For many of us in the wedding industry, this time of year means that things are starting to wind down a little. Wedding chaos seems like a distant memory and things are becoming that bit more manageable again. Hopefully, anyway! Of course, this in turn means that many of us are now catching up on admin. Blogging, social media and other areas of our businesses that may have been neglected a little when we were busier. As such, I thought i’d offer a polite reminder to wedding suppliers regarding the use of professional photos.
Over the last few weeks I have seen numerous shout outs from wedding suppliers addressed to their previous couples. They are predominantly asking couples to send them the professional pictures from their wedding. Photographs for blogs, social media and website updates etc.
Only the photographer can authorise use
Whilst the majority of wedding photographers wont mind you using the photographs, please be aware that you need to ask them directly. Couples cannot authorise you to use any photographs because they do not hold the copyright for the photos. This isn’t a nit picky formality that photographers insist on just to be difficult, it’s actually the law. Most of the time couples will only have a print licence for their images as the law automatically assigns the legal ownership (copyright) to the photographer. It is incredibly rare for a professional photographer to give away copyright.
Go directly to the wedding photographer
So even if a couple send you photographs- whether you’ve asked for them or not, this does not mean that you are allowed to share them, or use them. Even if the couple say it’s ok. Even if they tell you their photographer is great and wont mind. And even if you credit the images. You will still need to actually seek and obtain permission from the person who took the photos. If you don’t have their details, you should be able to get this information from your couple.
If you want to read more about copyright and the etiquette surrounding the use of professional wedding photos, there’s a blog dedicated to that topic here.
Again, many photographers wont mind at all but they will appreciate being asked, I promise! The wedding suppliers who respect our work enough to ask stick in our minds and tend to be the suppliers who we will recommend in future. When we work together again we’ll also go out of our way to try and get photographs that may be useful for you and your business.
I hope that helps a little and you’re all enjoying a bit of time to relax before the Christmas panic begins!
Flowers featured in title image: Lily & May