PetaPixel

Tour Manager: Concert Photogs Who Want Payment for Social Media Use Can ‘F*** Off’

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One would think that those in the photography and music industries would act as allies — both industries, after all, are built upon the hard work or artists and storytellers who have spent years honing their craft.

However, all too often, they wind up butting heads as was the case with the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus story two days ago and, now, with this Facebook rant from a major band’s tour manager.

The tour manager in question is Mr. Shawn Hamm, who works for the rock band Three Days Grace. Last night he took to social media to share his feelings about concert “photographers” (his quotes not ours) who ask for payment when a band shares a watermarked and credited image on their social media feeds.

Here’s what he had to say (we have blurred out the cursing, but otherwise the message has been left unchanged):

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To Mr. Hamm’s credit, he does go on in the comments to say that both a watermark and credit ought to be there. If those things had been there for Mr. Anderson the Red Jumpsuit story never would have become a story, and many photographers are satisfied with the exposure.

But the insinuation that it is a privilege for the photographer and a right of the band to post your work as long as there is credit, and that a photographer is taking advantage of some sort of “loophole” to get paid when they ask that the band pay for sharing without permission is troubling.

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Others also weighed in:

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Apparently this began because a photographer who was credited but not asked permission asked that his photo be taken down off the Three Days Grace FB:

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At best, it seems there is a fundamental misunderstanding of copyright law; at worst, a fundamental disrespect for what photographers do and how they seek to make a living. Many photographers would be okay with a watermark and credit (especially if they reached out to the band and were given access for free) even if permission wasn’t asked. But they are certainly within their rights NOT to be.

And for those who would say that it is then okay to steal or share Three Days Grace’s music if you follow Mr. Hamm’s logic, he has an answer for you as well:

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As always, we invite you to let us know what you think in the comments down below. And if you’d like to see the original posts you can find it on Mr. Hamm’s Facebook and Twitter (they were still live at the time of this posting, despite a much more negative reaction on Twitter…).


Editor’s Note: On a personal note, if you do choose to share your opinion directly with Mr. Hamm himself, I would ask that you do it respectfully. Much of what is infuriating about his comment is the disrespectful tone.

Don’t make the same mistake by attacking him personally or engaging in the typical troll-style comments that point out his grammatical mistakes. Just keep in mind that, as a photographer, the comments you make in a public forum reflect on the entire industry… in the same way that Mr. Hamm’s comments reflect badly on the entire music industry.


Thanks for sending in the tip, Brian!


 
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  • BuddingPhotgrapher

    The thing that this stems from is about how 1. Rohan demanded money and threatened legal action if not taken down. There’s not much that can be won in a case like this. He’s not going to get money unless he was hired by the band or venue. Point blank. 2. RJA acted like complete tools in their response to Rohan. No he’s not going to get monet from them but he is a human and he deserves respect.

    As far as Shawn’s comments, I can understand what he meant too. I’m sure he deals with a lot photographers who think that because they are at the venue and taking pictures of the band, the band has to pay. They were not hired by the band. Either they are doing Work for Hire for the venue or a magazine or they are doing it for exposure, to build a portfolio or just for fun. Its not easy to get started in the photography industry…I know, I am a beginner myself and I don’t get paid but my free work has lead to a paying gig. But what I also know is that I’m not getting paid for this work and if I post it on a social network, the internet is essentially free game. As a beginner, don’t you want the band to use your work?
    This is really just my view on the whole issue. Please at least keep comments nice =]

  • anwalters

    Most people hire and pay a photographer to take their wedding photos, engagement photos, senior portraits, etc. and then also pay to have copies of the photos. How is a photo of a band any different? You are paying photographers for their talent and service, it is their job. Makes me sad how ignorant and arrogant some people can be.

