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BANNED from taking photos

bobk 13 6 Scotland
24 Sep 2007 12:48PM
Just returned from the Scottish Horse Of The Year show where I was told by the organisers that I could not take photographs. I was told an official photographer was on site and they did not want the risk of anyone else selling photos. I asked if no one was allowed to take photos and was told they could. I couldn’t the reason being that “I looked professional”. I later spoke to the official photographer who said he objected to me taking photos.
I have been attending local shows for the past 12 years, since my daughter started riding, as a spectator. Since starting photography about 3-4 years ago I have combined the two. At major shows I will try to get an interesting photo to use at my local photography club of which I’m a member, at smaller shows I concentrate on trying to get a photo of the riders from the stable where I keep my horse.
At some shows I have been asked if I would sell photographs, the first thing I would do is direct people to the official photographer. In some cases there have been none at the show or none at the ring where I am, in such cases I will try to oblige. I have also been to shows where the photographer has left early (bad light they told me), I carry on shooting and get asked by the organisers if they can have copies for their web site (which they got free of charge). I do not just turn up to these shows hoping for a quick buck, I attend (with or without my camera) all my local unaffiliated shows, local dressage shows, carriage driving shows… I even attend a local (40 miles round trip) schooling night every week. I do this because of my passion for horses not a passion for money.

When an outfit pays to cover an event (which I realise can be expensive) they pay for three things in my opinion: exclusive rights to the ring, exclusive rights to sell photographs on the event ground, exclusive advertising rights at the event. Beyond the doors of the event (no matter how irksome) all exclusivity rights stop.

The other main reason I was at the show was in fact to tow my friend’s horse. This was his first BSJA show, and he was placed in his class. During his class the event photographer was not even in the ring – no photograph!?, in fact the class was actually sponsored by the photographer. One consolation my lunch that day was payed for by my friend’s winnings courtesy of the photographer.

Please do not make assumptions about peoples motives just because of the way they look. Many people can attend theses events to photograph without money being their motive.

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sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2007 1:04PM
Hi Bob,

I experienced this problem a couple of years back at an open air gig. The reason given was that I looked professional (i.e. I was using an SLR with a telephoto lens). They even went so far as threatening to confiscate my equipment (as you can imagine this was met with a few choice words). I was told if I was using a compact that it wouldn't have been a problem.

I'm sure this is relatively common practice at many shows of a commercial nature - however, I think that it is commercialism gone mad. If there is to be a ban on photography make it total - and see the damage to profit margins.

User_Removed 11 1.5k 1
24 Sep 2007 1:08PM
With regards to you being told that other people could take photographs. It sounds to me that they are simple saying its ok to use a point and shoot compact camera but not an SLR. I would just start taking photos and have a tear up with anyone that tried to intimidate me. I regularly take my SLR to point to point racing and i am always about one of 20-30 people with SLRs and never once have i ever been told to stop taking photos despite some photographers being there on a commisioned basis. Do what you want to do and forget organisers and there rules. As long as you dont break the law in any way thats the main thing. Events like this should be about socialising with other photographers and sharing tips and techniques. A lot of pro togs may be intimidated just in case you are a better photographer. james
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
24 Sep 2007 1:19PM
better photographer dont think thats going to worry the pro tog, can you imagine whatever job you are in and somebody turns up claiming he can do it cheaper than you or even free, what would you now say ??
The event tog has a right to have people turned away if they are poaching on his event, he has paid to be there sometimes a lot of money, then he has to pay togs to cover various rings etc, starts adding up to a thre figure sum for some events, now if you were paying put that money you would be protective of you investment.
at Gigs photography is often banned , its stated in the terms of your entry ticket, at a lot of sporting events commercial photogrpahy is often banned unless agreed with the organisers whos terms can be very strict!
the equine events etc are not about socialising as photographers but working events, the horse people arethere to further the carer of their horses and riders, the togs are there to earn a living, if you are there as a hobby , then that is what you are there for not to earn money

RE the tog not covering the BSJA ring , thats quite common as the BSJA rings are the least profitable rings to cover and often , you dont take enougn money to cover a tog wages fro the day , I know I cover enough showjumping throughout the year. If somebody comes to me and says they are covering a particular horse and rider for the owner etc ,I have no problem with that, I do have a probelm if they try to cover all the horses and then give out business cards!!
mikeweeks 13 974 3 England
24 Sep 2007 1:22PM

Quote:When an outfit pays to cover an event (which I realise can be expensive) they pay for three things in my opinion: exclusive rights to the ring, exclusive rights to sell photographs on the event ground, exclusive advertising rights at the event. Beyond the doors of the event (no matter how irksome) all exclusivity rights stop.

I think you will find that your last point is incorrect in many aspects, look at the National Trusts policy of allowing amateurs at any time but not commercial photography, it has to be liscensed. Many tickets to events have conditions of entry that no photography may be used for commercial purposes, i.e. selling copies, and this does not stop when you leave the event, no matter how irksome - enforcing it is a somewhat different matter. There is a bit more discussion about this in another thread that may be worth reading.
One of the problems is intent and most people when they see a professional looking outfit associate it with professional activity and find it difficult to understand that an enthusiast has such expensive equipment and yet they may own many thousands of pounds of horse in the ring and have no aspirations of going professional.

Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
24 Sep 2007 1:23PM
I'm just back from an equine event in Ireland, took photos only of my wife and horse, and I'm trying to practice and practice getting the right kind of shots, and practice it does take.

My wife went to the event tog and bought three prints of the class the day before, which I didn't mind at all, because a) I wouldn't know the quality of any of mine until we we saw them back home on the PC, and b) he had a longer lens and a couple of decent close-ups.

The first thing I noticed when I saw them was a green cast - on the black jacket and the brown of the horse. Now granted I'd probably notice a green cast more than the average equine loving non-photographer would. I took them in and enquired could there be a problem with the printer, and could the check what the colour balance on the screen was like.

The answers I got?

a) it was early morning so a high ISO, which would affect the colour,

b) also the quality of light at that time of day would tend to being green..

c) no point looking at the laptop as the output from the laptop would never be the same as what came out of the printer

I was more concerned with not upsetting my wife's big day so didn't pursue it further except to promise to take up their offer to email them later, and they said later to me that they might get it sent to an external printer if there's a problem.

I heard later from someone else who had been looking for prints the day before only shortly after we had got ours, that she didn't get her photos printed when she wanted them because they had explained "we could print them now but they might come out looking green......"

Hmmmmmmm Smile
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
24 Sep 2007 1:30PM
you do get problems printing on site on the odd occasion, what I do is often say to the punter , keep this one , and I edit another set at home and post them free of charge to you, that way the punter gets two sets of pics, and stays happy.
had one women complaining that the pics has a orange tint, these were lab prints done off site ,I looked and two other togs looked as well, , you could tell there was no tint as the whites were whiter than daz washed under wear
I printed another for her on site same colour exactly and she then said she was happy, funny things people are!!
csurry 16 9.2k 92
24 Sep 2007 1:34PM
So if you have an SLR how do you prove you're not taking photos for commercial gain?

I thought it was innocent until proven guilty in this country, or does that not apply to photography?

sits back and watches fireworks
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
24 Sep 2007 1:43PM
LOL at Cheryl nobodys innocent till proven guilty, handing business cards out ,Guilty!! .
saying to people I can sell you pictures Guilty!!
having a website and telling people to contact you , guilty !!!
you cant stop most of the poachers , but clipping a few wings at times does help. I have even got the orgnaisers to print in the show catalogue not to accept pictures from freelancers at the show as we were the official photographers
what a lot of the organisers of the events , dont realise is if the incomes of the offical photographers goes down then they probally will not come again , and the event will not get coverage, or get a second rate deshonest tog appear and run off with people money as has happened in the westcountry a few years ago
loweskid 16 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2007 1:44PM
You can argue the rights and wrongs of these arbitrary rules until you are blue in the face but the bottom line is:- you are on private property and the owners/organisers make the rules, so you'll have to live with it or not go (or get yourself a top quality compact..!).
rodp 12 1.2k England
24 Sep 2007 1:49PM
Could be wrong here but I thought the human rights act say's that I (or anyone) has the right to be treated fairly and without discrimination, ANYWHERE. If so, they are breaking the law by letting compacts take photo's but not slr's, yes ?
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
24 Sep 2007 1:52PM
most events are on private property even county shows etc, you are invited onto the property, the same way you are invited into a shop , the same applies to being asked to leave the site if the orgnanisers think you are not behaving according to the rules etc
in most cases if a person is polite to me and asks about photographing a horse for a owner etc, I will help them put and even tell them not to shoot into the su,n If they are rude etc,the organisers wil be asked to eject them.
did have a laugh a couple of years ago at a show, where nother pro tog was poaching my business, the student he had hired to shoot in my ring had never used a DLSR or any other camera it would appear. we let him shoot for three hours using self timer and he was panning to try and catch the horse in time, plus he shot every pic directly into the sun, we were splitting our sides laughing at his antics
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
24 Sep 2007 1:56PM
what about the rights of the event tog and his staff then Rod?, would you like your job being taken over by people doing it for nothing or a lot cheaper than you could do it, be not ??
human rights are often quoted for silly reasons and not for things like this, common sense says behave at an event follow the rules and have a good day out, annoy people and your good day out may be curtailed!!
MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
24 Sep 2007 1:57PM
I would have thought that when you bought your ticket it says that you do so in accordance with the organisers rules and regulations which are available on request.

In there it will probably say no photography without prior permission blah blah.

Too bad you didn't exercise your [human?] rights by asking to see the rules and regulations. Too late now - you entered into a contract by buying the tickets [if a spectator] or by entering a horse [if a competitor].

In other words - read the small print.
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
24 Sep 2007 2:01PM
dont think it will be long before the banning of camera will happen at a lot of sporting events, with sites like U-tube etc letting people get away with copyright infringment etc and slagging off of people it might come to a ban.

you wouldnt go to a wedding with a commercial tog there dpoing his job , and then go around taking pictures and offering to sell them to the bride and groom would you.

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