15 March 2019

A photographer gaining IP skills

By Claudia Weaver

Garden4

As a photographer, my life largely involves marketing myself to people and businesses of all kinds. As someone who has been educated as a photographer, I understand the basic ideas of model releases and copyright. Despite this knowledge, I have seen photographers that have been operating for years struggling to help clients who do not fully understand protecting their intellectual property. Admitting that there is fear about understanding intellectual property as a young photographer is definitely something that I and many artists can relate to throughout all the creative industries. While working as an assistant photographer, for my respected mentors, I came to realise that not only should I learn how to protect my work, but also to educate my fellow photographers and future clientele. I came to Kingston University in the Autumn of 2018 to study managing in the creative economy and during one of my courses I was fortunate to meet Naomi Korn who came as a guest speaker. She inspired me when discussing intellectual property and how her consultancy aims to increase awareness of best practice so that intellectual property rights are respected by all parties.

I was offered the opportunity to be the Naomi Korn Associates’ second Virtual Artist in Residence, which has allowed me to have inspiring meetings with Naomi Korn and her colleague Patrick Ibbotson. They have helped me in my efforts to protect my work and understand how I can improve my personal IP protection even more. During my time with Naomi, I have the overall goal to improve my professionalism as a photographer. My strategy to do so would include;

  • Learning all the resources I could utilise
  • Understanding terms and definitions
  • Protecting my IP in the digital world
  • Physically writing paperwork which I can use for potential jobs (like contracts)
  • Gaining experience
  • And other related issues that Naomi and Patrick advise me to learn

The reason for this is so that when I complete my course at Kingston University, I want to be comfortable using and speaking these terms to clients.

Garden2The support for IP with Naomi started the moment we met. During her introduction as a guest speaker for the students at Kingston University she introduced us to certain resources and terminology. We explored a key resource that I have used ever since called Creative Commons. Their website sources out materials and topics with the given IP rights for each item. It is a phenomenal licensing structure that protects the artists, but also lets others use the materials as needed. Since then, Naomi and I have had conversations about how to use the internet as a key platform for clients to learn about my own copyrights. This includes developing my website to give a better understanding to client prices and clearly presenting each of our rights with the photos. We also have created strong contracts and releases that offer a variety of opportunities to expand my works. There is a lot of exploration allowed during this residency and researching between our weekly meetings gives me a chance to learn from Naomi and then put those lessons into action during my time as a student. I look forward toward gaining more experience from Naomi and continuing to discover more about intellectual property.

Images ©Claudia Weaver

References

Creative Commons. (2019).  February 20, 2019. https://creativecommons.org

Korn, Naomi. (2019). Naomi Korn Associates. February 20, 2019. https://naomikorn.com

Weaver, Claudia. (2019). February 20, 2019. www.claudiaweaverphotography.com