Category: Wedding Red Tape

Your Wedding Photos, Copyright and Monkeys…

You may not realise it but just because you paid someone to take photos of your day doesn’t mean you own the photos. Here’s why and what it means oh and what it has to do with a monkey…

Copyright

The first thing to touch on is copyright. We hear the term but don’t always understand it fully. Copyright is “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.” – Lexico.com

In the EU artwork is automatically copyrighted upon creation of the work. No registration is needed.

This means that because your wedding photographer pressed the button on the camera to take the photo, they automatically own the copyright to that picture.

(photo: © David Slater / Wildlife Personalities Ltd).

Monkeys

This is where an interesting case came up a few years ago. In 2011 a british photographer, David Slater, travelled to a national park in indonesia to take pictures of the wildlife.  He wanted pictures of monkeys, the monkeys were scared of him so he left his camera set up on a tripod and let the monkeys be curious and actually snap a few shots by themselves!

This picture went a bit viral. Problem is wikipedia tagged it as public domain (which essentially means something isn’t protected by copyright law) for the reason that as Mr Slater didn’t actually take the picture he didn’t own the copyright and monkeys cant own copyright. Mr Slater asked wikipedia to remove the picture, wikipedia didnt.  Then in 2015 PETA sued Mr Slater on behalf of the monkey. It got thrown out of court, PETA appealed it ending in an out of court settlement. Really this issue hasn’t been fully settled. 

As silly as it is, this story highlights how serious copyright is taken. So basically don’t let monkeys take your wedding photos, but on the other hand it would be cool to have monkeys take your wedding photos (they just probably won’t let you use them because of the copyright thing)

Faithlegg Hotel, Waterford, Ireland

What This Means For You

So what does this mean for you as the purchaser of a wedding photographer and your resulting photos?

This is down to the discretion of the photographer.  A wedding photographer should have terms and conditions regarding what you as the buyer can do and not do with your own wedding photos.

The wedding photographer should grant you a license to use the images for certain things. For example using on social media, sharing with friends and family and printing. Really within reason you should be able to do whatever you want with them. 

The only time a photographer would likely have a problem is if you edit and share them in a way that reflects their work in a negative way. Also most of the time the photographer won’t give you permission to sell on these photos for profit.  If you did want to sell the photos then approach the photographer and I’m sure you’ll be able to broker a deal.

What This Means For The Photographer

The photographer is likely going to want to use some of the photos they took of your wedding as promotion material.  Weddings aren’t a return business so new customers are always needed and new, fresh photos are a continual part of bringing in customers.

You do have a level of protection. The photographer needs a model release to use a photo from each individual in the photo.  I say level of protection because it’s not a black and white thing. It all depends on the use (is it commercial), whether it was taken in a private or public place, and who’s in the picture. For a more detailed insight into this side theres a good article at https://thelawtog.com/wedding-guests-need-sign-photography-model-release-form/

Rule of thumb would say that for a wedding, which would be considered a public place where photos would be expected, that the photographer can use the photos how they would deem fit.

If you would like your wedding photos kept private, then have a chat with the photographer, they should be willing to help you out and work with you to provide a solution that works for you both.

Conclusion

The wedding photographer is an artist you are commissioning to document your day.  Photographs are creative works, and the copyright law exists to protect the artist.

Any wedding photographer worth their salt should let you essentially do what you want, within reason, with the photos though.  It’s down to you to check what the photographer will licence you to do with your wedding photos and if you feel it’s not what you’re after, talk to them.  

Check out my terms and conditions for copyright licensing and model release info. If you’re not happy with it, talk to me, I’m a reasonable guy!

Wedding Packages Walk-Through

Not only do you need to choose what photographer you want to trust to capture your pictures of the big day, you need to choose from the many options on offer. I’ve selected 3 packages that will work for most people.

I have 3 packages – Classic, All day classic and Reportage only

Differences – 

The classic and all day classic are similar in regards to they are more of a “traditional” style wedding day photography. So they would include group photos essentially.

The differences in them are at what point in the day coverage starts -The classic starts from the ceremony and the all day starts groom and bride prep.

Outside of the group photos, I will shoot the day with a documentary reportage style.

Reportage is all day coverage,from groom and bride prep onwards. It won’t include any formal group photos or couple photos. View it as you enjoying your day, and me capturing it. Say you do want some couple photos alone, what we can do is for you guys to head off on your own for say 15-30mins, you go where you want, do what you want, and ill just follow you around and document it. That way it’s not formal or organized, but its a chance for you to just kick back alone for a bit and also get some couple photos.

Similarities –

First of all you’ll get my full undivided attention and support from day one! This day is important to you and I want to give my best to help you remember it.  I’m also there to help your guests enjoy it as well. 

If people wish to have a quick photo done of them with their aunt etc, i’m more than happy to do that. 

