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Independent photographers at horse shows ... "legal matters"

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  • Independent photographers at horse shows ... "legal matters"

    I'd like to start by saying I do not intend on stirring a nonexistent pot here.

    Is anyone familiar with the guidelines and rules at the horse shows with photography. In my experience the only "rule" for lack of better words has been that other photographers at horse shows are forbidden to sell the photographs and just recently learned that they are forbidden to advertise. I find these two rules completely understandable and quite silly to be argued with. My question being that are photos actually required to not be taken at all by another photographer? Rather than hinting to it being someone else, I take photos as a hobby at horse shows when I myself don't attend or am not working. The photos aren't that great, they are getting better but are no way "professional" and I never plan to have them be.

    Local horse show premium reads
    Any other commercial photography, or advertisement thereof, taken of subjects within the confines of the show ring without prior written consent from show management is expressly forbidden.

    Commercial photography meaning the definition which is photos used for advertisement, merchandising, and product placement. All of which I do not allow when asked.

    Understandably I was approached by a photographer who pays to shoot at the horse shows, sells his/her photos and is to be the only PAID photographer at the show. Her request to me was that I not advertise or sell, understood. Somehow this turned into "why don't you just work, why do you have to take pictures?". She pointed out that by me taking these photos for free and uploading them to Facebook that it was becoming too easy for riders to access these free photos and not want to spend the $45.00 fee to buy an 8x10, again I can't argue with that and I do understand where this photographer comes from but so many of these bigger jumpers typically don't pay anyone for photos, so many people have caught on to the trend of just buying their own quality camera and not having to worry about it. I feel as though it's like Sea world or The Zoo asking exhibitors to leave their cameras at home because they can only buy photos from the Amusement Park itself. Sorry, this is getting lengthy. My question is that is this an official "law" by most horse shows that you cannot take photos as a hobby of other riders that you know, whether it be friends or acquaintances. With respect that you can potentially get sued if you happen to be shooting in the corner of the ring standing behind bush when a horse spooks and the rider falls (obvious scenarios). I hate stepping on anyones feet and certainly don't want to be steering business away by the hired professional. Simply can't understand the request that a hobby photographer not take photos. Maybe someone can give me some lighter insight as the conversation that I had with this person wasn't at its best. I realize this is annoyingly me defending myself but in all honesty i'd just like some opinions that may be able to see things from both sides. I feel as though there are so many people who enjoy shooting around horse shows as a hobby without selling their photos. I know that in FL and CA there are!

    Also this photographer and his/her employees do post here. It is important they know that this is a simple question, not meant to create a debate. Thank you.

  • #2
    There are no guielines that cover all shows.

    Sometimes there will be a notice in a prize list that states the policy of the show or the facility. In those cases the photographer(s) may have paid a premium to be the exclusive vendors.

    You can certainly take pictures of your own horses. Often unlisted photographers do take pictures and post them after the show on their own sales website.

    And I doubt anyone will stop you from taking pictures of others from your farm. As long as you don't set up shop ringside and actively sell your material at the show you should be fine.

    In some cases a farm hires a photographer to cover their clients over the course of the show.

    There have been a few threads on this topic. You might try a search to locate the older posts.
    Fan of Sea Accounts

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    • #3
      IMO (and I am not any kind of expert) I think the key word in your post is "hobby." If you are taking the pictures for your own enjoyment and to share with friends for non-commercial purposes, I can't see how that would be a conflict with the professional photographers. You shouldn't be restricted to just people you know either, plenty of people take pictures of athletes at sporting events as fans/ hobbyists. I see no conflict.

      I do understand that professional photographers at horse shows are in a tough business, and that they take tons of photographs for likely few sales. As cameras get more sophisticated and user friendly making it easier for non pros to get good pictures, I can see how that is squeezing the pros and presenting them with a challenge. It really is a conundrum, but as an ammie rider that is often at shows with only my trainer and other riders, I don't usually have anyone with me to take pics and do appreciate the pro photographers. There are a few that I really look forward to seeing at shows because I know they'll have great pictures with near perfect timing.

      Comment


      • #4
        my horse show husband often takes great photos at horse shows and looks to be the photographer(has long lense equipment ) he just tells people who approach him about photos he only does this as a hobby and takes pic of the barn kids and tells them where the official photographer is so they can go else where. it has never been a problem.

        Comment


        • #5
          There are no guidelines because there is nobody in charge of policing that.

          However, most of the time, a photographer pays a vendors fee to set up and has a contract to be at the show during agreed upon hours. Generally showgrounds are private property and the show management leasing them can require whatever they want. Some state and county facilities require a state or county vendors license to conduct business as well.

          I never had any issue with that or had anybody object to a friend taking a few shots or even videoing a few rounds-for free.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have no problem with the first part of that photographer's approach - it's reasonable if you have worked out a deal to be the exclusive photographer to ask that other pros not take shots/make money off their photography.

