Author Topic: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues  (Read 5345 times)

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Offline JLB builders LLC

  • Posts: 339
    • JLB Builders LLC
Have a job I did and after my part was 100% finished I resigned from doing more work. It was a large kitchen job that went on for almost 4 months. The customer started getting in reasonable with the cabinet company after they bent over backwards comping stuff. The owner of the cabinet company went and checked out the job. He said they ordered medium grade cabs and they look fine, the craftsmenship installing them was excellent and he couldn't find anything wrong. They wanted money back and he politely said no.

I custom built a banquette from a picture and no specs whatsoever. They loved it for the first week (during Easter Break 7-9 days) then started complaining it wasn't firm enough. The upholstery guy used the 2nd firmest foam. I thought it might be too firm. He said he could redo it and it would be an extra $250 ($150 labor $100 foam) They were not happy with that.

They also asked me not to work for the Easter Holiday... I started another 2 week job to fill in. They were not happy with that.

All this time there have been add ons and things like "now that it is done we want under cab lighting" after the walls have been finished and painted.

All this has been hourly @$35 an hour. I bill them for hours and material every 3-5 weeks. Payment is about 2-3weeks after. All this out of my pocket and puts a strain on my accounts and bills. I have explained this to them and they change the subject to something else they want done.

Since I have resigned from doing anymore work for them they send me an email telling me to remove all pics of my work on their house. None of the photos have any identifying faces, address or personal belongings in them. The pics look very generic.

Has anyone else had any issues like this?
Assorted Playskool tools and some Bob the builder vids, 
Kapex,TS75,CT26E,Domino,Kreg jig,Fein MM,Fein 6 inch sander, many Systainers,Porter Cable 6" joiner/13 inch thickness planner and Bosch tools etc.



http://www.facebook.com/pages/JLB-Builders-LLC/118746931490281

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Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3717
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 04:31 PM »
I did a chimney a few years ago. I gave a price with a budget price for the bricks.  The owner wanted to pick the bricks but had not decided until the project had started (i did other work on the house.  I had poured a concrete floor over top of the existing garage floor that was being made into a family room.  during the preparations for the floor pour, i kept bugging the owner's wife for a decision on the bricks.

Finally, the day i had to order the bricks, or fall behind on the construction schedule, the woman (from h--- as it turned out) told me the bricks had been set aside on pallets at my supplier's warehouse.  I ordered the bricks along with all my other materials and got a days work in on the outside of the chimney.  the next morning, as I got to the job, there was a note pinned to the side wall of the house.  The woman did not like the bricks. the general run of the brick was a very dark brown with an occasional muck lighter shade, almost a tan.  She did not like the tans and insisted I remove them. At that point, i should have just packed up, called my supplier to come pick up the bricks (still on pallets) and told the lady (I use the term rather loosely) I would be back when she decided what bricks she really wanted, and never returned.  Instead, I tore down the work i had completed, and rebuilt using only the dark colored bricks.  even so, there were some bricks that did not quite measure up to the dark color she wanted, but she let me finish the outside as long as no more than 105 of the bricks were a lighter color.  the tans, i hid inside the chimney.  Those were used instead of the much cheaper concrete blocks that i had figured on. 

When i got to the inside brickwork, there was to be no such compromise.  I think she looked at the work with a magnifying glass.  Because i had to be extra careful, it took me an extra day or two on the inside facing, time i was never paid for.  Then, when i went back outside, there were so many of the much too light, but still very dark brown, bricks, i ended up putting more bricks inside the chimney.  This was to be my very last chimney job, as i was moving into landscapng biz a step at a time.  I really had no place else to use the bricks.  I just swallowed and ordered an extra 1500 bricks to complete the job.  The woman was not happy, not with my work, but with the color of the bricks (remember, she was the one who picked them out at the suppliers yard.)

