So, you’ve finally booked your natural wedding photography session? That’s a great thing. Everything seems to be set in motion and going smoothly. With a few bumps here and there, but that’s alright. In a few years’ time, your life will have changed drastically. And you’ll be sitting looking at your wedding album with your favorite person in the world.
Let’s stop at there. Have you ever wondered then, should you lose your wedding album, what are you to do? “I can reproduce them again since I have the digital files, right?”
Well, the problem lies in whether it’s legal to do that. Copyright to pictures that are taken during natural wedding photography by your photographer does not automatically transfer to you just because you paid for them.
The person who earns the right to the pictures taken in natural wedding photography is the person who took the pictures. It is only transferred to you when it’s stated so on the contract, so it’s time to check the fine print again.
If you’ve signed the contract, that’s okay. You can still negotiate with your photographer and ask him for detailed about this. You’ve paid him after all.
If you haven’t, read the fine print on pace and ask him questions where you’re not clear. Negotiating terms are also possible at this point. After a new deal is made, check the fine print again and make sure that everything is as agreed between the both of you.
Reproducing and posting
This will limit the things you can do with the photographs and digital files you’ve got. They are allowed for private use only, but posting them online, such as Facebook and Instagram, without full consent of the photographer can bring you troubles. Photographers will typically send you a watermarked version of the pictures for you to post anywhere you want, unaltered.
Should the need arise to reproduce the pictures, you will need to contact your wedding photographer about this. In some cases, photographers will want to know the details on why you need to produce them again and proofs to it.
Why are they so insisting? I paid for it!
Photographers want to protect their creative work. When digital files are given to their clients, there’s no telling to what people can do with it. The second you post the pictures online, someone else can be saving it, downloading it and reposting it again. For whatever purpose they use it, only God knows, but without proper mentions or credits, the photographers lose his reputation and means to market his services.
There are also some people who let their pictures be used to be featured in online sites or sold for money. These are acts that breach the contract and unethical business conducts.
However, there are still professional photographers who give full copyrights of the pictures to their clients. Not many of them do this, but they still do this while still asking clients to be kind enough to mention or tag their name on the wedding pictures whenever they are posting online. Some others state that they will give the copyrights after a certain amount of time has passed; it differs between photographers and you are advised to discuss this with your photographer.