Professional understanding

  • What is professional practice?
  • networking, contacting people and stay in touch.
  • Working with other people, taking the chance to talk about your work with others –
  • photographic industry, lots of different jobs within photography.
  • legal rights and protection to protect your work and the people you work with.
  • professional development: Think about how I’m going to achieve my goal

Professional photography


Copy Right

Is a protection for what belongs to you. Gives you the right to authorise or restrict the making of copies of something. It cannot easily be defined as it is a complex piece of legislation. Copyright applies to photographs, sculptures, a painting, music, signatures, cartoons, logos etc. Thanks to copyright, many can protect their work, for example, photographers can show that they own their photos and they can authorise who can copy their photos and how many copies they can make. Someone may wonder how do you register for copyright, but in the UK you do not need to register, as soon as you create something the work is automatically yours. It is also interesting to know that Ideas are not protected by copyright, it only starts working when the idea is expressed in a material form.

Copyright in the UK is protected by the Copyright Design & Patents Act 1988, a law which came into effect on 1st August 1989.

Authorship & Ownership

The one who created the work is the ‘author’. So in a photographic case, the author of many photographs is the photographer of course, not the stylist or director who helped to create the whole seen but the one behind the camera. Back in time, the author was the person who owned the work, but this is no longer valid. For example, if someone takes a picture of a woman, the woman wouldn’t be the author of the picture even if she is on it, the one that took the picture is the author.

Copyright in photograph lasts more than 70 years.

Ownership of Copyright

The ownership of works that artists make is quite different to the ownership of materials. If a photographer sells a photograph for a sum of money, whoever buys it does not own the photograph he just bought it and has the right to hang the work but the copyright remains with the photographer.

Today many might underestimate the value of copyright but copyright is very important, for example, is good to remember the huge issue Alberto Korda had. In 1960 he took a very famous photo of Che Guevara, this picture was used for the cover of Che’s diaries and they made other copies which were soon being carried through the streets of Europe in the protest marches of 1968. Alberto Korda did not receive any royalties; Feltrinelli used the photo without permission and did not even gave him credits for the photo. In 2000 this photo was used for a Smirnoff Vodka adv. Korda had no remedy to regain control until Cuba rejoined the international copyright convention in 1997. He then asked the Cuba Solidarity Campaign to help him sue Smirnoff’s advertising agency. They agreed on an out-of-court settlement. Unfortunately, he then died of a heart attack in 2001 while setting up an exhibition of his photographs in Paris.

Copyright Infringement


  • Is when you reproduce or copy a photograph without the photographer’s permission.
  • When you use a photograph without the author’s permission and create it onto a t-shirt, or another unlicensed photograph is made into an ‘art’ poster.Secondary
  • When you take the photo and sell it from a market stall, even if the market trade did not make them their self.
  • Clients who use the photographs but don’t pay or comply with contractual terms.
  • Clients who use the photographs outside the terms of the original license.
  • Or imitate photograph too closely.

The Attribution Right

  • The author has the right to be identified
  • Their name has to appear alongside the photograph.
  • Understood as a ‘by-line’ or ‘credit’
  • .

The Integrity Right

  • It is a photographer’s right to protect and prevent his work being mistreated.
  • Treatments of work which are damaging to the reputation of a photographer.

Most photographers are freelance which means they are the first owners of copyright and they will have a contract with the client to determine copyright issues.


Lucasfilm vs Ainsworth’s

The Stormtrooper character which appeared in Star Wars was conceived by George Lucas designed by artist Ralph McQuarrie and moulded from the existing designs by Andrew Ainsworth. Ainsworth had sold Stormtrooper outfits online for many years and that’s when Lucasfilm sued him for infringement of copyright. Ainsworth did not defend the 2006 case in the US courts, so they gave summary judgement in favour of Lucasfilm, awarding $20 million compensation.

