Today I was hoping to share an interview that I did with Jessica Glynn who is an award winning interior and architectural photographer based in Florida. However....after we recorded I went to edit the audio and something had gone terribly wrong with it. It sounds like someone is crinkling paper into the microphone the entire time. These things happen, but I was super bummed because I was so excited to share the interview with you all.
I was able to transcribe the episode and you can find that as well as examples of her work below. Also, she has what is sure to be an amazingly beautiful book coming out in October and it is available for pre-order now.
So instead I ran with the theme of photography and did an episode incorporating some wisdom from Jessica as well as some information on using other people's photos online.
LISTEN ON ITUNES
- Photos being shared on the internet without permission happens all the time
- The feeling in the pit of my stomach
- It's illegal even when...
- Why I was scared to do this show
- Why it's important to ask permission from the photographer (2 reasons)
- My own blogging practices
- Great things happen when you ask for permission
Link mentioned: Finding royalty free images online
TC: Can you tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming a photographer?
JG: Sure, I grew up on Long Island about 30 minutes outside New York City. While I grew up my mom was a travel agent and she cultivated my love of travel. My father was a maintenance man so he was always around the house fixing broken things that he brought home from work. So I sort of developed a travel bug with an affinity towards a mechanical ability. So the camera became the perfect way of blending my love for travel, art and using some of my mechanical abilities.
When I was in high school I took photography classes, we had a dark room, and I absolutely loved it. It was my favorite subject throughout high school and it was my favorite thing to do. So at 13 years old I wrote to national geographic because I was set on being a travel photographer. They wrote back to me and told me what type of classes to take and what college majors to pursue and that’s exactly what I did. I went to Boston University for photojournalism.
When I graduated from BU I moved to Australia and I got a job at a backpackers magazine called TNT and I was an editorial assistant. I absolutely loved it. I got to write a little bit, I got to take pictures, I got to go on tours for free…it was just sort of a dream job. When my visa ended I came back to the United States and got a really boring data entry job, it was so mundane. I knew I wouldn’t be happy until I did something more interesting. That led me to grad school in London and my final project was on London Architecture and I just fell in love with that field.
TC: How did you make the jump from that to working with clients and shooting projects?
JG: After my graduate program I moved to Florida and started doing freelance photography. I did a little bit of everything, I did portraits, weddings, products, real estate…and I really loved the real estate work. I like seeing beautiful homes and taking the time to make the pictures the best that they can look. Slowly over three years I started specializing in just interior design and architecture. I have had my own business for about 10 years now.
TC: A lot of The Honest Home Podcast listeners are designers, and I’m sure a lot of them have considered hiring a professional photographer to shoot their projects, and I’m sure a lot of them have. What are some of the misconceptions when someone hires a professional photographer to shoot their project?
JG: I think it’s mostly about pricing and the value of photography. 50% of my business is word of mouth and 50% find me online. The clients that are unfamiliar with using a photographer are often surprised by pricing, but the value of good photography is endless. You can get a lot of PR and marketing exposure if a magazine picks up the photography and publish it. It really adds to the value of the photography.
TC: So let’s talk about what happens after the shoot is done and the edits are made. Can you talk about the ownership of the photos and how that’s handled. Between the homeowner, the designer, the architect and the photographer…who gets to use the photos and how?
JG: Sure, copyright is usually a confusing subject for most people. The copyright law in the United States says that whoever shoots the photo, owns it. So since I’m the photographer, I own the copyright to the photos I take. Therefore, every client that hires me is paying for my time to shoot their project with my equipment, expertise, and advice on styling as well, and then they are getting a license to use the photographs. So the clients have the right to use the photographs according to the license that is granted. So the license usually includes all self promotional efforts. So they can use it how they want, but they don’t actually own the copyright. So any other interested parties would need to come to me separately if they wanted to use the photos for their business. I ask the designer if that’s ok, since they paid for the shoot. It can get a little complicated, but most of the time people understand once everything is laid out in the beginning.
TC: So when a photo ends up in a magazine, how does that usually happen? Is that something the designer is initiating? Or is that something the photographer is initiating?
JG: A lot of interior designers do it themselves. So they have a project photographed and then send them to magazines starting with their favorite and wait for a response to see if it’s a good fit. I know a lot of editors at a lot of international, national and local magazines, so if they are interested in getting them published, I have editors calling me every week looking for a story. So a lot of the time I’ll do the PR and marketing for them.
TC: That’s another great reason to hire a professional photographer, that’s definitely an added value.
So switching gears, let’s talk about other people using your photos. Not the photographer, not the home owner, designer, or architect. People like bloggers and journalists. What’s the protocol, does this vary with each photographer?
JG: Every photographer manages their own business and there are no black and white rules, there’s no protocol.
TC: How do you feel about sites like Pinterest and Tumblr that make the photos so easy to change hands over and over again.
JG: Well I don’t really mind bloggers using photos as long as I’m credited. It’s really a case by case basis. A lot of the time bloggers will write to me and ask to use photos to feature a project and I usually say yes. As long as I’m credited I’m ok with that. Every photographer is different, some don’t want you using their photography, some want to be compensated. At this point, any exposure is good exposure. As long as the main intent isn’t to profit from it.
For sites like Pinterest and tumblr, I haven’t spent too much time looking for my photography. Trying to stop the use of my photography on those sites would be a full time never ending job and wouldn’t result in any satisfaction or monetary gain. But I have gotten clients interested in my services through sites like Houzz or sometimes through bloggers. So it has it’s benefits and downsides.
TC: Some bloggers are finding out that using someone else's photo for a blog post or article is technically illegal even if you give proper credit. Some bloggers have written posts about their experience. Some post everyday and don’t necessarily ask photographers for permission before they post, and a few of them have been sued for using photos. Even though they’ve said “I’ll take it down right away” or “I’ve given credit”. Some blogs have that little disclaimer “If you see a photo of yours and you want it taken off…” some photographers are saying that’s not enough. How do you view the beginning of that issue?
JG: Every blogger should be careful about what they post. You should find that photographer and ask their permission. As far as once you post it, I think it’s very hard to get sued for having it, but I really have no experience in that. It all depends on the situation.
Photography has a real value and some people just overlook it and think that it’s just a few snapshots. One image that I take can easily have at least 8 hours invested into by several people. One image on set has styling, propping, lighting, then taking the photo, downloading, editing it, retouching it, color correcting it, and the final sizing and delivery. So one picture may seem like one snapshot to somebody, but it’s actually several hours worth of work. So I think bloggers have to realize that there is a real value to it and people have put a lot of time into it. So that might be why a photographer might go after somebody for using their photography illegally or without their permission.
TC: That’s a great point, I really appreciate that. Let’s talk more specifically about your business. Do you have any exciting project coming up?
JG: Yes, I’m in the middle of finalizing photos for my book that’s coming out in October. It’s called Palm Beach Chic. I’m working with a writer in New York called Jennifer Ash Rudick. It’s being published by Vendome Press. I’m really excited about this project, I’ve been working on it for about a year. It’s about 300 pages and it’s going to be on Palm Beach interior design. It features 25 amazing residences from small apartments to huge mansions on the ocean.
TC: When will that be out and how can people get their hands on it?
JG: It will be out in October and it will be on Amazon and in bookstores, as well as internationally.
TC: We so appreciate a peek into the world of interior and architectural photography and thanks so much for sharing with us Jessica!
JG: You’re welcome, thanks for having me!