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Publication of work produced

justavisual

Can a client forbid you posting renders (or even zooms of a render) of a project on social media when no sensitive information (location, names etc) is shared? They're images of a landscape design - nothing interior.

I'll ask our professional organization about the contract as well but curious what others experiences have been.

If its an issue I'll update our contracts to be crystal clear on use of imagery in the future.

 
Dec 9, 22 5:03 am
Almosthip

Do you want to keep your client happy?  

Dec 9, 22 11:23 am  · 
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justavisual

Sure, but I'm also not up for bending to extremes that are a little unreasonable. It'll be a discussion for another day - right now waiting for the legal advice and then will attempt to compromise. It's not that we can afford to just do projects without showing results as we are trying to build a business. We need something...

Dec 9, 22 3:42 pm  · 
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Almosthip

Most often my Client want to keep things quiet till the construction is complete, after they will let you use for advertising purposes. But unless you singed a non disclosure I don't think they can keep you from using images

Dec 9, 22 5:24 pm  · 
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natematt

1) Depends on your contract. It can definitely be a requirement, but usually isn't. 

2) What Almosthip said.... forbit might not be the word, but sometimes you need to bear with the clients requests, reasonable or not. 

Dec 9, 22 12:37 pm  · 
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justavisual

Yes of course, its a conversation that needs to be had, but I'm waiting for the lawyers to weigh in before starting it...

Dec 9, 22 3:39 pm  · 
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thisisnotmyname

I've seen a few really high end jobs where the clients didn't want people to see who they were or what they had.  There's government and military projects where information about certain facilities is classified also. They are usually really nice paying jobs so you just live with the fact that it can't be shared.  If the confidential clients are happy with you, they usually talk you up within their peer group, and you get more work that way, as opposed to advertising images publicly.

If its a big deal to you to put your work on social media, add a clause about publication into your future contracts.  As you mention, most people will let you post stuff with anonymized info like calling people "confidential client" and really vague locations like "South Florida"

Dec 9, 22 12:54 pm  · 
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justavisual

Unfortunately it's just a family garden, decent budget but not top of the tops by any means. None of the images show anything personal or outlandish.

Dec 9, 22 3:40 pm  · 
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x-jla

I’d argue that a family garden is the top of the tops ;). It will affect fewer people, but it’s impact on the inhabitants will be far greater than any tourist attraction in the public realm they stumble upon for 10 mins a decade

Dec 9, 22 5:16 pm  · 
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justavisual

this is true :)

Dec 10, 22 3:22 am  · 
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x-jla

as long as the contract doesn’t specifically forbid you from publishing renders, then you have complete freedom to do so.  The creator owns the copyright.   I specifically note this in all of my contracts.   Something to this effect  “It is understood that xyz design has the right to publish all process drawings and photographic images of the completed work in any media.  Your identity will not be revealed unless you give consent.  Upon completion Owner shall provide reasonable access to the property to allow for photography.”   If they want to contract that away, I’d likely charge more for the job because it’s value as a marketing tool would be lost to me.  

Dec 9, 22 5:13 pm  · 
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justavisual

This is what I thought, but I think I will add in some more specific wording as you have - just to prevent this kind of thing happening again. We haven't started construction yet but it's set my motivation back a tad.

Dec 10, 22 3:22 am  · 
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proto

Never thought I’d need to explicitly cover such a thing, but it sounds like we should add this to our contract. Thx for this post.

Dec 17, 22 12:17 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

I'll just add that sometimes clients ask for this because they want the first right to publish images. In other words, once they publish, you're typically ok to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. I've had to do this once or twice and while it's frustrating (we weren't even allowed to talk with those beyond the actual contract), in the end it probably made zero difference to our business, and we kept our client happy. And we've since published our own images, of course. 

Dec 9, 22 5:25 pm  · 
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justavisual

Update on this: lawyer says legally any image produced is ours and can be used freely as desired. So it'll be a matter of coming to an agreement that works for both sides - but client cannot forbid use of the image.

Dec 13, 22 9:12 am  · 
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Wood Guy

Legally, sure, but is it a good move to do so?

I have a similar situation; a new house that is exactly the kind of project I'd like to do more of--simple, nice and high-performance. Early in the process I had told my clients that I would like to share photos of the work once we're done and they gave me a wishy-washy response. (I didn't have anything in my contract regarding photos; now I do, something along the lines of what XJLA wrote above.)

Now that the project is complete, my clients have relayed that they are very uncomfortable with me sharing ANY photos online--even the view you can see from the street! The builder is frustrated as well, as they would like to more of this kind of work.

My brother builds $20M compounds on Nantucket; I understand that some of those are not publishable due to client request, but even they end up publishing a lot of their work. 

In my case, I have decided that maintaining a happy client for references is more important than sharing images of this specific house publicly, but I have no qualms about sharing them privately. And going forward, my contract specifically allows it.

Dec 17, 22 12:05 pm  · 
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what wood guy said.

We had exactly the same experience and added the same clause that we will publish photos of our work.

BUT we still have clients who do not want us to publish anything, and in some cases our contracts with them explicitly say that we will not publish without their consent. Those are usually corporate clients. Publishing images requires consent from their marketing division, which is quite often reluctant to give consent to show anything with their name visible. Which is ironically where they usually want to spend the most hours and money when it comes to design.

Architecture is a business and business is all about relationships. No surprise that it means there is some give and take, even if it doesn't always make sense or even make everyone happy...

Dec 20, 22 10:15 am  · 
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