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…
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.
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)
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.
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.
Wedding photography isn’t a priority when it comes to your budget, so when uncle Dave offers to take your wedding photos for you it seems like an ideal way to save some money…or is it?
Before we get into the details, let me make it clear that I’m not going to say you should let him take photos or not. Not everyone can afford a wedding photographer so uncle Dave is actually better than nothing. So if it comes down to you having any pictures or not, then go get uncle Dave signed up asap!
If you have got it in your budget to get a wedding photographer, but think it’s worth getting uncle Dave to do the photos so you can reallocate the photographer budget to something else, don’t think photos are that important, then that’s the time to really have a hard think about things.
As I mentioned in my post about “why is wedding photography so expensive” the value of a good wedding photographer isn’t seen till after the wedding. By then it’s too late to go back and change things.
The wedding day does only last a day, but the memories you want to last forever.
Uncle Dave could actually be a good photographer, have a good camera, good lenses etc, but experience and craft are really the main attributes you should look for when getting anyone to take your wedding photos.
Being family or a close friend then it’s also easy for them to take their eye off the ball. They’re there as a guest really and so will have that focus about the day. They would rather be by the bar talking to old friends and family than making sure they get your day documented.
I’ve seen a variety of outcomes with letting a non-professional take the photos. In one or two cases I’ve actually been really impressed with how good the photos have come out. But let’s get it clear when I say “impressed” I really mean “Didn’t mess up”. But to be honest more often than not, the couple are disappointed by the photos they, eventually, get.
That’s the other part to this decision, don’t expect to get the pictures anytime soon. It can take, and I mean literally, years to get the photos. In the case of one of the couples who were happy with their wedding photos from a family relative, it took 3 years to get them.
Another thing to keep in mind is what happens if Uncle Dave’s memory card fails, breaks his camera or just completely loses the photos? These things can happen to even a professional, but for a professional having backups is part of their process. (Read more about keeping your photos safe)
The other option for those who don’t have the budget to pay a full blown, hundreds of weddings under the belt, professional photographer is to find someone who’s starting out.
I got my first wedding gig by offering my services to a friend. He was doing the wedding on a shoestring, I wanted to help him out and so shot his wedding. Before that wedding I really wasn’t interested in making this a living, landscape photography was my thing – It meant I went to awesome places and didn’t have to deal with people! It was by doing that wedding I actually realised wedding photography could be an option for me.
There’s always people starting out in a profession that need a few breaks and are willing to do things for cheap or even free, and for a couple that don’t have a budget it’s a winning combination.
Keep in mind though that for someone starting out, they too likely don’t have the equipment they really need, the experience and especially the craft. But what you would gain from them over uncle Dave would be raw passion, eagerness and a mindset about actually photographing your day rather than propping up the bar.
Should you bite the bullet?
If you have the budget then yes, definitely. With a professional you are really paying for a guarantee. A guarantee you get what you’re after, when you want it, high quality, minimal fuss, no excuses and a great attitude.
Anything other than a professional then you have to compromise somewhere. But that’s your choice to make.
Remember the food will be finished before the day is gone, the reception will be empty by the end of the night, the flowers will be dead by the end of the week, but the photos will be there forever.
Gone are the days of film, taking a couple of hundred shots, taking them to the chemist to get developed and then posting them out. Now we have the ability to take thousands of images, carefully curate the best ones, adjust them to our liking and then what?
Being we have a digital product we have 3 options –
How you receive each of the above can be done multiple ways also. I can email you the pictures, send them on a usb or i can put them on an online gallery.
I choose to put them on an online gallery. This is where Pixieset comes in. To me there are several advantages to this.
Beautifully displayed no matter what device you use
You have control of who sees and downloads your pictures
Client Exclusive Options
Ability to download all pictures, or just the ones you like
Option to order prints direct from the gallery
Curate your favourite pictures
Let’s look more in depth at each of these areas
Pixieset is designed to work with any device, so whether you use your computer or phone, it will look amazing.
When we go onto your gallery you will be met with a large feature image, your names and date of the wedding.
It’s like we have got the front cover of your wedding album in our hands.
As we scroll down your images will be displayed with large thumbnails, all arranged to fit the best way on the device you’re using.
