What Every Bride Should Know About Photographers and Copyright

When you hire a wedding photographer there are lots of factors to consider. Is the photographer reputable, do their style and creative flair match your vision for the big day, do they have a back-up plan in case of disaster?

The issue of copyright is probably the furthest from a brides’ mind when separating the reportage from the traditional, but it’s best to inform yourself on that end of things.

Essentially the way the law works in Ireland is that the photographer retains copyright to their images and can use them to promote their service in their own portfolio as well as on blogs like this one.

What a couple often end up with is a copyright release whereby they are entitled to display the images for their own use, and depending on the agreement with the photographer they may have permission to reproduce the images and distribute them among their friends.

It’s important to be clear on this, as copyright is a legal issue. It’s also important to choose a photographer of good repute who will be selective in how often the photographs of your wedding are used, and where.

Some shy brides may not like the idea of their wedding photographs being featured on a blog and I’m sure if you express this to your photographer they will respect your wishes. However, generous and talented photographers are fundamental to the blogging community and help bloggers to provide inspirational content for brides-to-be.

As a blogger I am grateful to all the brides who have gone before and have left fabulous photos behind for the next generation of aisle-walkers, and hope that after our big day has come and passed, the photographs will serve as food for thought for the ones in the boat that I’m in now.

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  1. Thanks for blogging and tweeting this. I photograph lots of gorgeous brides each year and it would be such a shame if others couldn’t see how great they look. Most of my brides love to be featured on my blog and in my promotional literature, but I always ask them first, and if they don’t want to be featured, I make sure that their images don’t get seen by anyone except themselves.

  2. I am in the same boat as Nicky in that I always say to the couples about adding their images to the blog. T he majority love it that their wedding is being showcased and when it goes into print there is always a shriek of delight

    In the 2 years of doing weddings, I have only been asked not to include the images on the site/blog etc by two couples. One was a very private person and the other was in the special forces.

  3. I include a model release clause in my contracts, basically allowing me to use the images as I wish. If a bride doesn’t want her images used I just remove that clause and don’t use them. In the UK, as the photographer, you automatically own the copyright, but you have no automatic right to use the images for commercial purposes such as advertising, which is where the whole blog thing is a bit grey. Using them on a website is commercial advertising and strictly speaking is illegal without a release, a blog may be seen as editorial which you are allowed to use the images for without a release.

    Include a release in your contract that way your covered.


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