments of appreciation. Some shared the album too. One member even asked my permission to download the image since he found it good enough to inspire him in this hobby.

But the one message that really made my day came from the Senior Marketing Associate (for Digital) of Rockwell Land Corporation, the area that served as background to my fireworks shots.

Good morning and happy new year!

I apologize for contacting you via Facebook as I could not find your e-mail address on your page. I am contacting you as we came accross your photos of Rockwell Center and were very much fascinated by these. Your shots are beautiful and your artistry has captured and epitomized the elegance of Rockwell. Thank you for sharing these with the online community.

In line with this, we would like to send our intent to use your photo/s with your kind permission and proper credit. May we ask how the arrangement will be according to your preference? We look forward to your affirmative response.

Thank you!

As someone who's not used to receiving such messages, I immediately consulted Rommel "Omeng" Bundalian. Being an experienced professional photographer and Fujifilm Brand Ambassador, I believe he's the best person who can advise me on the things I should ask and consider with regards to the request.

Below is a summary of the tips and advice that he gave me. I found them really useful, simple ideas yet enlightening. I'm sharing them in this post, thinking it might be of help to others who will find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
1. Ask where the photo(s) will be used (e.g., print, digital platform). Will it be used in marketing materials, ads or just for internal use?
2. Limit the usage of the photos, say, 1 year or 6 months only
3. Limit the size/resolution of the photos to be provided depending on the platform where they will be used, e.g., Facebook and Instagram doesn't really need high resolution copy. If they really need the high resolution image, the client will come back to you and you can then demand an appropriate remuneration

Since my photos will just be used and shared (with photo credit) in their Facebook, Instagram, and internal materials (for Rockwell employees' viewing only), instead of asking for remuneration, I just asked for a small token for remembrance. :P As a photography hobbyist, it's already an honor for me to have my photos recognized by such organization. Anyway, I was assured that if the photos will be used for external materials (e.g., brochures, flyers) in the future, they will let me know and proper arrangements can be discussed.

After a few days, this was delivered to my office (laptop not included :P).

A Rockwell card with handwritten message and 2 complimentary movie passes. Not bad. I wasn't really expecting anything when I took and shared those photos, so anything more than Facebook Likes will be much appreciated. :)

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