Monday, January 28, 2013

TIPS60 - Using music in your videos, shoot sessions, website - should you?

Here is another of our videos offering tips and inisights into the business of photography. a transcript of the video is included after the jump.

(Continued after the Jump)

TRANSCRIPT:Here a few thoughts on using music in your photography business. I'm John Harrington. You need to be very careful about using music in your photography business because even if you're using the music to entertain a subject when you're doing a portrait session doing so in that commercial environment requires a license from ASCAP or BMI. Those are the two major ones. You want to make sure you have permission to do that if you have music playing in a studio that you have a brick and mortar facility. Having that music play actually requires permission. When it's on a website, when it's in a video you delivered to a client, you need to have a separate and specific license for that use as well. Generally speaking you shouldn't be using any music on a website because brides and grooms if they're looking for you or a couples are looking for a family portrait photographer, corporate commercial clients don't want to see music coming up when they are trying to sit in their cubical searching for a photographer for whatever reason when their at work. So just don't use music in general.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Delane Rouse said...

Unless you create it yourself in GarageBand (or some other application).

Jonathan Levin said...


I always enjoy your insights about best business practices for the photographic community and your on going campaign for the cause.

While I most always agree with your advice and I agree on this as well, but I think that it really gets hand scratching head.

I do realize that if you go to any bar, restaurant that they have to pay to have music piped in to their establishment. This seems to make sense since people are going to these places to eat, drink, and music creates the appropriate mood to do so and hopefully get patrons to spend more.

I'm just not sure that this holds up in our business in the same way. It may. But just seems to be a gray area. You'd know this better than anyone I'm guessing. People are more likely to hire me based on lunch, personality, and hopefully the quality of my work and success of assignment. Not whether I have John Coltrane or the Beatles playing as background.

And what are the "rules" for just playing a favorite radio station in the studio during a project?

Believe me, I hate seeing musicians get sc**wed by everyone. And we all know about using sound for web sites, videos and so on as far as copyright and usage and obtaining permission. I just think the studio music thing might be a little overboard.

The right thing for a studio to do: get the license from BMI et al, but given the narrow profit margin these day is this monetarily feasible?

It makes for an interesting discussion.

Jonathan Levin

Jason Wallis (Wallis Photo LLC) said...

That's silly. As if you would get in trouble for playing music at a studio shoot.
If that is true why don't you provide us some examples of photographers being sued for playing music?

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