This past weekend I burned 1/2 a day digging up past images from a special time in my photographic career. That “special time” being a window of time when I was very serious about learning anything & everything about photography and remotely thinking about trying to do more with it as a profession. I then burned another 1/2 a day preparing those images for a formal copyright submission.
- Were all of these images from years past technically perfect? No.
- Were these images post-processed to today’s standards? No
- Were some of these images of subjects that have some marketability? Yes
- Were some of these images ever submitted to a photo forum or posted on an old web site? Yes
- Were these images ever copyrighted? All that had been posted online fortunately
For me “Photo No Man’s Land” consists of the years that you immerse yourself in photography thinking that you’ll never do much with what you’re shooting. You are inconsistent in your backups and your copyright filings… if you’re doing that at all.
So let me be the one to tell you whether you’re just learning photography or if you’re a pro. Pay attention to this “No Man’s Land” as it will invariably come back to bite you if you don’t give it the attention it needs…
- Don’t under-estimate your skills or eye for meaningful subjects.
- An image you think has no relevance to anyone will in time.
- An image that is in the earliest portion of your archive will be requested or needed for a project
My most frustrating days are those where I search for photos in this “No Man’s Land”. I end up wasting time searching for my files hoping they were backed up and when found wonder & research to see if I made that all important copyright filing. This past Saturday was the last time I’ll do this as I have now found and filled this gap in my archive. Hopefully my sharing this less than pleasant experience will save you some time in the future. Don’t let your growing wave of photo experience crash over you. Do the right things now so that it instead pushes you forward.
If you’re unfamiliar with Copyrights (U.S. specific) or need a quick refresher I recommend reading:
10 Must Read Copyright Articles for Photographers
[tags]Photography, Copyright, Best Practices[/tags]