Between the feature image and the start of the gallery of your pictures you’ll see different tabs. I normally like to arrange a highlights set, and then a colour and B&W sets.
The highlights set is normally a selection of the best images from the day in colour and B&W. The other sets will be all the images in colour and then B&W
You can click on any of the images to enlarge them. You can then navigate using your keyboard arrow keys or by clicking on the arrows on the left or right of the image.
**** One great feature and the best way to take in your photos is to click on the first one and in the top right corner you will see a play button. This will start a slideshow of all the pictures in this set. A recommendation would be to put a Spotify playlist together of your favourite songs to then play in the background whilst you enjoy the slideshow option. *****
Who Sees Your Pictures
As default I will make the picture sets for colour and B&W password protected. This means only you and those you wish to share the password with see all the pictures.
I leave the Highlights selection public so anyone can view these. This means, for example, you could provide the link only on social media for others to view a selection of pictures from the day.
If you wish the highlights can be password protected as well. This can be a separate password to the Colour & B&W sets to still keep those pictures viewable by only those you really want to see them, or the same password for all sets.
*** Please note Passwords are case and space sensitive *****
As default I allow your gallery to be seen on the homepage. This can be hidden so that only those with the link know they are there. This can be used in conjunction with not using a password so you can give a limited amount of access to those who have the link but not just anybody can go on pixieset and find your pictures.
Default for downloads is to have them only accessible to those with the PIN. This will be a 4 digit pin like you would have on your bank card. This then allows you to download your pictures in one go, in different resolutions or the odd ones you like.
This means you can control who has the ability to download your pictures.
Below the feature image and before the gallery on the right are a few options. The far right arrow symbol is to share the gallery. You can either copy the link or share to Facebook , Twitter via email etc.
The option is also available for individual photos when you click on them to enlarge them.
How You Get the Passwords and Pin
You will receive the password and pin in my email to you to say that your pictures are ready.
Client Exclusive Options
Guest V Client Access
To preface this section it’s good to know the difference between guest and client access.
As these are your photos you are the client. A guest would be anyone else that can visit the gallery.
When you first enter the gallery you will be given the option to enter as a guest or a client.
The default is to have no password for the guest. They will only enter their email to be able to enter. Once in they can only view the highlights set.
If a password has been set for both guests and clients you will need to enter the appropriate password to the relevant client or guest access. Again the guest will only have access to the highlights set.
Guests cannot view, download, or purchase private photos or private Sets
Extra Level of Password Protection
This is connected with you having the ability to have different sets password protected. This is what I use as a default and thus allows for the highlights set to be public but the Colour & B&W sets to be protected. This also allows you to password protect the highlights set with one password, and then have the Colour & B&W sets protected with a different password.
Mark as Private
The other useful feature is that you can mark photos as private.
There may be pictures you don’t want guests to see when they view the gallery. When hovering over the photo or when it’s enlarged one of the icon options will be a picture of an eye with a line through it. This is the option to mark the photo as private (or hidden) from any guest viewing the highlights set.
****Please note that this only works with sets that guests can view. In most cases this will only be the Highlights set.***
Due to this feature an option that is available is to have all sets open to guests and then you have the ability to private photos and select which ones they can see.
The main two options for download are to download a whole collection or individual photos.
Below the feature image and before the gallery one of the option icons is a down arrow. This allows you to download the whole gallery.
You will need to enter your email and PIN to gain access to this feature.
You will then be given options on which sets you want to download, the resolution and where.
The highlights set is made up of pictures from the Colour & B&W sets so it’s up to you if you wish to download that set as well. You will have two options for resolution – High (at least 3600px) or Web (1024px).
You can then choose where to download to – Computer, Dropbox or Google Photos. I highly suggest you download to at least 2 different places. One to your PC and the other to the cloud. Unfortunately you can’t download to 2 different places at once so will require you doing this twice. But it will be worth it as the last thing we want is to lose your photos.
It will then pack your photos into a compressed ZIP folder which will then need to be uncompressed once downloaded to view the photos.
For any individual photo you can download either by hovering over the image or enlarging and then selecting the down arrow icon for that photo. It will download it at full resolution (at least 3600px) as a jpeg.
