When it comes to their wedding photographer, brides usually have an established set of expectations. Artistic style, professional skills and price-quality packages are among the most important characteristics taken into consideration when selecting a photographer.
After investing time, money and trust, building a relationship with the one that will capture the emotion of their special day, the wedded pair is optimistic. What happens when the service they receive is not what they expect?
It takes one search on the Internet to find hundreds of horror stories between a couple and their wedding photographer. Lack of communication and information, along with blind trust in the photographer’s good intentions, will pave the road to a costly, heartbreaking experience.
Liam Crotty, an accomplished photographer in Miami, shares three dirty little secrets wedding photographers don’t want clients to know. Read on to learn how to avoid making some costly mistakes so many brides have done before.
A wedding photographer will often only give you low-resolution photos
One sneaky trick wedding photographers play is to tell their brides that they will receive the digital or electronic files of their photos as part of their wedding package. But when the bride receives the photos, usually on a DVD or USB thumb drive, they learn that the files are low-resolution.
What does this mean?
Low-resolution files are fine for posting to social media sites, your phone or even a website. But the brides won’t be able to print them, make enlargements or even create a wedding album because the photos will appear grainy or pixelated.
Why do the wedding photography studios do this? So that the brides will have to go back to the photographer and do all her prints, enlargements and albums through the photographer or studio thus spending even more money.
A wedding photographer will put their watermark on your photos
“Another common practice is watermarking the wedding photos sent to the client so that the brides are unable to print or make enlargements without the watermark or logo appearing.”- says Crotty.
When negotiating your wedding contract, make sure you ask your photographer whether the electronic files will arrive completely “clean” and without any type of watermark or logo.
A wedding photographer will often not grant you copyright permission
Few people know that under the U.S legislation, the photographer holds exclusive rights to his photos. This means that he can use, alter or sell them. Most photographers will want to retain the copyright of their work and prevent unauthorized use.
If the contract signed between the wedding couple and the wedding photographer doesn’t stipulate otherwise, the photographer can rightfully send low-resolution images, instead of high resolution ones, to protect his copyright.
According to Crotty, this “prohibits the brides from printing, enlarging or editing their photos, leaving them with two options. Order the prints and albums from the photographer at an inflated price, or receive the high-resolution photos by buying a license for personal use”.
Receiving high-resolution photos doesn’t grant the bride the permission to use them. To do this, she needs the written permission of her wedding photographer, aka the copyright holder.
“Even Walgreens will require copyright permission -in writing- to print your wedding photos”- Crotty states. “A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from one of my favorite brides, Katie. Wanting to print her wedding photos, and forgetting her contract home, she was stunned to discover that Walgreens wouldn’t print anything without my written permission”. Crotty wrote a personal email to the Walgreen’s lab technician, granting Katie permission to print her wedding photos.
What should you do?
Communication is the key to a successful collaboration. When interviewing wedding photographers and especially when negotiating your wedding contract, consider asking the following questions.
• Will you receive high-resolution or low-resolution digital photos?
• Will the photographer put a watermark or logo on the photos?
• Will you receive copyright permission to use the photos any way you want?
And finally, ask to have your wedding photographer list all 3 of these items in writing as part of your contract.
If you have further questions about any of these secrets, feel free to contact our office: HERE for direct assistance.