  • Carlini Fotograf

    Matthias I agree with you.. But unfortunately the industry has changed so much. Getty has monopolized the magazine industry and publicists will clear anyone with blog as long as they sign a rights grab release to give their photos to the band for free! I started shooting music in 1983. It was very different back then. I was 14 and thanks to an editor at a Detroit Newspaper, I was able to get photo passes. I got into this cause I had a passion for photography and I loved music. By the time I was 17, I had already been published in many music magazines and I went on tour with the band Tesla who were opening for Def Leppard doing photographs for their Tour Book and Poster. That’s when it turned into a career for me. Back in those days of no internet. Publicists, Bands, and Managements had a respect for photographers. They seen value in the need for good photography and we got paid. Back then alot of bands let us shoot the whole show and we very rarely ever had to sign any release. Today its become completely devalued thanks to all these fan/blog people who are getting photo passes and giving their crap photos away for free. So now the Industry doesn’t want to pay for anything. Plus the industry has became saturated with these Idiots like Mr Hamm who think Photographers getting a photo pass is privilege and a free show. NO! I’m there doing a job trying to make a living just like he is. I would like to see his response if bands told him being their tour manager was a privilege and he should do it for free!

  • Brian Zuzulock

    Your points are completely misguided and ill informed. Rohan is getting paid by RJA for the use of his image, that is a fact, the band had made a statement through their social media sources that stated this. Go figure, because he owns the rights to the image, ‘point blank.’ The internet is not free game, as you wrote, for people to take copyrighted property from photographers and use as they please and the fact that you assume this is the case and are OK with it is a sign that you should educate yourself or get used to being broke.

  • Carlini Fotograf

    Unfortunately the industry has changed so much. Getty has monopolized
    the magazine industry and publicists will clear anyone with blog as long
    as they sign a rights grab release to give their photos to the band for
    free! I started shooting music in 1983. It was very different back
    then. I was 14 and thanks to an editor at a Detroit Newspaper, I was
    able to get photo passes. I got into this cause I had a passion for
    photography and I loved music. By the time I was 17, I had already been
    published in many music magazines and I went on tour with the band Tesla
    who were opening for Def Leppard. I was doing photographs for their
    Tour Book and Poster. That’s when it turned into a career for me. Back
    in those days of no internet. Publicists, Bands, and Managements had a
    respect for photographers. They seen value in the need for good
    photography and we got paid. Back then alot of bands let us shoot the
    whole show and we very rarely ever had to sign any release. Today its
    become completely devalued thanks to all these fan/blog people who are
    getting photo passes and giving their crap photos away for free. So now
    the Industry doesn’t want to pay for anything. Plus the industry has
    became saturated with these Idiots like Mr Hamm who think Photographers
    getting a photo pass is privilege and a free show. NO! I’m there doing a
    job trying to make a living just like he is. I would like to see his
    response if bands told him being their tour manager was a privilege and
    he should do it for free!

  • Brian Zuzulock

    Of all of their social media followers, how many are going to look at the photo and say “Hey I happen to be browsing this bands page and realize I could use a photographer and this guy’s photo is awesome, let me reach out to him to hire him for some photography work” ?? I’d say on a good day, less than one percent. Also, how many people (who aren’t diehard Three Day Grace fans) who saw an image of one of the guys from the band in this guys portfolio would even know what band they were from? You can look at plenty of live music photographer’s portfolios and find images that show their artistic ability in the work that they created and not know who the band is. So, then how does their “fame” help the photographer in these instances? If there was no agreement made to exchange photographs for the photo pass then the band has no room to complain.

  • AndrewT

    In response to his comment saying illegally downloading music is bad because the band pays for the record, the recording, etc…

    Photographers pay for their camera, their equipment, their training, just as much as a band has to pay for their stuff. To say otherwise is ignorance.

  • Abbi Billig

    A photographer PAYS for their cameras. They PAY for film and sometimes even blackroom equipment. They CREATE images that look much better than the average person can snap on their iPhone. They PAY to get to the shows, PAY to get the tickets, and then spend HOURS editing and making sure their pictures are the way they want them to be.
    Artists attacking artists is a disgusting thing; you can’t pick and choose whose work matters and is able to be protected and whose is fair game.

  • TyKomjati

    I got to shoot for Switchfoot recently. I offered it for free because they are my favorite band and having my images, with credit, on their social media is a great honor to me.

  • JennPrine

    So I guess just taking the art without permission is a great way of building rapport with the photog??? Annnnnd good lord how much work do you think we get because one photo among hundreds that are taken of that same artist gets thrown up there with the rest? A little ask goes a looooooooong way – it’s called respect which clearly Mr. Hamm doesn’t have any to offer.