            I don't get why someone would possibly have issues with you taking photos of folks from your barn, though. That's ridiculous and sounds like it could be a "people problem" with the photographer. I have a dSLR and high quality lenses, but I also buy from pros when there are pro shots I can buy and encourage others to do the same. Good professional photos are far better than a typical hobby photographer's.
            Originally posted by Silverbridge
            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

            Comment


            • #7
              The other photog who spoke to her may have assumed she was charging and/or OP might have created the impression she was a pro selling her work. Should be easy enough to clear up by simply informing her you are not working or selling any pictures, just taking personal pictures and being a little less obvious.

              But if OP is selling those to her barnmates? That is a problem when the other one is a legit business that already is in the hole for the fee they had to pay to shoot the show.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Are you taking photos of your friends and family, or everyone in the big jumper ring? There is a difference here.

                My solution is not to post the photos. Period. On facebook or anywhere. I have been to events with official photographers and snapped right along with them, but the photos live on my hard drive. It was a learning experience for me and that is the only way I can guarantee I will not negatively impact a photographer's business.
                EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

                Comment


                • #9
                  What about if she doesn't sell the photos to her barnmates but simply gives them to the riders? What happens then? When the gifted photo appears on the riders FB page or in an ad?
                  Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Somehow this turned into "why don't you just work, why do you have to take pictures?".
                    At this point you just need to end the conversation - the individual is way out of line & not capable of rational thought (on this subject): if this conversation was overheard (which it likely was) she probably lost some sales ...

                    I've rarely seen amateur photos that are professional quality.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't see what difference it makes if a non pro is taking pictures in the big jumper ring- as long as he/ she is not selling the photo. For example, if I go to a professional football game and bring my camera, I have every right to take pictures of the game. If I go to a large show venue and McLain Ward is there and I wanted to take pictures, I don't see the difference. I also see no conflict with putting those pictures of McLain on facebook to share with my friends.

                      DAGS I can possibly see why your situation may be perceived differently because you have a professional website that uses photos to help market horses.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by M. Owen View Post
                        I don't see what difference it makes if a non pro is taking pictures in the big jumper ring- as long as he/ she is not selling the photo. For example, if I go to a professional football game and bring my camera, I have every right to take pictures of the game. If I go to a large show venue and McLain Ward is there and I wanted to take pictures, I don't see the difference. I also see no conflict with putting those pictures of McLain on facebook to share with my friends.
                        McLain's probably not in need of more pictures but, considering most of us run in the same horse show & facebook circles, a lesser known pro with a sale horse might see that delmarjump has photos of said sale horse from the last show. She might just take delmarjump's photo, or she might even ask delmarjump for it, but I kind of doubt delmar's going to come out and say "No". This is why the pro-tog responded with the statement below, as dmj is effectively circumventing the entire need for the pro-togs presence:

                        Originally posted by delmarjump View Post
                        She pointed out that by me taking these photos for free and uploading them to Facebook that it was becoming too easy for riders to access these free photos and not want to spend the $45.00 fee to buy an 8x10, again I can't argue with that and I do understand where this photographer comes from but so many of these bigger jumpers typically don't pay anyone for photos, so many people have caught on to the trend of just buying their own quality camera and not having to worry about it.
                        That's how I see a difference between just taking pictures of your children/friends/barn mates and taking pictures of the whole show, uploading them to facebook, and letting all of the pro-togs potential clients have at them.
                        EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ugh, this stuff really irks me...

                          We always had various barn moms/sisters/friends/etc taking pics, and they would always circulate around the barn. People chose the ones they wanted copies of & paid to get those copies themselves. One of my favourite pictures of my first pony is actually a gift of a framed pic my friend's mom took at one of our first CTs. What on earth is wrong with someone take pics of their barnmates/friends horses and heaven forbid, posting them on fb? My fb pics are all set to private anyway so only my friends can see them. Even if I was posting pics of pros, there would be no way for the pros to search them unless they were hacking (computer hacking, not riding LOL).

                          The photographer was out of line. It should have been end of story as soon as dmj said she wasn't selling the pictures. I hope people overheard the and the photographer loses business. There are plenty of good pro photographers out there who need the business.

                          Lastly, anyone with half a brain can tell the difference between the average ammys photo and a pros photo. If I was buying photos to commemorate a specific show/special occasion, I would shell out for a pros photo. There is a reason the photos cost money - they're the best quality! However, with the amount of money we spend on shows, even unrec ones, how can pros expect people to buy their photos for every single outing? Often as riders we want photos just for comparisons sake/our own enjoyment - these do not necessarily need to be professional quality photos.

                          Wow....sorry for the rant, but this topic frustrates me!
                          "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                          "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There are some truly great professional show photographers out there. I would happily pay Gary Parkin from Sporting Images whatever he cared to charge me for photos of me & my horse - they are always spectacular.

