Myself and Kate met with photographer Ros Kavanagh on the 16th of March. Ros is an architectural and theatre photographer. We sat down with him in his studio in Crumlin where he brought us through his workflow.
One of the very interesting things Ros spoke about was how the licensing and rights of his images works. When he sends a client an invoice he writes on it that the images should not be sent on to anyone else. If an architect hires him for a job then the architect pays a fee. However, the architect is not the only person who may want to use the photographs. The builders and anybody else involved in the project may want to use them in which case they also pay Ros a fee for the use of the photographs. Ros retains the rights to all of images. He uses the description field in the metadata to put all the information about the job and the copyright of the image. This is because the description field is the only one newspapers are likely to read. He does this using Capture One which is his prefered editing software to work in.
A lot of work goes into the design of his website to make sure his photographs are readable and legible. He has to make decisions such as how big of a thumbnail he uses for each post. The website has to have a clear structure that gives a good user experience when viewing on both a desktop and phone. I believe this has been achieved with his website. Ros also outlined the importance of file information being readable. The filename and pixel dimensions are clearly displayed when you click on the file information of the image.
Ros uses a Wordpress site which means that when he uploads photographs he makes a post of each job. The post includes the job name, client name, the date and a description of the work below the photographs. The website has the capability of storing thousands of photographs and so works as an online archive. This means that it has to be fully searchable. His work is split into performance and architecture categories. He also adds tags to each post to make it more findable. If the post is about a theatre show the tags may include words such as drama, theatre and the theatre company. Tags make it easy to find certain work on his website and makes it more findable online.
When supplying photographs to theatre groups and newspapers Ros uses file sizes of 3000 pixels wide. This gives him some control over how they can be used. By supplying them at this size it means they can’t be used for larger prints such as posters that he should be getting paid for. Ros supplies architectural clients with full resolution jpegs as it is important to have as much detail as possible in architectural images.