Yep, more musings on the Photog Wars over at PBN. Well over 500 posts. Never too much of a good thing? Oh yes there is and that point was reached long ago. Even I am no longer amused and I have a notoriously high (or is it low?) tolerance threshold for the absurd. I'm sticking by my 'Photographers Gone Wild!' suggestions but there is one more suggestion that needs to be considered; individual release forms when the work product is intended for commercial use. That should have occurred to me before but I can't ever recollect anyone in the paintball (photography) industry bothering. [With the exception of Jerry Braun at the Smart Parts Championships filming where he also wanted right of first refusal on your first born child and droit du seigneur.] The assumption is, I presume, that everyone getting their picture taken is thrilled by the prospect of showing up in a magazine ad or website promo or catalog or whatever but since we're being sticklers for rights that one best be included too. With so many legally well-versed photogs in paintball I'm kinda surprised that has slipped through the cracks. And while magazines can normally count on editorial allowances precluding the need for model (or similar) releases it's hardly a universal standard and with e-zines being the new standard and available anywhere the internet reaches I can see potential future liability issues there too. (tsk, tsk)
I also thought it might be interesting to check out the mastery and artistry of the offended so I followed links to about a dozen websites purporting to represent professional photographers. Now I suppose if you have a camera and get somebody else to pay you money for your photographs you are a professional--but as we see in paintball that is frequently a mighty low standard. A couple were reasonably good, most were technically proficient and none of them displayed hidden talents that will take them to the top of the photographer's heap--unless it's the heap of long forgotten photographers. In fact the majority demonstrated a proclivity for hanging around events with young boys, be it pee wee soccer, hockey, baseball or football. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that.
Some may ask, why come down so hard on the photogs, Baca? Because it's fun and because they invite it. Nobody cares or should care what it cost them to meet the minimum standard of so-called professional photographer. Nor what it cost them to get to the venue or the time away from school or work. Or that there are so many of them around almost none of them can make a decent return or that when 30 or 40 photogs take a thousand or more pics over a weekend that their collective work product is so diluted most any random pic is nearly worthless. And we already know that for the handful of better than competent photographers (and there are a few) out there the market doesn't reward superior images because the buyers can't tell the difference as a general rule and bargain over basement pricing.
If the lot of you were really all that professional you would have been lobbying the PSP long ago to institute well defined professional guidelines & standards that would have served everyone's interests.