Contract Law & Legislation

We do not notice but we enter into contracts everyday, whether we are just buying online, buying a train ticket etc, we always make an agreement verbally or in written form. Most everyday contracts is oral but all business contract must be in writing. People interpret things in different ways so always write things down & make a contractual agreement, if you have a written confirmation nothing can be misunderstood

Contacts are a legally binding agreement  

Contracts can be made between two or more people, doesn‘t have to be in written form but this is strongly advised and it is not legal if it involved an illegal act.

Terms & Conditions

When a photographer is commissioned to produce photographs for a client, they both need to discuss and agree on a number of issues including the price and the use of the photographs. It is very important to state your own terms & conditions within your contract. Accompany all the paperwork, this is to protect they both of you. Let the client know if any third parties are involved. AOP terms & conditions protect the photographer. These are registered with the Office of Fair Trading.


This has to be stated before the job commences and it is based on an initial instruction from the client, which can become the job offer, general enquiries which should always include Terms & Conditions and it is made by phone you must confirm in written form. It is important to include things like the client and photographer details, job description, fees, Expenses, the right to credit, usage etc.


You present this after the job is completed and it is similar to an estimate but it has a precise cost.

Copyright vs Rights to Use

There is a difference between copyright and right to use. The rights to use is ‘License’ to use something you issue and you still own the copyright. this right is given by the owner (e.g. photographer to the client). It has to include a contract’s terms and conditions. Should include an estimate and must be agreed before the job commences.



Toby Cobley

Today we had the photographer Toby Cobley, who showed us some of his work and also gave us lots of advice on how this industry works. He’s been into photography since the age of 12 and he was into Landscapes when he first started. At the age of 30 he decided to attended Plymouth college of art, when he was studying he also started his own business in 2005. Whilst in the college teachers, pushed him to challenge himself to find a new and different style for his landscape photography and there is when his style changed. He soon started looking into fine art and street photography. Later on, he started experimenting with studio as he felt he wasn’t as good as in the other areas. Documentary photography moved him to look into film photography. Soon enough, he started his commercial work, by assisting Trevor Burrows, he also worked for Venture Portraits and SW screen. He soon noticed that to be able to make a living out of the money he earned from photography he had to do more so he started doing wedding photography, family portraiture, in studio and location, he has done some Editorial and Environmental photography, Life style photography, at some point he did some work for the National Trust, Drone photography, Interiors, Stock photography, Medical and scientific photography, Food and Hospitality, Tourism, lifestyle and so. He made me understand how much you have to keep shooting all the time, be flexible in photographing different themes and how he experimented a lot to be good in many areas. He first started with landscape but now he is doing so many other things, which shows how we should explore all aspects of photography, we may think we are more into  a specific area but you never know if by experimenting you can find something else that might interest you more.


Andy Whale

Today we had the commercial photographer Andy Whale. He has been into photography for about 30 years, he is also into filming. He really likes Richard Avedon’s work. He studied in Bournemouth and at the time he was studying they thought everything on film and not digital. He started assisting a still life photographer for placement and it became a job. He has worked as freelance photographer and made work for Spencer Rowell for 4 years.  He has also done underwater photography. He stated, that for him to be in this industry you need to be good in talking to people and with technicalities like lighting and composition and also to follow only one path, when you are sure of what you want to do. He also encouraged us to reasearch into other photographers work to get inspiration but to make our own photos, also to look at different advertising agencies and not to focus too much on our equipment as it does not matter if you don’t have all the equipment that you need.

