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Photography Question 

How Do I Go About Selling Negatives?

My father-in-law passed away a couple of years ago. He was a professional photographer for over 40 years. In 1962 while working for the Berkeley Gazette, he shot pictures of President John F Kennedy. I believe it was at the Graduation Ceremony at the college.

We would like to check into selling the prints and negatives.

Any advice?

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8/13/2003 12:23:27 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  I'd first research whether you father owns the rights to these images, or if they actually belong to the newspaper he was working for when he took them. I know possession is 9/10ths of the law, but it's that last 1/10th that keeps lawyers in Mercedes. ;-)

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8/13/2003 12:26:20 PM

Donna    I know that they are his. He NEVER sold negatives. But now that he is gone, my mother-in-law does not want them.

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8/13/2003 12:42:32 PM

Tiffany M. Barkevich   Hey Donna,
are you SURE you want to sell the negatives? I dont know, but I think they will be worth even more money in the future. At least to a photographer, negatives are the most important thing to keep. But that is just my opinion.

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8/14/2003 4:11:53 AM

Maynard  McKillen   Dear Donna:
I'm not sure how much time and energy you care to invest in this matter, but here are several ways to proceed.
It's possible that UC Berkeley, some Kennedy archives, or a private archive may be interested in the images. If so, the next challenge is to get the images appraised. After you have some idea of their value, you might consider donating the images to an archive. This might, and you'll want to research this also, might be a tax deductible donation.
Barring this angle, you may still want to get them appraised, and sell the images on ebay, or have the appraiser help you find a buyer.

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8/14/2003 9:40:28 PM

Wayne Attridge   If they are rare, good photos, you may want to look into licensing the prints and keep the negatives. There will never be any more taken and they should retain or increase their value. That way, you would get the best of both worlds.

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8/15/2003 12:07:23 AM

Tiffany M. Barkevich   I absolutly agree with Maynard. You should really consider what was said on these comments. Wayne makes an even better point (which is similar to mine with some added extras) as far as I'm concerned, my point still stands. Selling your negatives, to a photographer, is like selling their soul. If you are only interested in the money, I would still hang on to the negatives. They're antiques!

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8/15/2003 1:54:44 AM

Donna    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions.
I think you are ALL right about the selling of the negatives, but I am interested in getting them appraised. Any suggestions on how to go about this?

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8/15/2003 9:19:22 AM

Connie Diring   If you have access to the web, you can go to If you don't have the web call 800-ASA-VALU. They can give you an geographical area and a subject area to search to make it easier. Hope this helps.

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8/19/2003 11:25:38 AM

Louise A. Arnold  
I don't know about selling negatives but here is a Kennedy contact that might help you out:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library - Columbia Point - Boston, Massachusetts 02125
Local: (617) 514-1600; TTY: (617) 514-1573;Toll Free: 1-866-JFK-1960;- Fax: 617-514-1652

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8/20/2003 4:38:01 AM

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