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Use of Photography

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questccg
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Hi all,

My question is about the use of *Photography*. One of my games (WIPs) is about "Gymnastics" and I have decided that if I was to produce this game, instead of ARTWORK, I would use Photography.

Basically my game is divided into four (4) Female events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor.

What I am planning to do, is instead of having different *skills*, the cards will NOT have any specific *skill*.

The cards will instead have a picture of a female athlete competing the correct event. When I say "picture", I mean Photograph.

My question is the following: how do I go about to secure 80 photographs of athletes performing in 4 events???

To clarify, I understand how to pay an artist to do artwork for a game. But how will it work with Photography? Do I pay a Photographer that is responsible to visit gyms and getting consent for using the Photographs???

Should I talk with a Canadian organization for women's gymnastics (like http://www.gymcan.org/) and see if a group of athletes would be willing to be a part of the pictures? Would I then have to pay BOTH the athletes AND the photographer???

Oddly I think it would probably be MORE expensive to have pictures (photographs) than artwork! Which is kinda WRONG since artwork takes a lot of talent... Photography is also a challenge - but not compared to artwork...

pelle
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Not a lawyer, but I recommend

Not a lawyer, but I recommend reading Legal Pitfalls in Taking or Using Photographs of Copyright Material, Trademarks and People from WIPO. Notice they are a very pro-copyright organization (duh), so anything they say is (if anything) more likely to err on the side of prohibiting too much.

They have a warning about using photographs of people in particular: "Often, you may be free to take a photograph of a person, but the way the image is used may give the person shown in the photograph a right to take legal action." You probably need a license both from the photographer and the athlete.

BENagy
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What I would try first is to

What I would try first is to find a gym, and talk to the instructor, asking if you can just take photos for a project of yours. Write up a consent contract that anyone can sign, but is not required to. Only take photos of those who sign, and don't mention money at all. If they ask about compensation, I would tell the teacher that they will get publicity from your game (either on your website, or perhaps a picture of their studio on the back of your cards, a thank you message, etc.) That and a big smile will get you a long way. =)

larienna
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I know that the photograph

I know that the photograph has some copyright on the pictures. Even if its a picture of a public domain art for example.

questccg
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Not easy

BENagy wrote:
What I would try first is to find a gym, and talk to the instructor, asking if you can just take photos for a project of yours.

See that's the thing... You just can't go to ANY gym. Why? Because the athletes that compete go to SPECIFIC gyms to train... Like I was looking at the women's Canadian SENIOR TEAM and the thing is, they are from everywhere. I guess they only get together WHEN THEY COMPETE. So wanting them to be in the pictures is going to logistically difficult - they have to fly to a SPECIFIC gym at my expense, etc.

Having amateurs is a little bit more realistic - it might be possible if you land on the correct gym. But as pointed out by pelle, you just can't use those pictures without consent.

Dealing with an gymnastics association means the association will want to be paid for referral services (probably). It's not like you'll get the whole team (as I mentioned earlier) either.

Plus you need one GOOD photographer to take the photographs. It's not easy taking pictures of Vaults, somersaults, and flips. It's action photography...

larienna
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Why just you simply use

Why just you simply use silhouette instead of real pictures. For a board game, that should be enough to understand the theme.

questccg
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Interesting idea

larienna wrote:
Why just you simply use silhouette instead of real pictures.

That is an *interesting* option... I will have to keep that one in mind. Not sure how to do this, use real photographs and Photoshop the athletes in the picture??? I get what your idea is... I'm just not certain how to execute it.

larienna
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Either you use real picture

Either you use real picture and draw the outline of the body.

There might be some dingbat fonts about gymnastic.

BENagy
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There are lots of clip art

There are lots of clip art images of acrobats/gymnasts. If you need variation, you can change the color of the vector files, almost like they're card suits. I think Larienna had a great idea with that one.

Also, is the reason you want pros/teams instead of amateurs because you want them to be recognizable, or just so that they're in specific uniform?

Aerjen
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One more interest group?

Interesting question. What I wonder about is whether you need to add one more party to the groups that might need to be paid: branch organizations (like NFL, FIFA, etc). For example, plenty of games want to use real athletes in their game, but opt out due to the high licensing fees.

questccg
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*Variety* in the photographs

BENagy wrote:
Also, is the reason you want pros/teams instead of amateurs because you want them to be recognizable, or just so that they're in specific uniform?

No my reason was *variety*... An amateur would be perfectly good - if they can perform sufficient *skills*.

