Wedding photos advice (ownership question)
Dear All, I have a agreed to take photos at a friend of a friend's wedding in May, if anyone has any general advice please don't be shy! Its new territory for me, they are paying a nominal fee but I (obviously) want them to be happy/over joyed with their photos!
I also have another question slightly more specific relating to ownership of the photos. I have seen on more than one website examples of contracts that state the ownership of the photos remains with the bride and groom (in this case), of course I can't find an such examples now, hence my post!
Further complication: I would like the example contract to be in French!
Many thanks to all, any tip could make the difference to me coming across as a professional!
hi and welcome follow the link it will answer some question
next and i dont mean to be be negative this is not something to be entered into lightly this is the bride and grooms big day and there is no going back for a second go.
copyright it should remain yours not theres
Look at the above thread and come back if you need any more help
I have answered this and i am sure it will be visible soon but to be quick
copyright should be yours as its your work
to actually do the job i would not enter into this lightly as you only have one chance at this. there is a thread in this section i have a link in the post that is not yet shown to it it will answer a lot questions. as i said before i dont want to be negative
I don't wish to sound negative, but you should be aware of what you're potentially letting yourself in for. Most non photographers have no idea that there is any skill involved in good photography - they think having a good camera is enough, as if having a good scalpel can make you a good surgeon, or having a good set of spanners makes you a good plumber. They think anyone can do it, and indeed may not be sufficiently visually literate to even be able to tell the difference between a good and bad photograph.
I have no idea about your skill level, or of the expectations of the couple who are getting married, but lets look at the possibilities. If they have low expectations, and aren't especially visually aware, then I suppose it doesn't realy matter whether you are highly skilled or not, as long as the pictures come out. (Though you should think about how your relationship with them would be affected if for any reason they didn't come out).
If on the other hand, they are expecting the kind of images that professional wedding photographer produce then you should pause for a moment. They may be unaware of the skill required, and the knowledge of light, exposure, contrast, depth of field etc to produce professional quality wedding images, and probably think anyone can do it. If you are a skilled and experienced photographer, have an instinctive understanding of how to deal with high contrast on a sunny day, for example, or getting technically good shots in low light, can work quickly under pressure, have a good rapport with people so you can entice the best expressions from them (in French, by the sound of it?) and have a forceful enough character to be able to manage and control a large group of people, then go for it - I'm sure you'll do a great job.
However, in your post you say you're new to this, which makes me worry that you're setting yourself up for a world of potential hurt. If your images don't meet their expectations think about whether that will damage your relationship with the couple, because this is a non-repeatable event. There's no second chance. There are many tales of family feuds, even lawsuits, resulting from disappointing wedding photos.
If you feel your skill level is sufficient, and/or the couple are not expecting pro quality images, then the answer to your question is that legally you own the images, as the author of them, but there's nothing stopping you from just giving the couple all the high res images on a disc or USB stick. The only reason you'd need to formally transfer copyright to them is if the couple want to be able to prevent you from being able to use the images yourself in your own promotion without their permission, or to ensure that you (as copyright holder) can't prevent them from using, publishing or re-printing the images themselves in whatever way they see fit.
Last edited by Nigel Atherton; 23-01-13 at 12:58 PM.
Originally Posted by Nigel Atherton
That's some very wise advice Nigel, perhaps slightly negative as you say - but realistic nonetheless. I am approaching the event with caution, its an incredibly important day. I am confident of my skills - I certainly cannot compare myself to a professional photographer but given a professional is not an option in this particular case, it wouldn't be unfair to make that comparison.
The couple in question are down-to-earth sort of folks and I am sure they are realistic in their expectations (they can't reasonably expect a professional level of photography) but maybe a frank discussion may be a good idea.
Thank you for answering my question about copyright, that was very useful. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question! Many thanks!
No problem. If you feel competent enough to do it, here's a few tips:
• Take an assistant, preferably a loud bossy one, to help marshall the group shots, and keep an ey open for wardrobe malfunctions, people hiding at the back etc.
• Take a spare camera, spare battery, and lots of spare memory cards.
• In bright light if the bride is wearing white take care not to over-expose and lose detail in the dress.
• Shoot raw in case you don't get the exposure or white balance spot on.
• Avoid direct sun on faces (squinting, shadows etc). Shoot in shade or into the light with sun behind them.
• Watch for ugly/distracting backgrounds (eg car parks etc). Use a wide aperture to blur the background where possible.
• A few group shots will be expected to make sure you get a picture of everyone there, but you don't need loads. Spontaneous candid shots are generally preferred these days as they convey more of the emotion. With candids, shoot on continuous drive mode and capture bursts, as a fraction of a second can make the difference between a great expression and a blink or awkwark gawp.
• Try to have a fast prime with you (eg a 50mm f/1.8 or wider) for indoor low light shots. (Natural light is almost always better than a flashgun unless its just a small amount of fill in.)
If I think of anything else I'll add it later. Good luck!
Last edited by Nigel Atherton; 24-01-13 at 12:10 PM.