As a photographer, being able to share photos from the weddings I photograph is really important; it enables me to attract new clients, through blog posts, Instagram venue searches, and so on. My pricing reflects the assumption that I will be able to use your photographs in my online portfolio, journal, and Instagram feed.
A lot of my couples on the other hand request privacy of their photos. I understand this! You don’t want someone to Google your name and find photos that might be intimate, photos that you’d rather share with friends and family only.
I want to talk about how I typically use the photos, and the various privacy options I offer, so that we can figure out something that works for you.
Here’s an post where the couple had unique names and the bride has a sensitive career – I simply used their first initials instead of their names (click on the photo to see the post):
The same applies to Instagram posts and stories; I typically use your first names, but I’m happy to use just your initials. And you can let me know if you prefer me to tag you, or not (most couples like to be tagged so that they know when a sneak peek is posted, and they can also share it!)
If you prefer to keep your name separated from any photos I post, here’s a line I can add to the model release clause in your wedding photography agreement:
Studio agrees not to publish Clients’ names with or without accompanying images, but may use first initials only, i.e. A&B, B&A.
There is no additional cost for this option as it doesn’t affect me being able to use the photos to attract new business. This is what most couples who are sensitive to their privacy opt for and is what I usually recommend.
POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING PHOTOS
Some couples request that I don’t share any photos online without prior permission, and this is usually because they don’t want to give blanket permission to me sharing photos that might be embarrassing. A lot of this comes down to trust; it is really hard to place full trust in someone you’ve only “met” for an hour over Zoom or on a phone call (or maybe even not at all if you hired me through your wedding planner or a parent). I get this!
There are a couple of really important things to consider here. First up is that I will never knowingly post an image publicly that I have doubts about the couple enjoying.
It is really important to me that my couples love the photos that I make for them. When I am first looking through your wedding photos to choose the “keepers” that represent your day, I weed out any photos where you don’t look great. During the time I spend with you on the wedding day, I also get a really good feel for your personalities – some couples are exuberant and wear their hearts on their sleeves and will be comfortable with me sharing their fullest emotions; others are much more reserved and quiet in how they express their emotions; these couples typically prefer to have more intimate emotions available only in their full gallery where they can choose who has access.
Either way, if I misjudge a photo and post a photo on my Instagram or blog or portfolio that makes you uncomfortable, just say the word and I will remove it. I want you to be excited about the photos I share from your wedding, and I want you sharing the photos I post with your friends and family as this is great for marketing my business!
I strongly recommend you look through my online portfolios here and here, and my Instagram feed here to see what kind of photos I share. I hope that you’ll love these photos and would be happy with me sharing similar photos from your wedding day.
Finally, I will never publicly share photos of you in any state of undress unless you give me specific permission – and in 13 years of photographing weddings, I’ve actually never asked to share a photo of anyone in any state of undress. It would have to be a spectacularly unique partially dressed photo for me to want to share it online! 😉
If you would like the option to remove photos spelled out in your wedding photography agreement, here is a line I can add to the model release clause:
Studio agrees to remove from Studio website or Instagram or other online publication any individual photo(s) as requested by Client.
It may also be worth chatting with some of my past clients so you can get a better feel for what it is like working with me; I think my couples generally come out of the experience feeling like they have a new friend, and someone that they really trust. Please let me know if you’d like to chat with some recent couples and I’ll put you in touch.
‘Can’t we just pre-approve any images for online use?’ is a common question at this point. Yes, this is an option, but it is not included for free because it involves a different workflow and additional time. It is much easier for me to edit and post your photos as I normally do, and then remove an image after you’ve viewed the slideshow or Instagram post or journal post.
If you prefer to pre-approve all images that are used, I offer this as an add-on for $1000 + tax, with more details below.
VIP WEDDING GUESTS
Occasionally my couples have public figures/celebrities at their weddings and want to protect their privacy and ensure I don’t sell these photos. I have specific language I can add to your agreement if you have a VIP guest you need to protect, so let me know if this is the case and I’ll send over some language we can add.
Occasionally I work with public figures/celebrities who prefer full privacy; I have a “complete lockdown” option for these couples, where I agree not to publicly post any images from the wedding, period, and a “people privacy” option where I agree to post only photos of the decor from the wedding. These options are listed below with pricing.
SUMMARY of PRIVACY OPTIONS
I can post photos publicly without prior permission.
Couple may request that initials are used instead of names
Couples may request removal of any photos if they consider them to be too private to share
Couple may request that their full gallery is password protected
This option is great for 99% of couples as it means their images aren’t searchable by name, and they have the option to request I take down any specific photo(s) but enables me to update my portfolio, Instagram etc. without restriction, and also means I can offer them teasers withing ten days following the wedding, usually via a slideshow of favorite images.
I can post photos publicly only with permission – client agrees to permit posting of at least a selection of photos that they pre-approve to tell the story of the day (usually the bulk of the “highlights” portion of the online gallery is allowed)
Initials are used instead of names
Slideshow is password protected
Full gallery is password protected
This option is usually only chosen by couples who are very anxious about their appearance and want pre-approval of anything I post online.
No photos of people are posted publicly, period
Detail photos of the decor/venue may be posted without restriction provided no people are in the photos ($2000 option) OR no photos posted publicly, period ($2500 option)
No names are posted anywhere
Slideshow is password protected
Full gallery is password protected
This option is usually just for celebrities and other high profile clients (politicians, etc.)