Let's say I need 80 shots, 4 events x 20 cards each, that means I will need maybe 8 athletes (could be amateurs). However those 10 shots each have to have sufficient variety in the *skills* performed.

As for the uniforms, I had no preference. One colour of uniform per event per athlete sounds fine to me.

BENagy
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I see. I've never done

I see. I've never done gymnastics, but I was in martial arts. Getting stills of martial artists doing something that looked impressive is fairly easy. Even a white-belt can "fake" the appearance of a complicated technique enough for a photograph still. Perhaps if you market your game towards other gymnasts, they'll be able to spot that someone has bad form or is faking a technique. But your average Joe like me? I'll be impressed with a picture of someone doing a somersault. ;)

And how many different skills are you looking for? Again, even a white belt will be able to perform many, many techniques proficiently. Let's say that there's 10 different kicks and 20 hand techniques that a martial artist could pose for at white-belt level. Is that enough, or would you need a lot more variety in the complicated technique department? Again, it might be different for gymnasts than martial artists, but my guess is that it would be pretty similar.

questccg
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four (4) events

Okay, so the first thing is that there are four (4) events:

-Vault
-Uneven bars
-Balance beam
-Floor exercise

Each of these events takes up space... I'm not even sure the local gyms have ALL four (4) events... So whereas Martial Arts is about the person, gymnastics is about the apparatus. For vaulting, you need a long runway to build up enough speed before reaching the table. For floor exercise, you need a fairly large room in which the athlete can do flips and rolls, backwards and forwards. The two (2) events that take the least amount of space are uneven bars and balance beam...

So there is the problem of apparatus, maybe a photo shoot would need to take several days. Four (4) days to do the photography isn't too bad...

Taking the vault as an example (because I have been researching the subject matter), the run to the table is nothing new (it's just running), then there is the springboard, next there is the use of the table, and then there is the type of flip that will be done, and lastly there is the landing. So that is four (4) different shots... What changes is the type of flip that will be done. But from ONE picture, it is probably hard to figure out which type of "flip" was done... You would need to watch slow motion video (another option).

Hunter
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Advice from a Photographer

So I'm a little late to the party, but I've only just joined the forum. I've worked as a professional photographer, and I run a video production company - which is close enough to offer some advice on what you're after.

The Subject - Arguably the first hurdle for you is that you'll need to find subjects for the shots. You'll want to approach them ahead of time, likely either through their gym or through an organization they're a member of. Since your game is gymnastics focused, an organization may even be willing to help you out free of charge - especially since you're going to be paying gymnasts (their members) for their time and abilities. From a legal standpoint, the gymnasts are functionally models, meaning you'll need to have them sign a release giving you ALL of the rights that you'll need the images for. We're talking the game, box, marketing materials, etc...

The Location - Once you've found your gymnasts, find out if they have a gym the use regularly. You may be able to use their relationship with a gym owner as a foot-in-the-door to being able to shoot off hours. You'll want a release for the location too, but keep it simple and as plain spoken as possible. A lot of legalese may scare off a property owner or get them imagining dollar signs, so I've found it best to keep it as casual as possible.

The Photographer - You'll want a photographer with sports shots in their portfolio. With the action you're trying to capture, you'll want someone used to quick action shots - and because of the physical intensity of the actions the subjects will be doing, you want them to have to repeat it as few times as possible. I once shot a short film where the lead actress was on a tightrope for the majority of the film - you'll need the same tactics. Have someone stand in place, get framing, get lighting, and don't bother with an actual take until both of those are locked. You'll also want your contract with the photographer to grant you exclusive rights to the images.

Hope that helps!

questccg
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Thank you very much!

Hunter wrote:
So I'm a little late to the party, but I've only just joined the forum. I've worked as a professional photographer, and I run a video production company - which is close enough to offer some advice on what you're after.

Thanks for that *very relevant* advice. I have been busy with another game and did not have time to ponder about this further... But I was going to get back to it sometime soon! :)

I had a question, since I guess I will need to pay both the Gymnasts and the Photographer, what should I expect in term of amounts???

I know about Artwork and such because I have dealt with this a couple of time (one of my artists' gave me some good advice also). So for professional services such as custom artwork the going rate is usually $100 per piece. But if you have volume, that means a negotiation in lowering the rate to something between $65-$80 if we are dealing with a quantity of 50-100 pieces of artwork.

How does this work with the "models"? How much should I expect to pay a "gymnast" for their time?