Kirsty Smith

Today we have Kirsty Smith a Sports wear and catwalk photographer. She talked about her experiences in being a catwalk photographer, about how hard it especially if you are a woman as is mainly a job for men, because you have to be very physical too in such a job and most of the photographers there, don’t get paid but it is good work for them to be in their portfolio. She has shoot a lot during fashion weeks especially in Paris and worked for Harpers Bazaar and she revealed how all this work was not paid but was a good way to promote yourself and buid a stronger portfolio. She assisted photographers for long hourse, shot a lot of skate board shots and behind the scenes as her partner was into skateboard. She also talked about how politics has affected the fashion photography industry and how this industry. She then gave us tips on how to get into this industry, which is by assisting although there are lots of various jobs in the fashion photography industry, also she said we should build a strong portfolio and we can do that by starting to take picture during fashion weeks and street style fashion photography. Additionally she adviced to keep an eye on trends and unique things for example at the moment children under 10 and women over 60 are the main focus in fashion. Just like the other visiting lectures we had she also encourage us to be flexible because we can’t just be photographers but we also have to know how to film, be good with social media etc.,

Lorna Commercial Photography

Today we had Lorna, a  Commercial Photographer, when she was a child she was into acting and she once went to get her head shots taken by a photographer and she ended up assisting this photographer and this is how she got into photography. She assisted Charlie Wait who runs a Landscape competition. She moved to London and setup her own studio in her living room to do head shots. Tires, she decided to move back to Devon and an exhibition and invited a lot of poeple, this was a good way to network and get new clients in this area. She soon started a wedding photography business which she did for 10 years and family portraits. Having earned enough money she decided to start a business called Bang Wollop, unfortunately it did not go well, as it was stressful and she was losing a lot of money in the business, so she had to close this business. She wrote the complete guide to wedding photography and a book called the busy girls guide to photography.

  • John Spinks

Today we had the photographer John Spinks, first inspiration from magazines – caught his attention – 1987 he was 17, Matt Mchvwan – stark – minimal – unusual images, photo poche – entry point into history of photographers work, inspiration behind his work – taking ideas from other photographer – on original ideas – but bring own style to the work, Lee freelander – contracted well – familiar now – seeing villages obscured by branches, To begin with he stayed within rules within photography – but then stated breaking the rules – the began to dissolve, John practice a lot to become a good photographer, paul Graham – documentary photographer one of the first documentary images in colour, slow down when looking at image and take you time, started working in studio – slowly got commission for magazines, want to find not the normal model wanted to disrupt the normal flow and use teens, August Sanders – his portraits look like, the nee village – by John Spinks, Herbert read – the green child – told it would be useful to read – book showed him the way he took images and helped him finish his project (the new village), George sure – painter  – but painting look like photographers, different people have different views on the worlds – even if they are right next to each other, the book – new village took 15 years to make

Steve Bancroft

Editorial photography + The Publishing industry (Steve Bancroft). He has been a professional photographer for 15 years. He first worked for BMX magazine, Extreme Sports photography. Because of the theme, most of his photos were on Location. He did a High National Diploma in photography,  he loved travelling and sports. To get recognised he had to really work hard. Years after when the management of BMX changed he left and started a free magazine Albiuon, which is a popular magazine for 1000,000,000 readers.

Holly McGlynn

  • Does Editorial, fashion and campaigns photography, Started as a fine art photographer, Award-winning fashion photographer, Works for companies such as Mulberry, Levis, Cosmopolitan etc, Career Lessons: Treat your photography like a business, Marketing, Accounting, pitching, sales, know your customer, Tailor your product accordingly, be absolutely relentless, Don’t compare yourself to other photographers, Network, Embrace failure, Say yes to opportunities- and they say no when you are in a position to do so, Create your own opportunities, be brave
  • 35 images in her portfolio- but should be 14 but to start out have about 5 to 10
  • Working with models: Working with models is an intimate job, treat everyone with respect, Prepare and research
  • Freelance photography, Favourite company to shoot for Primark, Assist photographers to learn how to work and speak with models
  • Collaboration, Only as good as your team, Find a creative team that shares your vision and are nice to work with, Give everyone time to do their job, Shoot, shoot, shoot, Lighting
  • Can make or break a portfolio, Hire lighting and experiment. Look at other photographers work, It is your job to interpret ideas in novel ways. Your idea your currency, More important than technical abilities

Awards to look at

  • Sony Photo Awards
  • AOP student awards
  • Taylor Wessing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s