A reader asked me a question about all rights contracts and I thought I’d see if anyone wanted to offer advice in the comments. My initial reaction to anything like this is “what’s in it for you?” If you’re not getting paid to give up your rights and you can’t use the images to market yourself then you get nothing out of the deal. I also believe it locks you in to this type of deal with this client going forward.
Last year I got a call out of the blue from an ad agency in [Redacted] for a photo assignment. I eagerly took it, turned in the work, and before they paid me they sent me a contact. The contract required me to transfer all rights to the photos. The main part I objected to was that I wouldn’t be able to use the work even in my own portfolio.
I’ve not gotten another assignment from them, but they sent me another contact … a work for hire contact. Again, all rights. Is this normal with ad agencies? I just e-mailed my contact at the company and pointed out that my rates are reasonable, I do good work and I meet deadlines. It hardly seems like it’s much to ask that I at least be able to use my own work to promote my own work.
As a commercial photographer, I’m very inexperienced, so I thought I’d see what your advice would be.