I breathed a sigh of relief as the flagstone was delivered for the fireplace hearth. I had just finihsed the installation when she walked in ad informed me the stone was very unsatisfactory.  The color was slightly off and one of the stones was maybe a mm thicker that the other two.  I refrained from banging my head against the wall (at this point, she owed me too much money for me to think of clobbering her)  i went back to my supplier with my tale of woe.  The man who did such fine stonework was about to retire himself. a week or so later, i took a pile of photos to him to show the completed jobs he had cut for me over the past 30 years.  He actually started to cry when I gave them to him.  nobody had ever done such a thing for him. And he had done some mighty fine work over the course of those years.  This hearth was right along in the same category.

I took the WFH down to the yard to look over the stone supply.  i felt real bad for my friend, the stone cutter as he tumbled thru the supply of stones.  No luck.  I took the WFH to 5 other stone yards in Western Connecticut.  There was no three stone that were acceptable to her.  Finally, we were in the very last yard and the Yrd Man and I had located three stones that were the absolute last that I was willing to drag out.  NO GO!

I then leaned the stones against another pallet and gave the WFH a little speech.

Mrs. WFH, I have been around for a great many years.  I have been doing stone work for longer than you have been alive.  During all of my years, even tho i have not been a devout Christian, i do have a strong belief in God.  It has long been my observation the He is a very good God and i have a great admiration for all he has done for all of us on this world.  He has spent a great deal of time making everything as perfect as possible.  however, when he got to where he was building stones, i think he must have been a little tired.  He just never had the time, or energy, to make the perfect stone.  i am not going to go one step further in search of the perfect stone.  such is just not a possibility for you.

The WFH accepted the stones and I installed.  When i finally received my final payment, i was docked $500 for improper use of materials. 

Everybody on that job got shorted in some way.  Even the builder, who was good friends with the husband would never go back there for anything.  a year or so later, i guess the husband decide he had had-e-nuf.   The big problem for me is not that i lost over a couple thousand $$$ on the brick work and ended up installing the hearth for nothing, i drive past that house nearly every day  >>> both going to work and coming home. 
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline JLB builders LLC

  • Posts: 339
    • JLB Builders LLC
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 05:04 PM »
I'm lucky the job is pretty far away and I would have to go out of my way into a circle to see it.

They did pay in full. I was the one who left them. Their pics are still on my Facebook page. The work I did looks Beautiful and shows my skills along with a custom peice of furniture I built. So there for it is a part of me and I'm proud of the work I did and even with the ups and downs I do not mind looking at the pics. I feel it was a creation that I brought life to with my own hands lol
Assorted Playskool tools and some Bob the builder vids, 
Kapex,TS75,CT26E,Domino,Kreg jig,Fein MM,Fein 6 inch sander, many Systainers,Porter Cable 6" joiner/13 inch thickness planner and Bosch tools etc.



http://www.facebook.com/pages/JLB-Builders-LLC/118746931490281

Offline copcarcollector

  • Posts: 1447
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 05:22 PM »
Sucks that you had problems, but as far as the pictures of your work go - I would say your work is your work, no matter who paid for it. I would proudly continue to use the images. As you said there are no specific identifiers to their house or family - so what's the harm to them..?

Offline Julian Tracy

  • Posts: 526
    • Renovation By Design, Inc.
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 05:39 PM »
First off - charge more!  $35 is too low no matter what part of the country you live in imo.  If you are licensed, insured, carry your own health insurance, disability, etc. than charge more!   Quit being the cheap quality guy in town.  Be the quality guy that does great work and costs slightly more than everyone else.

More to your question though, I'd say keep them up if you think they won't be referring you anyways.  If there's a chance they will be sending referrals your way, and if you have other example pics to where one more kitchen isn't making a dent in your portfolio, than take them down as purposefully shouting them off will eliminate any possible future referrals.

JT

Offline Jalvis

  • Posts: 348
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 05:49 PM »
Demanding that you not use the images is evidence that they will not be referring you.  They are trying to take as much control over the people around them as possible.  Whether you have a right to the images or not I cant say.  If you do remove the images I would still have a them in a portable portfolio for future clients(iPad).

