OK, so for many of you, you have already agreed on a package with your photographer and paid your deposit. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that you can’t renegotiate a few of the terms! GOOD photographers (or good suppliers of any kind) are willing to go the extra mile to make you happy and give you, their customer, exactly what you want for your big day. Picture copyright can cost you more initially but will definitely save you a fortune in the long run...
“We have an album included anyway so why do we need the copyright?”
First of all, copyright is always ‘owned’ by the photographer. What I’m talking about here is permission to print and use these pictures (for personal use) without paying the photographer again and again. If you think of all of the prints that your family will end up paying for and, more importantly, all of the pictures you’ll never see again once you’ve chosen your album shots, it’s simply heartbreaking!
“Why do you think it’s so important?”
As well as the fact that I wanted to have ALL of the good pictures that were taken on my day (not just a set amount,) another important factor for me was the internet. Whether you have a wedding website or just use Facebook regularly, it is fantastic to be able to share your pictures with your friends and family after the wedding has come and gone. If all you have included in your package is your album then the only thing you can do is show your house guests (and even then you’ll be asking them to be careful where they touch it as it’s your only copy!)
If you have the copyright then you can burn a few CDs of the best 100 or so images and give them to each side of the family: it is then THEIR choice which pictures they have (and in which sizes), whether they’re black and white or colour, what kind of album they go for, etc. They simply have to take a letter of permission from your photographer to Jessops or Asda (or wherever) and pay for what they print. Imagine the savings!
“Will my photographer really allow this though?”
As I mentioned before, a good photographer will add a surcharge on top as they will, of course, be missing out on money that they would have earned from your reprints. This amount should not be extortionate and, in my case, was only around £150. For this I had high resolution pictures to keep forever and ever and everyone around the world could see my pictures. I have even made thank you cards and a special, personalised anniversary card using the pictures since then too.
As someone that likes to be in control, I simply don’t want to be told that I have to wave goodbye to the majority of my pictures after 1 viewing and that I can’t show everyone in the world what happened on my day! If your photographer refuses point blank (regardless of you offering a fee for the service) then my advice is to look for someone else! If you haven’t booked your photographer yet, make sure that this is one of the first questions that you ask!