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by batcher on Mon May 02, 2016 3:13 pm
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Seeing that Prince had no will and my recent involvement with others passing with wills, no wills and re-written wills, I realized it’s time to update mine.

Some background:

I have film images from mid ’60’s to early ‘70’s that have not been submitted to copyright.  From early ‘70’s to ’98 were family photos. From 1999 to present I have both film and digital, some digitals have been submitted to copyright. In mid 2006 my partner and I formed a LLC which is still active.


I’m wondering how do I designate someone to manage my images after I die? I want my partner to do this, but if we were to both die, I would like to donate all of my images along with the rights to manage them to someone that has the potential to use them and the equipment I have at that time. I would leave them with my family but feel they wouldn’t do anything with any of it other than park in a closet. Preferably the equipment could be willed to an organization that could put it to use by someone wanting and studying for a career in photography. Any thoughts on how to locate someone to donate the images and equipment to?

Do I need a special attorney for all of this or can one that writes wills do this? Hopefully these questions will help others plan ahead.

by Scott B on Mon May 02, 2016 5:40 pm
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I think the sad reality most photographers have to deal with unless they have had a very successful photography career is that when they die with the exception of family and friends photos your other photos will be deleted to make room to store something else on whatever the storage medium is at the time or put to the side until they are eventually discarded. Photography as a business is 80% marketing and very little actual image taking. Unless someone else can make some good money marketing your images they have little monetary value so there is little to protect. I do photography for the experience and not for the possession and try to support good causes with my images. I also share my images with people who go out with me or share the same interests. I will probably publish a few electronic books with images and thoughts eventually but for the most part when I die I doubt my images are worth more than the hard drives they sit on. Hopefully someone in the family may save some of the best images if I make it easy enough for them to find them. I do donate images to conservation groups and state and federal land managers. They use them for years. I guess my thought is make good use of them now and do not give someone else the burden of trying to make use of them after you die.

by signgrap on Mon May 02, 2016 6:31 pm
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I agree with Scott - family and friends are the ones who will have interest in your photos and then only the photos you've taken of them. I do what Scott does, work with organizations that work to benefit nature.
Dick Ludwig

by pleverington on Tue May 03, 2016 9:08 am
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This is an interesting thread and my hopes are that folks will consider things and come up with some creative ideas..
Paul Leverington
"A great image is one that is created, not one that is made"

by neverspook on Tue May 03, 2016 9:38 pm
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I have left my images in my will to my stock agency with royalties to go to environmental charities. (There are lots of images that they don't already have and that I haven't even post-processed.) That way my images can keep on contributing to conservation.

Roberta Olenick

by batcher on Tue May 03, 2016 10:25 pm
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That's a good idea Roberta. It would be nice to have a big vault in the sky for others to use. I'm sure there are a lot of great photos taken by folks who just take them to be taking them with no intention of ever selling. You never know what gems may be hidden and then lost.

Thanks to all.

by Joel Eade on Sat May 07, 2016 7:20 am
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I share similar concerns. Wondering if my children would care much about my images (other than family) which are mostly birds and landscapes.

After some research, I decided M-discs were the way to provide a long term archive. I burned all my keeper images for the last 10 years on 7 Blue Ray M-discs and put them in our safe deposit box at the bank.

No one may ever be interested but if so they do whatever they wish with them and I will probably add 1 disc per year to the collection.

by Carolyn E. Wright on Sat May 07, 2016 6:35 pm
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Must read on this topic: http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog/2016/04/26/why-princes-death-matters-to-you/
Carolyn E. Wright, Esq.
Retired Lawyer for Photographers and NSN Moderator
Photo Attorney® at www.photoattorney.com

by batcher on Fri May 13, 2016 11:16 am
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Thank you Carolyn. A good article. I'm trying to be specific with the photos and equipment to avoid these kind of problems. My problem is who to will them to that would at least hold on to them, that, and who to will the equipment to.

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