I took some photos for my friends moms friend for her daughters wedding. I normally take only wedding photos for people I know but since my best friends mom knew the girl getting married I went ahead and did it. I explained to them that i would just charge them 150 dollars mainly for gas to go to where the wedding was (was a 160 mile trip) and I took the picture disk back to them. I told them I would do it at that price if they would let me put them on my facebook page. I wanted to be able to show my work to other people. Well they agreed really quick b/c the other photographer they had been checking with wanted to charge 1000 dollars. They told me it was ok to put them on facebook. BUt now they don't want me to put any of them on facebook. They have been nothing but trouble. They accused me of not giving them all the pics I took. Which I didn't give them every one (like for example. I would take serveral shots of the same pose for ex the bride and bridesmaids, to make sure I got a good one). So they wanted me to give them a disk with all the unedited pics on it. So I didn't want to but I did to get them from stop calling me everyday about it. The father of the bride dissappeared after the wedding and missed alot of the pictures, which is not my fault b/c I told him to stay in his tux and stay with everyone so we could get the pictures done really quick. They accused me of not giving them all the pics with the father in it. So now they don't want me to put them on facebook.
So my question is, If I am correct I am the photographer and the photos are my property so I have the rights to put them on facebook. I mean I did have to sign a release giving them rights to print the pictures b/c they are my property. It was a beautiful wedding and I think I did a great job and I really want to put them on my page so maybe I will get more business in the future. What would you do? I know I would loose them as clients in the future but I don't know If i would drive that far again to take photos for them anyways.
OMG what a mess... I honestly don't know. I thought the photos were the property of the photographer, but if you signed a copyright release, then I'm not so sure.
The only real experience I have to go on is my own wedding, and we never got the right to reproduce our photos, so the photographer still has full ownership of them. She did get a huge print of one of our photos to use at bridal shows and then gave it to us free of charge when she was done using it (that was OT, but I thought it was awesome because it's beautiful!!).
Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d
May 26, 2010 - 7w1d
No, you are not correct that you have the right to display the images publicly just because you are the photographer. To be clear, when you sign a print release for your photos...you are not giving full rights and ownership to the client...you are just stating that they are allowed to print the photos and use them for personal use. They do NOT own the rights to the photo...you do.
However...that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with them. You really need to have a model release to use the photos in the way you are describing.
The laws do vary somewhat from place to place...but it's fairly standard. Unless you have a signed contract that says you have permission to post the images, you really don't have the right.
This is different if you are in a public place just taking photos of someone in public (like the paparazzi do). Private property comes with different rules.
I highly suggest that you shouldn't do anymore shooting for money, even a small amount, without a solid contract. Also, do you have a business license? Are you declaring taxes? Do you have business insurance? If not, then you really shouldn't be charging at all.
In your contract, you really need to set out all the expectations for the client. They can expect aprox this many images...or that you do not guarantee a certain number of images. That you as photographer have the right to delete any images that are not up to your quality and creative standards...etc... With a good contract these issues won't come up nearly as much.
Last edited by AmberBella; 04-29-2011 at 07:21 PM.
Wife to Rich~ 8/16/03 Mom to Nathan~ 9/30/07
Amber gave some great advice. I was glad to hear the first part, b/c that's what I was thinking, but was scared with your post. I give mine a copyright release.
Sadie- mommy to Ruthie & Randy