Suyama Images | My long-standing policy on image usage and sales

Most images on this website are for sale as prints, as they have been from day 1, when I created this website years ago. 

The exception to that rule are password protected images, commercial images (shot for clients) and images specifically deemed as not for sale (it will not say "not for sale" but the option to purchase will be missing). 

The copyright of every image on this website belongs to the author and creator of that image no matter who is in the image, where it was taken or when it was taken. I do not do "work made for hire". As the copyright holder, I am entitled to display such images or sell such images at my discretion with the exception of a) commercial sales or b) defamatory imagery (of which I never post images that are not at least consented to by the subject of the images). Selling prints has never been a secret. It is and has been said on my homepage and every page you visit or image you click on. I have provided the two places where you are informed of this fact, along with it being stated quite clearly in my model release form. (I will also make this writing part of my main navigation menu).

And on every image too! 
Thus it really is no secret. In addition, there are many lengthy articles which cite the laws and rights of photographers to sell their images - for non-commercial purposes. 

A purchased print entitles the buyer to having that print, as a print, for their own personal and private display. 

It does not allow for third party transfer, publication in any medium whether digital or print, nor does it allow a buyer of a print to publicly display or use for financial gain. A buyer of any image is neither allowed to use any image in a way that constitutes harassment, bullying, or public ridicule nor does it grant or entitle one to copy or alter the print in any way. Finally, purchashing a print does not entitle the buyer to any copyright or ownership of any image on this website. These have and so long as copyright law exists, will always be rights afforded the owner and copyright holder of any images. 

Why do I sell prints? 

My reasoning has consisted of a few thoughts on the matter. 

Other than viewing the images as art and therefore wanting to spread art into the minds and lives of others;

I've shelled out thousands of dollars to purchase lighting, camera equipment and have spent many hours learning and nearly 20 years making images. Making a pittance on prints doesn't even come close to the time and money I have invested. It probably never will as I do not put my attention into photography as a primary business concern. 

Next, this website costs money to have and maintain. This isn't a free site. 

My time is valuable too. Every TF shoot I do, needs to have some value for me as well. 

If I've shot a model and they wish to display my images, which potentially leads to them getting hired by another photographer and thus increases their potential for making money, why can't I make a little something too? TF is not really a trade if only the model benefits from displaying images. Before you say, "but you displaying images makes you money too" that is incorrect. The only money I've made in photography has been through commercial work. And as it is, the only prints I actually sell on my website have been from people who have hired me specifically to produce something for them and with models that I have paid money to. 

I'm not greedy. In addition to purchasing and maintaining equipment, of which most of it has sat at a studio and been made available to other photographers at no recompense to me directly, I've always paid models when I can whether it was expected or not. I've always tried to ensure that there was food and drink on site and that people have an enjoyable experience being shot. 

Finally, the only free shooting I do, is for charities and non-profits. And I've shot for many non-profits over the years and have always made that imagery free to use and free to download to the respective charity or non-profit. I've devoted a lot of time to the safety of models including having researched and authored a FREE book on human trafficking. 

Moving forward  

All trade work, just as all paid work, must carry with it a signed model release as to the usage of all images, by default and as it is lawful to do so, I put them onto my website for private sale. Getting a model release has always been my standard practice though as I am human, there have been shoots which were done without a model release as often such shoots were arranged by someone else. None of these shoots are currently for sale. 

If I shoot you, I will display the images for sale - unless you are paying me for my time. Then that choice is given to you. This is the exchange for me shooting you on a trade basis. If this goes against your wishes, no photography will occur with you without recompense.

There are exceptions to this statement, but they are something that MUST be agreed to prior to any shooting. In addition, some trade work I do, mostly with first time nudes, etc. are kept private, not purchasable nor visible to the general public. Nor are any commercial-work images for sale including headshots. Such images have always been provided digitally to each client and have been maintained here so that they may download them again at any time, free of course.  

Further, I've removed images from my website just by being asked. For example, I had one model contact me a couple months ago asking me to hide their images from view because they were going into a work position that could be jeopardized by any such imagery being made public. I removed them that day. Was I obligated to by law? No. But it makes little difference to me as helping someone succeed in life is far more important to me than simply displaying some photos. Another model recently contacted me about making images of her non-purchasable. While I removed her images entirely (effectively "writing-off" my time), I fulfilled her request that day as a professional courtesy. I respect a model's wishes and do my best to ensure someone always gets something out of a shoot.

I do not "profit-share" on the sales of my prints as it is more of a hassle for me to do so. I typically leave these in the account of my host to pay for the website. The time of needing to transfer money from my website to my bank account, and then to write a check for each print purchased would be burdensome and definitely not worth my time. I have two other businesses which make up about 80% of my time and 98% of my income. As I am not greedy, I am also not adverse to licensing a model to use TF images to sell on their own respective websites for non-commercial purposes, ie in the same manner that I sell images (and without any financial sharing to me). In fact, I encourage models to use them in such a way as to bring them income or more work, I've always shot people to satisfy my own artistic yearning to make art and to help others however they can be helped from my images. The option of selling prints can be added to any model release and I require any such arrangement or intention to be put in writing prior to action. 

My time, attention and photographic expertise is not a one way street. An exchange should occur, with the exception of charity work where my recompense is the feeling of having helped. I appreciate your attention in reading my position regarding these matters. Nothing here invalidates any legally binding contract or pre-existing model release. This is to further inform people on how and what I do with my images and what I am willing to let you do with them.