Also agree on your hourly.  Far too low no matter what part of the country you live.  I use to work cheap like that and had more problems then when I charge more.  Its amazing how much better life gets when you charge a truly fair wage.


Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7652
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 05:59 PM »
Take the pictures down for a little while - advise you've removed them and stick them back up later ...

Offline JLB builders LLC

  • Posts: 339
    • JLB Builders LLC
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 07:05 PM »
Yep thought of doing that also :)
Assorted Playskool tools and some Bob the builder vids, 
Kapex,TS75,CT26E,Domino,Kreg jig,Fein MM,Fein 6 inch sander, many Systainers,Porter Cable 6" joiner/13 inch thickness planner and Bosch tools etc.



http://www.facebook.com/pages/JLB-Builders-LLC/118746931490281

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
Re: Can I use pictures that I took of my work....customer issues
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 08:51 PM »
Have a job I did and after my part was 100% finished I resigned from doing more work. It was a large kitchen job that went on for almost 4 months. The customer started getting in reasonable with the cabinet company after they bent over backwards comping stuff. The owner of the cabinet company went and checked out the job. He said they ordered medium grade cabs and they look fine, the craftsmenship installing them was excellent and he couldn't find anything wrong. They wanted money back and he politely said no.

I custom built a banquette from a picture and no specs whatsoever. They loved it for the first week (during Easter Break 7-9 days) then started complaining it wasn't firm enough. The upholstery guy used the 2nd firmest foam. I thought it might be too firm. He said he could redo it and it would be an extra $250 ($150 labor $100 foam) They were not happy with that.

They also asked me not to work for the Easter Holiday... I started another 2 week job to fill in. They were not happy with that.

All this time there have been add ons and things like "now that it is done we want under cab lighting" after the walls have been finished and painted.

All this has been hourly @$35 an hour. I bill them for hours and material every 3-5 weeks. Payment is about 2-3weeks after. All this out of my pocket and puts a strain on my accounts and bills. I have explained this to them and they change the subject to something else they want done.

Since I have resigned from doing anymore work for them they send me an email telling me to remove all pics of my work on their house. None of the photos have any identifying faces, address or personal belongings in them. The pics look very generic.

Has anyone else had any issues like this?

I'm new here but not new to the topic of photo rights. I'm not a lawyer (nor have I played one in a movie [smile]) so please don't consider this legal advice, but I have been on the photographer side of this equation for many years and if it were me I'd comply with their request. In a nutshell, IMO a competent lawyer working for the homeowner would have their way with you. How much you billed, whether they payed you or not, whether they are nice or jerks is all immaterial. The key issues here is the location of the subject of the photo.

The subject of the photograph is a private area not readily visible or accessible from a public location. The owner of the property has privacy rights and you don't get to violate that without their permission. This is especially true when you are using the images for commercial purposes which is what you are doing, marketing your business.

All of this is completely mitigated by a simple photo release form or clause in the work contract. Simply the owner of the property needs to provide permission to photograph the work performed and allow the use of the images to be used for marketing and commercial purposes. Most are fine with that assuming no personally identifiable information is included, like name, address, family photos on the wall, etc. Again it's wise to stipulate that in the release also so there is no misunderstandings. Here is some additional reading related to the subject:

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter12/12-d.html

http://asmp.org/tutorials/using-property-releases.html#.UXHhlYL1cc4

http://asmp.org/tutorials/property-release.html#.UXHjLIL1cc4

http://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/photography/articles/14258.aspx

https://www.legalzoom.com/legalforms/Location-Release.html

http://photosecrets.com/photography-law-property-buildings

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but an ounce of prevention in the form of a property release will help avoid future problems.


EDIT: Something to keep in mind about digital photos that many folks don't realize is metadata, that is hidden info about the photo. Especially important is geotagging, your metadata could have the lat/long coordinates to their kitchen: http://www.reputation.com/reputationwatch/articles/why-geotagging-growing-threat-online-privacy. Always strip out your metadata from images before posting online or sending in an e-mail.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 08:59 PM by Paul G »
+1

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
+1