Regular readers might have noticed that I'm fairly keen on photographers retaining copyright in the images they take. It's yours automatically by law and there are good reasons not to give it away. And here's a case in point.
I was contacted by Apple recently about an image of downhill and freeride legend Andrew Shandro of mine that they'd found on my portfolio site. It was taken a few years ago for an editorial shoot. They were looking for some new imagery to use on their site and in-store and decided that this particular shot would fit the bill perfectly. Was it available for use, they wanted to know?
Within a short space of time we'd agreed a price (no, I'm not being paid in iMacs). I even managed to track down Shandro at the Sea Otter and he, always the consummate pro, agreed to sign a retrospective model release so that Apple could use the image. A model release indicates that the subject of a photo consents for that image to be used commercially. It's not necessary for editorial use and, in the UK, isn't always needed for commercial use but it's good practice to have one available. In fact, Apple indicated they wouldn't be able to proceed without one.
Do I need to point out that I would never have been able to make this sale if I'd sold all rights to this image at the time of the original shoot? No? Thought not.
Anyhoo, here's the first use of the pic in question. It may well pop up again in various Apple-related scenarios over the next couple of years.
The guys at Apple, incidentally, were a pleasure to deal with - utterly professional from beginning to end. Like most photographers these days, I've become used to fielding queries that are variations on the 'we really like this picture but don't have a budget' theme. It's nice to be reminded there are still businesses out there that genuinely value photography.