Can anyone just use my photo for advertising?
There is a lot of confusion around who can use your photo for advertising. Especially when it comes to your wedding photography. I’m not a lawyer, so please don’t base any important decisions around this post. Certainly not without getting professional legal advice. However, you should know that you have rights when it comes to someone using your image. You are even protected from someone using your name in anyway that could be seen as you indorsing a product.
Here at excitations, we regularly get asked, “Can we use one of your pictures of Bill and Mary’s wedding to advertise this or that?” People are often shocked when we say NO. Most times we don’t simple say NO. Mostly we will suggest that they approach the bride and groom and ask their permission. The answer to that is usually something like ” We know they won’t mind!” Sorry that doesn’t cut it. If we don’t hear directly from the bride or groom, or have confirmation in writing. The wedding pictures are going nowhere fast. I would have thought it just plain common decency to ask permission to use a photo for advertising. Seems that isn’t the case.
Another regular request, when we’re shooting a wedding is “Can you just take a few snaps for us to use in our advertising?” Honestly, think about this. The bride and groom or their parents are paying us to shoot their wedding day. Why would I stop what I’m doing to go make some quick free pictures for your advertising? I’m not saying it never happens. If for instance the photo would benefit the bride and groom, then sure I’ll take it. But it still has to be approved by bride and groom before it can be used.
Sometimes it gets a bit tricky. For example, a bride designs her own flower arrangements. Now I’ve go to say I’m not picking on florist’s here. I could have said dress, music, hall decorations, whatever. The point remains the same. Back to flowers. Our good florist decides to use a photo for advertising. Not only is there an issue about getting the brides permission to use a photo. There’s a good chance the florist would need her permission to use her design as well. Especially if she had given drawings or specific instructions to the florist. Now this sort of thing happens less frequently but it does happen. This year we’ve seen a bride and groom design a very specific decor for their reception. Straight away a reception centre spotted an opportunity to use a photo for advertising. However it was the bride and grooms design. Their intellectual property so to speak. As such they have a right to decide if and when photos of their event can be used to advertise a business.
The beautiful Frances, one of many photos from her recent wedding. For this image Frances posed in front of an open window. And yes we did ask if we could use her photo on this blog. More photos from Frances and Lindsay’s wedding shortly.