If You Can Run Fast Enough
So it was the battery. New battery, oil change, check the transmission fluid. The AAA tow truck showed up just after 7:00, the guy looked it over, heard my explanation and took out his jumper cables. Kinda dumb. I keep jumper cables in my trunk, but for some reason I thought it might be the starter since the radio and the buzzers worked. I should stop listening to Car Talk on public radio. Hi, ho. A phone call, thirty minutes later AAA shows up and starts the car, I drive over to the Toyota repair shop, take the bus to work, take the bus back to the repair shop in the late afternoon. Battery. Jumper cables. What the hell. Lots of excitement for a guy who drives 200 miles in a month.
Saturday morning my company is having a picnic that I'll be photographing from around 9:30 in the morning until 2:00, then I'm going to drive back to Oakland and shoot a wedding party that starts at 3:00 and goes until, well, the bride said until after midnight. I will not last until midnight, but I hope to give her some nice photographs. Too bad the picnic and the wedding had to be on the same day, but it'll work out. My company is slowly discovering I know something about web design and they've been using me more on web projects and now they're also learning about the photographs. It would be nice to cobble a job together that combined both, although this may be nothing more than a rather naive fantasy. Sometimes these things work out, sometimes they don't, but either way I'm enjoying it.
My company buys a fair amount of commercial photography. We hire photographers on and off around the
world for the usual advertising and marketing photographs, head shots of the executives and the like, so they know the standard commercial terms in that they buy the images and not the negatives. This has to do with use. A photographer on an advertising shoot usually negotiates a percentage of the overall project budget, a small percentage, but it can be a lot of money. If the client then wants to add additional uses for the original images, say use them in a point of sale campaign or an annual report that was not contemplated when the original terms were negotiated, additional fees are involved and the photographer is able to control all this through possession of the negatives. I'm not sure the people putting together our company picnic understand that I too plan to provide the prints, but not the negatives, although I'm not altogether sure why I would want to keep them other than the fact photographers always want to keep their negatives. You say "how they hangin?" to photographers and they think about film.
Any sort of disagreement and I'll give in, they have the leverage, and, again, I'm not sure what I want with these particular negatives in the first place. Same with the wedding. My hair stylist, whom I've gotten to know a bit over the years because she's into photography and we like to talk about it while she's cutting my hair, mentioned she was getting married and that she and her mother had been working like crazy putting it together. I've always wanted to shoot a wedding party, but not a wedding ceremony, since it is better done with different equipment than I currently own. (Instead of Nikons, think - ouch! - Hasselblads.) And, believe me, you don't want to be the photographer who fucks up a lady's wedding photographs. Ever. Free or not.
So when she announced she was having a small get together of close family members after the ceremony
(maybe one, two hundred people) I volunteered, as long as she wouldn't be too disappointed if they didn't turn out, to shoot the party and give her a set of prints (Well, two sets. She'll want to give some to her friends.) as a wedding present. No guarantees. I just hope she doesn't have any thoughts about wanting the negatives too, although again, I'm not sure what I would do with them. The idea is to shoot the wedding much as I'd shoot a party, good fun, good practice, a good way to get people shots in an environment where everyone understands the photographer is shooting photographs for the bride and the groom. So it's OK. Even if he's a little sneaky and gets you when you're kissing your cousin in the kitchen when you thought you were alone and nobody was looking. It's also nice to give someone your images, particularly if they're good. But not the negatives. It's a photographer thing, like being asked to hand over your blankie and your Teddy bear just when the lights are turned out.
It's not fair to run any of them here, by the way. I don't think it's even legal. Would you like your wedding pictures up on someone's web site? I don't think so, not without your permission, not without mentioning it to the participants in what is a private party, after all, and not some street scene where all is allowed if you can shoot and run fast enough.