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Old 09-08-2019, 11:27 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

Hi,
I like paintings animals. Is it rude/exploitation to ask local average people on social media to toss me a photo of their cats/dogs for basically free?

I would paint the ref pic and sell it in various coffee shops, etc (unless pet owner wants to buy it from me).

If I do end up painting a specific person's animal, I would give them a free digital scan of the art so they could make prints of it if they like with no upcharge.

I figure in this day and age, it costs nothing for somebody to give me one of their probably hundreds of phone photos. They then might get a print for it, with only the cost of materials passed down.

Is this an ok practice? It takes care of the copyright issues for me.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:22 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is online now
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

There are places online where photographers sell the digital rights to their photos for minimal cost. I have bought some from a landscape photographer for $6/ea. I think that price is very affordable for digital rights/right to make derivative copy. Two of them I used for paintings. He was thrilled to see the paintings, but he was even more thrilled to get paid for his photos. I found them because I'd followed him on Instagram because he was taking photos of upstate NY.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:07 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

This wouldn't be for professional level photos. I just want people's amateur cell phone pics.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:49 PM
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theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

Not only can you buy photos for $6. you can get 58,000 plus for free - including rights here https://unsplash.com/search/photos/dogs. --

Your request for dog photos doesn't sound rude but does sound suspicious. Like you have an ulterior motive - like it is a not too disguised sales gimmick.

"I don't want good photos of JUST ANY dash hounds and terriers to use, I want wanky amateur underexposed, out of focus, poorly composed photos of YOUR dash hound and terrier!

Then I can spam you with stuff like "your dog is so cute but the photo wasn't good enough. If you would like to send a better photo and have me make a beautiful 8x10 painting for only $299. plus shipping let me know."

or something along those lines.

If that is your aim it might be a viable business model, and there is nothing illegal or even morally wrong with doing it. It's just another gimmicky some would say slimy sales tactic disguised as an innocent request for help
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:23 PM
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RobinZ RobinZ is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

I have asked permission to use photos from strangers and they have granted it, very enthusiastically. I did this a lot starting out, building a portfolio. I had a few rejects, but that was fine.

I have let them know I would use them to paint from and would show it, sell it and retain copyright.

I wouldn't approach someone who had a bad photo because there are plenty of pet owners who take nice photos of their animals.

And the advantage of using someone local's great pic as a references is that nobody else is likely to use it. Again, starting out, I used refs here and saw the same on other people's sites.

I've never told them I'd give them a digi download to make prints from. It would be nice, though, to send them a print or a mug or some notecards after you've painted it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:14 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

Wow. Yeah I didn't know they had FREE stockphotos. That's definitely better than stranger's cell shots. So I just use the Unsplash photos and don't have to ask permission in any way?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:47 PM
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theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyFishy
Wow. Yeah I didn't know they had FREE stockphotos. That's definitely better than stranger's cell shots. So I just use the Unsplash photos and don't have to ask permission in any way?
from their website
License
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License
All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash.

more over the photos you download for free are very high resolution.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:42 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

There are a number of sites offering royalty free photos. Paint my photo www.pmp.com is another one.

I have also had good luck asking photographers for permission to use their photos as references for paintings. With attribution of course.
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:44 AM
yuliart yuliart is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

There is also morguefile site, tons of free photos:

https://morguefile.com
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:43 AM
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vmrs vmrs is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

We have a free to use Reference Image Library here as well. You can click on the link or find it under the Contents tab drop down menu on the blue bar at the top of every page on WC.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:11 PM
SurrealityArt SurrealityArt is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

A painting made from a photograph is known as a derivative work. So long as the image is not copyright © you can use it. Stock photos (stock photography) are professional photographs that are royalty-free and can be used and reused for commercial design purposes.

Have fun googling "free stock photos." There are tons out there on the internet. Here are a few sites to get you started. Have Fun!
  1. Unsplash
  2. Gratisography
  3. Morguefile
  4. Pixabay
  5. Stockvault
  6. Pexels
  7. Picjumbo
  8. Pikwizard
  9. Rawpixel
  10. Reshot
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:19 AM
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Mike L Mike L is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

An amateur who makes a photograph of their pet owns all copyrights to the photo just as any artist owns all copyrights to their work (not done as contract work), so you'd have to have their authorization to
  • make the painting,
  • make prints,
  • sell any of them to anyone.

Using "free" or "royalty free" photos can be fraught with danger, too. Unless the site has a contract with the photographer stipulating the license found on the website, the photographer can come after you for infringement. Ask the site manager for the name and contact information of the photographer who made the images -
  • if they can't then the site does not have the necessary authorization to offer the photos; basically they stole them.
  • If they "won't" - that is a red flag of something shady probably going on.
  • Proof of authorization by the rights owner will be on you, not a website.

Getting something for free is usually worth every penny paid. Why not generate a short contract to use with the pet owners for use of their photos or get out and make your own photographs of animals?
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:32 PM
webart webart is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

Are you saying if you get permission to make a painting from a photo you still need permission to make prints from your painting?
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:21 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

I am not sure if you need to. I always ask if I can sell prints of a painting when I ask if I can use the photo as a reference.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:39 AM
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Mike L Mike L is offline
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Re: Rude to ask for free pet pictures for commercial purposes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by webart
Are you saying if you get permission to make a painting from a photo you still need permission to make prints from your painting?

Yes. That's precisely what I'm saying based on 29 years of creating original works and an annual visit with an attorney to discuss these issues.

Permission to make the painting does not transfer copyrights. Even when granted permission to make a painting (copy) of a photograph, copyrights to the painting (copy) remain with the maker of the original image - the photograph in this example. You can't even sell or give away the painting you make without their permission.

Making a copy by any means is still a copy, no matter how many generations away from the original. The painting is a copy of the original photo, so the owner of the copyrights to the photo owns the rights to any and all copies - the painting, prints of the painting, scans, photos of the painting, etc.

An original work does not have to be registered with the US Copyright Office nor contain a copyright symbol - © -to be protected. Filing does expand what an artist can get from an infringer in court, but the © is not required and pretty useless without the year of first publication.

Just because other people ignore copyrights it doesn't make it legal or right. My rule of thumb is -
  • If you didn't create the original, and don't have permission, don't use it.
  • If permission is granted, get it in writing and stay strictly within the boundaries of the written agreement.

Suggestion: for information on legal issues (copyrights is a legal issue) consult with a licensed attorney.

I'm not an attorney and I don't portray one on television, stage, silver screen, or internet.
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Last edited by Mike L : 10-15-2019 at 08:56 AM.
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