Kirill wrote in post #14401612
If OP will use a celebrity's photo to promote his business - he may get contacted by the person's lawyer and will billed the "standard rate" for the celebrity - which is likely 6 figures.
In theory, this MIGHT happen. But there are many reasons that it isn't likely enough to be worried. First off, you could get this email from ANY guest's lawyer. There's nothing about being a professional celebrity that brings you additional copyright rights. Second off, if a lawyer were to actually sue you BEFORE giving you warning, that wouldn't sit well with the legal system. Any competent lawyer will inform the photographer that they need to take the images down as they don't have permission -- and if the photographer refuses, then there would be something there for the courts. What you're describing is what would happen if you were to use a celeb in an ad campaign without permission, sell the celeb's likeness (like on a shirt) without permission, and so on. Something where you were making money off of a celeb's likeness. Being a guest at a wedding? Not so much.
If the OP were to use a celebrity's photo ALONE to promote his business, you may be right. But if the celebrity is in the background as a guest? It's highly, highly unlikely. This is what would most likely happen IF a celeb saw that they were in the background of their friends' wedding photos and IF they were upset by it and IF they wanted you to take it down...
You would get an email from their lawyer telling you that you need to take down the image, or else. The OP takes down the image. Nothing is said of it again.
Now, if Bono and Angelina Jolie are there, you take a photo of them together, and you put that photo in your portrait portfolio as if you were hired to shoot them? You might get in trouble. Use that photo in some more obvious situation (like taking an ad out in a wedding magazine without their permission), and you could upset some people (as you can't go back in time and take the add out of the mag). But if you post them as they are -- guests at a wedding that their friend hired you to shoot -- you probably won't hear a peep about it.
The key is not to make a HUGE fuss about it. Bragging all throughout your blog post about how so and so were there -- with tons of photos to prove it -- you might open yourself up to trouble and, more likely, just appear kind of annoying to future potential celeb clients. Treating them like normal guests is really the most important part. And being that the OP landed this gig in the first place, my hunch is that the OP probably knows this