A Question of Ownership

This photograph raises the question: Who should have the credit?

Self Portrait? April 2013, by Scoopie.

Self Portrait? April 2013, by Scoopie.

Last Thanksgiving, I set up my Horizon 202 panoramic camera in the dining room to take a shot with everyone in attendance. Because this camera does not have a self-timer, someone had to press the shutter. I wanted a few iterations of the photo that included just my own family, the extended family, and one with others such as new girlfriends. For one of the shots, I asked my photographer nephew to press the button. He agreed, but said, "You know, I learned in my photography class that whoever presses the shutter owns the picture. I want credit as the photographer. I am 30+ years older than my nephew, and I remember receiving the same instruction when I was about his age and taking a class.

This issue occurred again a couple of days ago when my wife took this shot of me. I envisioned this shot. I set it up. I showed her how to take it with my Nikon DSLR. And she pressed the button several times as I posed. Does this mean she gets the credit?

Does it matter that I could have done it with a wireless remote I had in my bag? Do I credit it as a collaboration. If so, doesn't that raise another question about ownership because my best portrait sessions are ones during which the subject participates in the process.

Lots of questions here. Ultimately, does it matter? For today, I am thinking it does not. I am giving her the credit, but calling it a self portrait. Issue resolved.