During dinner, I will generally stop shooting. I don’t think anyone really wants photos of them eating & It’s an opportunity for me to get a bit of rest before the day kicks off again. I’m more than happy to bring my own food and sit in the car, I’m generally someone who likes to just have a bit of time to myself. But if you guys can provide food for me in the bar or something, that’s really appreciated.

Coverage includes up to the first dance. What i like to do is at least stay for a good few songs after the first dance, but depending on how the party is going and how tired i am, i might decide to stay on longer.

After the wedding

The day or 2 after the wedding I like to send you guys 3 or 4 initial preview pictures. It’s something for you to post on social media if you want, some people like to use them for a new profile picture or something for you just look at until the rest of the pictures are ready.

Normally I say pictures will be ready between 8-12 weeks. It’s not a process I like to rush plus i feel for you guys having the pictures a bit of time after the wedding day, when life has got back to normal, it’s nice at that point to view the pictures and reminisce. 

Regarding the number of images you get, I honestly can’t tell you. Obviously how much coverage I do for you, if we do formal photos, etc can all make a difference. I guarantee the very minimum you will get is 200, but in reality it’s more likely to be 300 onwards.

Online Gallery

So i use a website called Pixieset to share your wedding photos with you. This is specifically built to share wedding photos on. Your pictures will be password protected. So only you and the people you share the password with will be able to view them. I will put a selection of highlights together but you will also have all the photos in colour, and also in B&W.

You will be able to download individual photos in various resolutions or all the photos at once. You can also order prints direct from the website.

Your photos will be online for a year after which i can’t guarantee how long they’ll stay up there. So i highly recommend you download all the pictures and keep more than one copy of them somewhere.

For more information about the online gallery there will be a post and video coming out to go into more depth about that side of things. 

Extras

Extra things you may wish to add on to your package are things like wedding albums, an engagement shoot, have your images on a USB or if there’s anything else, let me know.

 For example you might want to have an image printed really large to hand on the wall. We can discuss sizes, printing options, things like that.

Travel Expenses

My rule of thumb is if your wedding requires more than 3 hours travel to get to you, i will need to book accommodation, add on food and travel costs etc.

Any weddings outside of UK & Ireland will be an added price. One for Europe and one for the rest of the world.

The price is laid out in the pricing list you have.

Payment Schedule

To secure the day a deposit is required. Until then I can’t guarantee that the date you’re after is available.

The rest of the balance is due 4 weeks before the wedding day.

For any extras you want , engagement shoot, albums etc then these need to be paid in full at the time of you booking these extras.

T&C’s

I suggest you do read through them. They’re a protection for yourself and me. I view them as a last resort, and will do my best to fulfill your needs without getting into legalities.

Finally

I hope this walk through helps answer any questions you may have had or helps you understand better what’s included.

But if you have any questions, or just want to chat and get to know me, by all means we can arrange that. We can do that over the phone, over zoom, or meet up if that’s feasible.

In the meantime all the best. Jamie

How To Book A Wedding Photographer

Here I want to help you understand the process, from initially enquiry through to the wedding day. This is how I personally work, every wedding photographer is going to have their own way of doing things.

So to start with you have obviously found me, liked what i do, and want to enquire more about my services.

The first port of call is to – 

Fill in Contact form on website

  • A way for me to collate everything in one place
  • I know right away the important information so I can help you
  • I don’t want to say i’m available before i know all the info. No point saying I’m free when your wedding I couldn’t get to if it’s far away or abroad, etc
  • Might be more hassle initially but helps both of us know if it’s even going to work before we start.

If I’m available I will send out price list

  • Have a look. There’s no rush to get back with a decision.
  • If you have questions or want to just chat to get to know me – no problem.

Fill in booking form

  • All the information I need from you about your day – for now.
  • The Tick box at the end is making this contractual to safeguard both of us.

I will send out an invoice

  • Deposit now to secure the date, rest of balance due 4 weeks before wedding day.
  • If you want you can pay all up front now, or can pay in installments, or 4 weeks before wedding day.

You pay a deposit to secure the day, then send out a receipt.

Communication will likely be small until nearer the wedding day.

The Month before I will send out a questionnaire and reminder about settling balance.

  • This is about more specifics about the day, where you will be getting ready, group photo list, suggestions etc
  • Google sheets document – Can take time filling in and can be updated as you go along, Or can print out and then send me picture etc

Week of the wedding We Will Have A Phone Call 

  • Run through things and answer any last minute questions either of us have.
  • Arrange arrival times – for prep or ceremony
  • If prep – rule of thumb – goto groom for 30-45mins then to bride for rest of morning.
  • If no prep – Will aim to arrive at least an hour before the ceremony

I personally don’t feel a need to go before the big day to check out the venue.

If you prefer, I’m happy, as long as it’s not too far for me to travel, to meet at the venue, check it out with you and we can discuss the itinerary and places we can use for photos together.

Hope this breakdown helps you understand what my process is and give you confidence going forward if you decide to book with me!