Post # 1
Hi bees! So I’m interviewing wedding planners and have narrowed it down to a few who have sent me proposals and contracts.
One of them has a photo release clause in the contract that basically says the wedding planner is granted permission to use photographs from my event in any publication/blog submission etc and that those pictures then become property of the wedding planner. It also says they are allowed to edit/alter/copy the pics and use my likeness in promotiona materials and I that waive any potential royalites etc. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t use any pictures where I look weird because they want to promote their business after all, so I don’t really mind them using our likeness.
But my question is this: if I give the wedding planner pictures that my photographer took, doesn’t that somehow violate whatever contract I sign with my future photographer? Don’t most photographers have clauses that prohibit altering their pics and using them in promotional materials? I haven’t met with photographers yet so I don’t know what those contracts look like.
Or maybe the contract is referring to pictures that the wedding planner took on her own during the event? Regardless, I’m going to email her to clarify before I sign anything.
Has anyone else seen a photo release like this in their wedding planner’s contract? Is this totally normal and I’m just being paranoid? (I also added a poll for funsies)
Post # 3
That seems pretty excessive to me!
I think you’re right, though–If your photog isn’t giving you full rights to the photos, I don’t think she’s allowed to edit them!
But overall, unless you’re having a wedding worthy of veing in a magazine or SMP or something (that requires exclusive use of your images), I wouldn’t mind signing something like that!
Post # 4
@HoyaTerpDC: If you are in public, you have no expectation of privacy and the wedding planner can take, alter, and publish any pictures of you she chooses. If a wedding is considered public would depend on several factors…location, mostly, I think.
She cannot use your photographer’s photos without your photographer turning over copyright to her, which your photographer will not do, so she shouldn’t be trying for that.
If she takes her own pictures during the event, I’d let her use them – if that’s all she means. She owns the copyright to those and can do as she pleases. I’d also be somewhat concerned that she was too worried about getting good pics for her blogs/website that actually taking care of things the day of…
Clarification is definitely in order!
Post # 5
@HoyaTerpDC: Please read your photographer’s contract carefully and speak with your photographer before signing the planner’s contract. I would guess the planner would have to ask the photographer directly for use of his/her photos for promotion – and the planner might well not get to use the images. In my contract the vendors have to request usage rights from the photographer directly.
edited to add – I re-read your original post and I wonder if the planner will be taking her own photos? If so she can use them as she likes. You’d be signing a model release which is pretty standard practice – at least for stock photos of people.
Post # 6
@HoyaTerpDC: No way. This is not standard at all and I would ask that it be removed. This will violate any photographer’s terms and is just, frankly, ridiculous to ask of a client.
As a photographer I can tell you this will pose an issue no matter what – either they ask for/use/alter your photographer’s images OR they will be spending precious time during your wedding day taking their OWN pictures with their own cameras of their work/”vision” and that is not what you have hired them to do. I have seen this issue come up at a few weddings I’ve shot and the planners were getting in the way of me doing the job I was hired to do to get their own photos. They need to go through proper channels by contacting the professional photographer and abiding by their terms of usage. This is not a styled magazine shoot, it’s your wedding, and their job is to make sure it is executed well. It’s your photographer’s job to make sure it is documented well (for YOU, the client, not a planner’s blog).
Post # 7
@BrandNewBride: from what I understand exclusive rights are really expensive and not necessary . I can’t imagine my wedding will be SMP worthy but who knows ha!
@antisocialite @Astra: I can see why they would want a model release or whatever it’s called for pictures they took. I’ve seen a lot of wedding planners who post pictures from their events on facebook and instagram. And the wedding will take place in a private museum after hours, so definitely not a “public” space!
@mariematt: Thank you, great to have perspective from a photographer! So how does that process normally work? I mean, how do wedding planners (and caterers, djs, other vendors) go about using professional photographs from client events on their promotional materials? Are they supposed to go straight to the photographer first and then ask the client (me) for a “model release”?
I like this planner a lot so I hope we can work out this contract issue without too much drama!
Post # 8
I would ask the planner for clarification. Ask her if she would be taking her own pictures, or if she would expect to use your photographer’s work. Tell her that you haven’t found a photographer yet, but all of the ones you have researched will not allow her to use their photography, but if you are okay with it she can take a few pictures of her own to use if she decides to.
Post # 9
I feel like most wedding planners do this regardless of whether there’s a clause– they would post them on their website and blog as samples, or send them into other blogs or magazines for publication.
However I think in these situations the couple is usually on board! I’d be happy for my wedding to be submitted to a wedding blog or magazine, but I’d like to have some say over it.
Post # 10
In general that’s not a right you can assign to them. If your photographer has any clues theywill hold the publication rights to the photos and while they may let the planner use the images they won’t give them rights to edit and alter them. Over the top! I wouldn’t.
Post # 11
@HoyaTerpDC: normally vendors come for me for images from weddings and my model release already clears me to be able to release your likeness. It’s already built in my contract.
Post # 12
Many photographers will also have a clause about other professionals taking photos at your event too. It usually directly refers to other photographers and sometimes videographers, but you might want to keep that in mind as well.
Post # 13
This would not sit well with any photographer.
Post # 14
@HoyaTerpDC: I hired a DOC that had a separate photo release clause. I told her I wasn’t comfortable signing it, but would love to hire her. She was fine with that, and did a great job.
Post # 15
@Jbbee: +1. This is NOT a right you, as the bride, can legally assign to another vendor. My friend had a hairdresser situation similar to this. After the wedding the hairdresser contacted the photographer saying, “my clients signed a contract saying I could use this couple’s wedding photos for my website/self promotion, so cough them up. I need photos of this, this and this.”
Commercial use of images is something photographers charge mucho dollars for… and other vendors know this, which is why they sometimes try to pull this crap. My photographer friend responded to this obnoxious email with something like the following: “Sure, I will get you those images straight away! Just so you know, my contract stipulated that I receive free haircuts from you for life, so when can I schedule an appointment for a trim?”
Honestly, this wedding planner is sleezy and cheap (if she had good relationships with other vendors, they’d be happy to share a few images with her complimentary, where she wouldn’t need to be so desperate to try to get them without paying). She clearly doesn’t play well with others and you don’t want her causing drama on your day. I wouldn’t even consider hiring her for my wedding, but if you do, that clause is illegal and it absolutely has to be removed. Good for you for reading your contract.
Post # 16
@HoyaTerpDC: Absolutely not. I would be finding a new wedding planner, because anyone who would even put that in their contract is not someone I would want to work with. In my business, I provide all vendors with images from their part of the day depending on what they do. They are under the same guidlines as the client (no editing, cropping etc). I handle all submissions for publication as well, and every major publication I submit to also has that stipulation for any vendor wanting to submit (they tell them to please have the event photographer do it).
I have NO problem with vendors wanting to use my work on their website to showcase what they do. However, I would NEVER relinqish rights to that vendor. Never.