I know that planning a wedding is a crazy experience. You’re expected to flawlessly throw the largest, most complicated party of your lives, while not knowing anything about the inner workings of weddings before the day you got engaged. I started this series because I wanted to provide a way for brides and grooms to navigate the system with ease and clarity. A way to answer some of those questions you’re dying to ask, but don’t know how to ask them. Got a topic you’d like me to talk about? Post a comment on any Tips for Clients post, and I’ll add it to my list! xoxo, E.
It feels like everyone is on the internet, and all over the internet. My grandma has a Facebook page (she never posts anything), and my friend’s dog has his own Instagram (he’s quite the star), so how do you – politely – tell your wedding professionals that, for whatever reason, you’d like to keep your wedding off of social media, or the internet in general. Maybe you’ve had issues with someone online in the past, your job requires you to keep a low profile, or you’re just a private person.
I’ll talk about photographers the most today, because I can speak from experience here, but I imagine most of these tips and tactics will work with all your wedding providers.
A few things to remember:
- Be honest with your wedding professionals from the beginning. Be very clear about what you are and are not comfortable with. If you come back later with requests, there can be confusion.
- Read the contract! My contract has a fairly conservative model release, which says I can use your images on my website, and for my advertising, but check the contract for each provider. No one has the same contract, and you may need to ask for clarification or changes. No contract? Stay away.
- Be aware that, if you’re very private, you may have to say goodbye to wedding professionals you wanted to work with. Showing our real weddings (for any wedding professional) is how we book more weddings. Some wedding professionals will charge you more, in order to counter that lost revenue, some will just decide not to take you on as a client. Don’t take it personally. If you never want a single image from your wedding or engagement session to be seen on the internet, you need to be clear with all your wedding professionals.
- Be consistent. If your photographer isn’t supposed to post on Facebook, tell that to your venue, florist, caterer, etc, too. Nothing irks me more than respecting a client’s wishes, only to see another professional posting images in the same arenas where I was asked not to post.
- Know what you’re asking for. I had someone come to me once, wanting “all the copyrights” to the images. That’s something I don’t give, because I reserve the right to edit images later, and they are my art. If I gave my clients the copyright to their images, legally, I wouldn’t be allowed to even edit the images, or post them to their galleries. That’s a bit silly, isn’t it? Instead, my clients get printing rights, which means they can print their photos for personal use, and I still get to edit them and make them beautiful. By the way, the client that wanted “all the copyrights” to his images? He really just wanted to be able to print them. :)
First, take the time to make a plan. You need to know what you’re okay with having online, and what you’re not okay with. Maybe it’s okay that your wedding professionals use your photos on their website, but you don’t want them on social media. Maybe you’re okay with photos that don’t show your faces. Or with the photos being used, as long as they don’t have your names. Maybe you’re okay with having your photos shared, but you want to respect your guests’ privacy. It’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for, so that you can clearly talk about this with your wedding providers.
One couple I had was very private about social media. They were okay with me posting things on my website, but they didn’t want me to submit their wedding to any blogs, or to post details about their wedding on social media. The couple above asked me not to use their names or faces online. So I nicknamed them “Kate & Leo“, and we were still able to submit both their wedding and engagement session to Apple Brides, and keep their privacy. One couple asked me to keep the photos with PDA to a minimum, as one had a very professional job.
As I said earlier, privacy is a huge issue for people, and I know that! I choose to put myself, my work, and my life out there, but not everyone does. My husband is an incredibly private person, and I do my best to respect that. You should have wedding professionals who respect your privacy, but you also need to remember that our portfolios are an important part of bringing in clients – that’s often how you found us!