  • http://www.robmiracle.com Rob Miracle

    In the ideal world, the photographer and the performer would want to work together. Every time a photographer posts a photo of a band in concert, it raises awareness of the band, i.e. free PR/Advertising.

    But if a photographer makes some good coin from a photo, they are making it off of someone elses fame and ergo the idea that they need their share.

    If the two could just recognize how they help each other, we wouldn’t have issues like this.

  • http://www.evildaystar.ca Eric Lefebvre

    “As far as Shawn’s comments, I can understand what he meant too. I’m sure he deals with a lot photographers who think that because they are at the venue and taking pictures of the band, the band has to pay.”

    They have to pay IF THEY WANT TO USE THE PHOTOS!

    “Either they are doing Work for Hire for the venue …”

    Re-read the LEGAL definition of work for hire … in most states hiring a photographer to shoot some portraits or an event or whatever DOES NOT FALL UNDER THE CATEGORY OF WORK FOR HIRE!

    For it to be considered work for hire, the photographer has to be an EMPLOYEE not a CONTRACTOR.

    “or they are doing it for exposure, to build a portfolio or just for fun.”

    Then they are NOT a professional photographer but even if they are just doing it for fun, THEY STILL OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE IMAGES!

    “But what I also know is that I’m not getting paid for this work and if I post it on a social network, the internet is essentially free game.”

    NO IT’S NOT! Posting something on the internet doesn’t strip you of your rights under copyright law!!! You are SOOO ILL INFORMED IT’s INSANE!

  • MBAinAZ

    Copy Right law is pretty simple. If you create it with your talent, you own it (property), but if you fail to defend it, you don’t have rights to it anymore (public domain – no
    copyright – bald license)..

    if the photographer made a you tube video of his photos and merged it (synchronized music) to the bands music without permission or payment, the band could just as easily ask him to take it down or move forward with legal action for remedy.

    If there is no agreement that says you have the rights to use someone else’s property, its not your to use.

    Use on social media in advertising for the goal of making profit for a commercial enterprise. the band is a commercial enterprise, not news media, they want to make money. The goal of there social media account is the same as a billboard or paid web
    banner,

    We live in a legalist society. the Photographer had a right, and duty, to protect his property. Whether you like it or not, the copy right laws are there to protect everyone
    involved.

    Should the photographer have let the band use the photo? That’s a moral question we each have to ask ourselves and each answer will be different. Did Hamm have the right to denigrate the photographer for asserting his rights to his property, good question? There is a chance that the photographer may have a good claim to a libel suit. Just because you post it on face book, doesn’t mean that you’re free from
    liability. This discussion line in itself is evidence to the libel that the Hamm may have committed.

    Copy rights are properly rights. If its ok to protect your home and your car, its ok to protect your products of your creation.

    Legally the photographer is correct, morally, you all can continue to discuss, but that is an argument that the general population will never agree on any way. Good Luck.

    To all that think that the photos are not the photographers property, than you should also agree that the songs are not the bands property – it is the identical argument….for that fact your car is not your property either than.

    The true thing that separates a professional from an amateur is not talent, but how they conduct their business.

    There are plenty of professional with no talent and plenty of amateurs with lots of talent; this is a question of property rights, not quality.

  • Mouse

    Mr Hamm doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

  • Sierra Breshears

    So the band creates the music and puts it out with “THEIR money” on a cd, therefore illegally downloading is wrong. But when the photographer creates a photo with a camera purchased with their own money, it’s fair game for anyone. I get it, of course this is logical. #sarcasm

    Let’s for a moment entertain the thought that the subject of a photo and the photographer due in fact share the same rights of the photo, if the subject can take the photo and do as they want with it, then the photographer can as well right? I wonder how Mr Hamm would feel if that photo were less than flatteringly altered in photoshop and released to the press without his consent. I’m sure he’d be fine with it, as long as it makes mention somewhere in the subtext that the subject is Shawn Hamm…. I mean hey, he’s getting credit right? He should feel lucky, privileged even, to be photographed by such a popular and talented photographer.

  • J. Dennis Thomas

    How is it a “free” pass if you’re working? Why would they agree to give you a pass if you weren’t working? And furthermore, it’s not really a free pass because you only get to shoot 3 songs.

  • J. Dennis Thomas

    That’s a great clip.