Also what about the Photographer, I assume he will be taking rapid-succession pictures of the gymnast in order to select the best pictures, no? Or that I can browse electronically from a Photo CD or in from their computers (should I have to go to their studios)...?

How long would a photo shoot take for about 50 pictures? I guess 50 pictures would be a good number (for my game).

questccg
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Re-think of the game

Obviously having rolling dice and four (4) events isn't enough to *make a game*... Feels too empty.

I had originally calculated 80 cards because there would be four (4) events.

But now that I am thinking about the game again, I get the feeling that I would want to NOT specialize the cards per event. Breakdown by event just means there will NEED to be MORE cards than would be necessary if the cards were pooled into ONE big deck.

This plus the fact that sharing cards for one or ANY event would be more rational in that it would also require LESS cards (overall).

I may be thinking that there should be a *concept* of a "routine" which can be designed by all players and that the player could add cards to the his/her routine but NOT remove any. Maybe players should DRAW an athlete card, where certain strength (one event) and weakness (another event). This personalization might get players more *into* the game.

Anyhow there is more *thinking* that needs to occur... I realize the concept is still very nebulous and needs refinement.

Hunter
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questccg wrote:How does this

questccg wrote:
How does this work with the "models"? How much should I expect to pay a "gymnast" for their time?

With talent, you're paying for their time, but you're also paying for the right to use and reproduce their likeness. I've never worked with a gymnast specifically, but I imagine you'll find a range between a couple hundred to several thousand for a shoot. There's a chance you may be able to negotiate someone down a bit in exchange for copies of all the images that they can use for promotional purposes, which may be worth looking into if you're on a tight budget.

questccg wrote:
Also what about the Photographer, I assume he will be taking rapid-succession pictures of the gymnast in order to select the best pictures, no? Or that I can browse electronically from a Photo CD or in from their computers (should I have to go to their studios)...?

Rapid fire shooting is pretty common in sporting event situations, and may be a good fit for something like this. Still, not all photographers will operate that way - there's a lot of variables. For instance, if I were shooting something like this with strobe lighting, there may be a .3-2 second pause as the flash units recharge. In a situation like that, the photog would be more like a sniper waiting for the perfect shot, so they'd need to know exactly what you're after.

For access to images, most photographers these days tend to have an online proofing system in place, where you could browse all the images online and tell them your favorites. This would be useful if you've also hired them to do the photo editing for you - otherwise you may as well just ask for a DVD or flash drive with all the raw image files so you can keep your options open.

questccg wrote:
How long would a photo shoot take for about 50 pictures? I guess 50 pictures would be a good number (for my game).

It depends on what the 50 pictures are. The easiest way to estimate time is by number of setups. Lets say you want 50 pictures, but there are really only 5 pieces of equipment that they're being performed on. That's 5 setups, with 10 tricks each. Estimate about an hour to set lighting and shoot each series, then estimate another 15 minutes for the gymnast to relax/recover between sessions, and you'd be looking at a 6 hour shoot. If you're not lighting the shots, you can likely shave a couple hours off that estimate.

You'll definitely want to talk with the gymnast before hand about how strenuous the things you're looking for will be for them. I know almost nothing about gymnastics, but I wouldn't be surprised if you'd want to split the images between 2 gymnasts or else split the shoot into 2 shorter shoots. Both would cost more than a single shoot, but they'd cost less than having to add on a second, shorter shoot in addition to the first.

donut2099
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Another option might be to

Another option might be to use a 3d modeling program to generate your poses.

CGB
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Not sure if you're still

Not sure if you're still working on this idea since this post is a few months old, but since it's gotten a couple responses today I thought I'd offer an idea.

Before dropping cash on paying an athlete and photographer for a special shoot, you might check out photo sites like iStockPhoto, ShutterStock, etc and see if you can find something you might be able to use. Make sure you check out all the licensing details if you go that route and make sure it encompasses everything you'd want to do with the photos. You might also try contacting photographers on those sites that have pictures you like and see if they have more photos in their portfolio which might fit your needs but they haven't uploaded to the site.

questccg
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On the back-burner

donut2099 wrote:
Another option might be to use a 3d modeling program to generate your poses.

This project is on the back-burner because I have other priorities and more interest in other projects. One thing is certain, if I do this project (which I am unsure about), I would probably get the Publisher to flip the bill on the photo shoots.

The concept is cool - but the costs to realize will be staggering. That's why I'm not investing any more time on the game (currently). If I get my current game successfully published, maybe then I'll *explore* this project further...

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