I met a lovely couple last week who were interested in me shooting their wedding. They had requested one of my no-obligation meetings before they made up their minds, and we met in a great pub on the Thames. While looking over my work it became clear that one of their concerns when booking a wedding photographer was the issue of copyright and specifically how I might use the photos in the future.
They told me about a few photographers they had spoken to that had a very strict policy. Basically, they were the photographers copyright and so said photographer could use them where and whenever they liked, no argument, no compromise, take it or leave it.
Now, my thinking is different, and I may be about to upset a few photographers here, but I’ve always felt that there needs to be a bit more compromise. I feel privileged to photograph someone's special day, and I feel the photos I take are very personal to the couple in question.
This is my way of looking at it; I own the copyright, so no one can use any wedding photographs I take for any sort of financial or commercial gain or promotion without my express permission and/or renumeration. This is usually no problem at all, as long as I am asked beforehand.
I always ask a couple before their wedding whether or not they are happy for me to use any of their shots in my marketing, on my website or Facebook, in my blog or twitter; and if the answer is no to any or all of the above then I simply don’t use them.
Whatever their preference, it is always noted in a signed agreement that I make with all my clients, so that each party knows exactly where they stand at all times.
I have always found this to be a really fair and agreeable way of doing things, and if any photographer is reading this and worried about not having any photography for their portfolio I can assure you that many more clients are happy for me to use their photos than are not.
My wedding clients have always been happy that I ask them in the first place, and the peace of mind that they get from knowing I work this way builds a real trust between photographer and client. One that I think goes a long way to getting the best photographs on the day, and that after all is what they are hiring you for in the first place. To take the best, most compelling, beautiful and interesting photographs of THEIR wedding day for THEM.
Book a no-obligation meeting today and meet me in person, see some of my work and ask me anything you want to know about your wedding day. I’m sure I can help.