                            However, at a great majority of local shows, the pro photographer's work is, let's just say, not quite that level of quality. I love to have show photos of my horse, but for what the pro's (understandably) charge for a 4 x 6... I want something special. That means not just an in-focus shot at the correct point in the jump, but also really good composition, etc.

                            A lot of times there simply isn't a big (or sometimes any) difference between what that local show photographer produces and what my husband shoots with his nice quality amateur gear. In those cases, frankly, I'll happily take the free ones my DH shoots, and save the cost of the pro shots. I know the photographers at those shows are unhappy about that, but the answer is not banning friends and family from shooting pics; it's to take photos that are so much better than what the amateurs can produce that people are willing to spend the money on them.
                            **********
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                            -PaulaEdwina

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think there is a fine line here. And I think you have to realize that by taking photos and posting them on FB you ARE taking business away from the photographer whether it's intentional or not. The end result is the photographer finds it harder to make a living (something every pro photog I know is already complaining about because of the great hobby cams hobbyists can get now) and eventually gives it up altogether. Then you're left with only getting pictures of yourself if someone you know happens to be there.

                              I have a friend who's a photo hobbyist. He recently started selling his photos on FB. I am very offended by this because he is absolutely undercutting the show photographer and the more he advertises his photos the "trickier" he's being since he's not paying the same fees as the show photographer. I do make a point of always buying a photo from the show photographers that I know even if it's not the *best* photo ever, just because I want to support the business as much as I can.

                              So was the photographer out of line? I don't think so because you're on a slippery slope as a hobby photographer and I'm sure that photographer has seen plenty of others who start out taking pics of the barn, and then progress to pics of everyone who shows around the same time as barnmates, and then is suddenly advertising on FB that they'll sell pics for $5 or whatever. I think her point is a valid one whether your intentions were good or bad.
                              __________________________________
                              Flying F Sport Horses
                              Horses in the NW

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                ...but the answer is not banning friends and family from shooting pics; it's to take photos that are so much better than what the amateurs can produce that people are willing to spend the money on them.
                                And to behave in a professional manner.

                                The professional photographer who did a horse show two weeks ago still has not replied to my email about buying pictures from the show. And a different photographer did the same thing last year. If someone is trying to spend money on your products, don't make it hard for them!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm not so sure that the hobby photographers take all that much business away from the pros, it's a very different end product in most cases. Last show I went to I had two family members take pics, lots of pics, with high end cameras and lenses. I still ended up buying from the show photographer to get a couple of "just right" framing quality pics. At another show I looked at the photos of someone who was trying to undercut the show photographer--this guy took a LOT of pics, but honest to goodness, not one was worth shelling money out for.

                                  Still, I can understand why the show photographer was upset. It's so easy for someone to show up at a show and take a million pictures and just say, "Oh, I'm just taking pictures of my friends!" or "Oh, I'm doing a project for my photography class!" while quietly passing out their business card to competitors and then afterwards posting the photos on FB to advertise them. I certainly think it is a little suspicious if someone hangs out for long periods ringside with fancy equipment and photographs every single horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                                    I have a friend who's a photo hobbyist. He recently started selling his photos on FB. I am very offended by this because he is absolutely undercutting the show photographer and the more he advertises his photos the "trickier" he's being since he's not paying the same fees as the show photographer. I do make a point of always buying a photo from the show photographers that I know even if it's not the *best* photo ever, just because I want to support the business as much as I can.
                                    It's great that you just want to support the business, but not everyone can/wants to pay money for something that is not good enough.

                                    If the pro photographers took better pics than the amateurs, then I bet people would be more likely to shell out extra $. I don't think its fair to expect people to pay more money for an inferior, or even not good *enough*, product.
                                    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Event4Life View Post
                                      It's great that you just want to support the business, but not everyone can/wants to pay money for something that is not good enough.

                                      If the pro photographers took better pics than the amateurs, then I bet people would be more likely to shell out extra $. I don't think its fair to expect people to pay more money for an inferior, or even not good *enough*, product.
                                      Agreed. And I probably should have said that the two show photographers that I go out of my way to support are terrific photographers that always get good shots. I don't buy "bad" photos, but there's usually at least one in the bunch (at least of my big jumper) that's worth it. But when I'm on the fence I tend to "err" on the side of ordering something versus nothing.
                                      __________________________________
                                      Flying F Sport Horses
                                      Horses in the NW

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My husband had the show photog freak out on him at the last show we went to. He was capturing candids of the riders in our barn, and trying to figure out how to get action shots in the arena. He was using it as a learning experience, and was having a really hard time getting a decent shot. She was in NO danger at all. Had she simply approached him and expressed her concerns, he would have been happy to explain this. Going with my barn mates to look at the photos, her work wasn't that great anyway, and I'm not planning to support her business. It's not just about great shots, it's about great people skills too.
                                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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