[News] You Break It, You Bought It

[News] You Break It, You Bought It

Below is a selection from a New York Post article that I read earlier this week. At first I laughed at the reality of a photographer being so careless around an ancient piece of art. The laughing stopped pretty quickly though once i thought "What if I had done this and had a lawsuit hanging over my head". There are very real consequences for us as photographers when we are shooting with other's personal items (i.e. designer dresses, people's homes or cars, props we borrow from friends for our shoots). If putting everything in writing isn't something you already practice in your business of photography, hopefully reading this will be the beginning of you doing that. Who do you think is responsible for this mishap? The art collector? The photographer? The Magazine Publisher? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Manhattan art collector, Corice Arman, says photographer, Eric Guillemain, was snapping photos of her 2,630 year-old sculpture for an art magazine, when he carelessly smashed the rare piece to bits during the photo shoot. Now she wants the publishers to pay $300,000.

Corice filed a lawsuit yesterday, after she heard the sickening crash and saw what had happened, “I was devastated.” According to the suit, the photog and his crew didn’t use “the due care necessary” to handle the artifact, and it fell to the floor.
Read the full article here

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Mark Kern's picture

Heard about the cameraman who stepped on a rare bunny?


josh's picture

Magazine publisher should have insurance for things like this. My guess is the conversation went like this: 
Art Collector: Hello Publisher, you owe me money for the busted sculpture. 
Publisher: It's not our fault, we aren't going to file an insurance claim
Art Collector: Ok, I'm obviously wealthy and since you don't want to play by my rules, I'll file an insurance claim with my insurance, which will then go after your insurance anyways, and in order to spite you for not paying me in the first place, I will sue you too !
Publisher: "We are F'd"

Likely the lawsuit is legal pressure for the Magazine publisher to "pay-up"... 

FYI, personal "business insurance" with a single instance $2Million coverage is $250/year for me

Isn't it way we have a liability insurance?!

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

I can't stand photogs that walk around looking thru view finder. Look where you are going!! or pay :D

Hmmm, If I had something worth 300k I'd make damn sure it could just get "knocked off".  Maybe a glass case? or electric fence so that numbnuttz can't get near it?  I'd say she's just as much at fault as he is.

haha, sure Bert. Because the photographer would get great shots of it through a glass case. haha

Michael's picture

The owner or curator or representative should be doing the positioning, not the shooters.

That is why you hire a specialist.  I shoot a fair amount of artworks and I never touch anything.  I blame it on the magazine just as much as the photographer though because a big fancy art magazine is supposed to know better and hire a still life photographer and not just a trendy idiot fashion photographer.  

hahaha, for REAL!

RUSS's picture

A  2,630 year-old sculpture? Lasted that long, to be destroyed by a simple mistake...All the things it survived since it was made, and one mistake destroyed it 2,360 years later...Damn shame.

I'm pretty sure I would have a curator there moving it so no parties collector,photographer,publisher is on the line in that case....guess we all learned a lesson on this one

Yeah...don't think I'd touch it myself.  I'd either shoot it where it is or have the owner or another responsible party move it.

Might want to get your facts straight.  Eric Guillemain wasn't near the statue (or taking photos) when 2 people from Art+Auction magazine moved the statue and smashed it.  

Oh really?  What if another article comes out stating the opposite?  Then will THAT be true?  Nobody is ever going to say "Oh, yeah...it was me" because human beings don't seem to operate that way.  But then, nobody should carry the blame until it's proven.  Unless, of course, you were standing there when it happened.

At least he got a photo of how it used to look like before he smashed it to itty bitty pieces...  Now lets try to archive that image for another 2700 years.... lol

Eric did not break the statue. At least according to him. I interviewed him and the complete story - at least how Eric explains it - is listed here: http://www.phototips.biz/2012/04/photographer-breaks-300000-artwork-not....  Just like F-Stoppers, I read the original story in the New York Post. As usual, it appears the media got it wrong and posted without follow up.