A collaboration shoot is a joint effort with the photos intended for commercial use, as opposed to a TFP shoot, where the prints are intended for promotional and portfolio use only. When we collaborate, we work together to come up with ideas for the shoot, and then we share publication rights or proceeds from the content equally.
There are many ways to structure a collaboration agreement. The most common are:
- Share the content: We both get non-exclusive rights to all the images we create together. This is probably the most common type of collab shoot.
- Split the content: We each get exclusive rights to publish about half of the images we create. They can be split by time (first hour are yours, second are mine), order taken (even numbered shots are yours, odd are mine), location ( you get the red background shots, I get the white background shots), concept (you get the bathtub shots, I get the outdoor shots) or any other split that's fair and we both agree to.
- Share the Proceeds: Under this approach, we sell the content through one or more venues (e.g. BentBox, DeviantArt, ManyVids, our personal websites, etc.). Under this model, we both promote the content on social media and we split the proceeds 50/50.
Q: Who pays expenses like studio or location rental?
Typically, I'll cover all expenses related to camera and lighting gear and will provide a shooting location unless we shoot outdoors, or you already have access to a location you'd like to shoot at, in which case I'll bring lighting equipment, backgrounds, or any other gear that we need to get the shots we want.
Q: Will you edit the photos?
Yes. I will do basic editing (basic color correction, major blemish removal, etc.) for as many images as you want. I'll do more intensive "beauty" editing on up to 10% of the shots we take.
Q: Will you share the Raw Images?
I know this is a sticky point for many photographers, but I have no problem giving models the raw image files from a collaboration shoot. The only thing I ask is that when you publish the images, that you specify that the edit was not done by me. Something like:
Photo: Jeff LaMarche
Edit: Jane Doe
Q: How long does it take to get content?
I pride myself on quick turnaround. Barring unusual circumstances (such as shoots when I'm traveling), I will send out unedited proofs within 48 hours of the shoot, and very often get them out within a few hours. Edited images can take longer, depending on how many shots are selected and the amount of editing required by each one. My general guideline is that I can deliver 50 basic edits or 10 full "beauty" edits per week starting from when you tell me which images you want me to edit.
For raw or unedited files, I can typically get them to you within 48 hours. I can turn those around almost immediately, but I shoot with a very high-resolution camera which produces large raw files that can take some time to upload.
Q: Who will own the copyrights?
It depends on the situation. Under US copyright law, the photographer owns copyright automatically and if we share content or proceeds, the copyright will stay with me because of the way joint copyright works in the U.S.
Unfortunately, joint ownership of copyright requires that each of the joint copyright owners make an "independently copyrightable contribution" to the thing being copyrighted. Unfortunately, modeling, set dressing, makeup, hair - none of those things are independently copyrightable under current US law. As a result, if we attempt to create a joint copyright in the images, it will be moot and the rights will revert to me.
What I'll do, instead, is give you an irrevocable license to the content, which means you will have the ability to use and publish the images just as if you were the copyright owner, and our agreement will require me to provide any necessary documentation that you need to publish, sell, or otherwise use the images.
If we split content rather than share it, I will give you a copyright assignment or use a work-for-hire agreement for your images if you wish.
Q: Will we have a written agreement?
Yes. In most cases, we will use a single "Collaboration Agreement" that will act as a contract, model release, and copyright license. Without a written agreement, I (as the photographer) would retain all rights in the images, so it's in your interest to have a written contract showing that you have rights to publish the images.
Q: It seems like you mostly shoot with cis women. Will you collaborate with others?
I will gladly collaborate with anyone regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation.
Q: Can we collaborate if I'm not willing to shoot nude?
Absolutely! I'm happy to do non-nude collabs.
Q: Will you shoot explicit content?
For a number of reasons, I don't currently publish explicit content under my own name. I do sometimes shoot explicit images and am more than happy to do so during a collab shoot. While there are a few extreme types of content that I won't shoot, such as anything based on harmful racial or ethnic stereotypes, I'm generally willing to shoot most anything as long as everybody involved is an adult who has given truly informed consent.
I may ask that you not credit me when you publish explicit images, however.
Q: Can I get prints or instant photos?
Absolutely. For prints, I'll provide one large print (up to 13x19) and ten smaller prints (up to 8x10) for each hour of collab shooting we do, and you can choose multiple smaller prints instead of a large one (e.g. you can substitute four 4x5s for one 8x10).
If you want Polaroid/Instax shots, let me know in advance so I can bring an instant camera and film. I'll pay for one 20-pack of film for each hour we shoot, and we can split the prints 50-50. Or, you can bring your own instant film/camera, I'll shoot them for you, and you can keep them.
I also love doing creating limited edition prints if that's something you're interested in. Typically, for limited editions, I'll keep the Artist Proof, give you an HC proof, and then we'll split the edition 50/50. I'll create certificates of authenticity for all the prints, will mount them in acid-free mats, and deliver them in a crystal bag ready for sale. I've written a blog post that explains more about limited edition prints if you want to know more about how editions work.
Q: Will you do collabs with multiple models?
Absolutely! We'll just split the content equally. So, if there are two models, we'd split everything three ways instead of two. I'm also happy to include makeup artists, stylists, set decorators, riggers, or anybody else who will make a material contribution to the final images.
Q: Do I have to bring identification to the shoot?
Yes. First, if you're under 18, you can't enter into a legally binding contract. Second, if we're doing any images with nudity (even implied), I will need to take a copy of your government-issued photo identification and it must show that you are a legal adult on the day of the shoot. For explicit content, I will will also ask you to sign a statement saying that the identification you showed me is yours, that you obtained it legally, and that you have not altered it in any way. That last requirement comes from a Federal law called 18 USC §2257, so it's not negotiable.
Have any questions I missed? Drop me a note!