By default you will have to enter your email and PIN to download individual photos also. This can also be changed to have no pin and also reduce the resolution to 1024px. You may prefer to do this so guests and clients can download without permission a lower quality version.
Ordering prints can be done by Guests or the Client for individual photos.
By clicking on the shopping trolley icon on each photo you will be given options on what prints you want.
You can order a variety of sized prints with different print mediums, from a 6×4” on photo paper to a 40×30” on metal. You can also choose a multiple of different types and sizes of the same print.
All prints ordered through Pixieset are fulfilled by the printing lab. Any issues with orders would need to be taken up with the printing lab. Even though i’m not responsible for any issues with regards to prints you’ve ordered you can still contact me and we can see what we can do.
Prints are fulfilled by an excellent specialist lab from the UK. So you can expect high end quality prints.
A great tool is the ability to create lists of favourite images.
You favourite an image by clicking on the heart icon for each individual photo. You can then view your favourites together by clicking on the heart icon below the feature image.
By entering the favourites section you have the ability to create different favourite lists. It might be you want a list of photos to print for your family, and then another list of photos to print for yourself.
By going into a favourite list you then have the option to order them as prints, download or share.
By sharing you can send those favourites as an email, get a link to send to someone via whatsapp, and the option to “send to photographer”. “Send to photographer” is a way to collaborate with the photographer, for example, for prints you want that his package offers as part of the deal.
It is also a powertool in helping us create your photo album. You can create two lists, one for photos you have to have in the album and another for photos you don’t want in the album. These can then be “sent to photographer” for me to then use as guidelines for creating your photo album.
As you can see there’s a lot of advantages to using this modern way of delivering your photos. I’m sure as time goes on there will be updates that will only enrich your experience for your wedding photos.
I want to capture your day so that you can look back at these pictures in years to come and remember the day as it was.
My tagline is “real people, real moments” and I love to document the day as it’s really happening. I don’t like to “glam” it up. I’m a warts and all kinda guy.
I will mainly focus on documenting the day rather than staged posing of couples etc – although if someone comes up to me and asks for a picture with someone – more than happy to do that.
I’m more than happy to do the traditional group photos and bride and groom shots. At the end of the day, it’s about you guys and what you want.
So my aim is to please you and help in whatever way I can.
Heres Some Pointers For The Wedding Day
Because I want to capture everything real that happens.
Once we had an initial chat and met everyone- Don’t feel a need to talk to me – I’m here to capture you enjoying time with your friends and family.
Don’t feel a need to look at the camera and smile – don’t play up to camera – be real and interact with those around you
Basically ignore me – the novelty of me being around will soon wear off.
It might be that I get close to you at times – If a moment happens then i might try to emphasise it by getting close up to your face with a wide angle lens and capture what’s going on around you as well
Don’t think you’re in my way – if someone walks across, that can add to an image at times. Sometimes i’m purposely using someone as a way to frame an image or getting their reaction
Just enjoy the day – Focus on getting the most out of all the hard work you’ve put into the day. – i’m there to help you remember it in the future.
For the couple photos i dont really pose – it’s perhaps the first time that day you have a moment “alone” together and can just focus on each other. I’m not one to particularly pose – i might give some direction – but essentially i want you both to just enjoy the short time you have together and capture that.
Things that can help you get the most from your photos
Get ready in a room with good natural light – I.e a large window.
Get any items or details you want photographed together – i.e hang dress in nice position.
Let me know about any special items, i.e grandmothers ring, a note on the bottom of a shoe etc – Then I know to get pictures of them more.
Enjoy the aisle! – Remember to smile as you walk down.
Suggest to your guests to really take in the moments rather than use the phone & camera to record everything – that’s what I’m for.
Have a clear idea of the group photos you want. – we can spend longer than you think doing these so get the important ones done first and then if we have time we can do more.
Have a table by where you have the photos done – drinks, phones etc can be put down while we take photos.
If you can have the speeches by the head table, not the other side of the room. – best way to show everyone’s reactions.
Be aware this is where I like to get in close – This is when some of the best reactions happen – so might crouch between people, or stand right behind the speaker etc.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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