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Thread started 26 Jan 2016 (Tuesday) 23:06
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Strange Verbiage in Wedding Photographer's Contract - Please Help!

 
WMUCarGuy
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Post edited over 3 years ago by WMUCarGuy.
     
Jan 26, 2016 23:06 |  #1

Hi there,

I was referred here by a friend who is a photographer, although I am not one myself. I am getting married in September and I have been searching for the photographer for the wedding.

I met with one today that I was very pleased with and after reviewing things with my fiancee, we felt she was the best option and a great value.

She sent us her contract to review and my fiancee was a bit uneasy with some of the verbiage in it. So I wanted to ask all of you wedding photographers exactly what this means and whether it is normal for wedding photography. The verbiage is:

"MODEL RELEASE: The CLIENT hereby assigns the COMPANY the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of the CLIENT or in which the CLIENT may be included, for editorial, trade, advertising, educational and any other purpose and in any manner and medium; to alter the same without restriction; and to copyright the same without restriction. The CLIENT releases all claim to profits that may arise from use of images."

My fiancee initially took notice to the portion about being unable to claim profits that may arise from use of images. Is this normal to see in wedding contracts? Should we look at this as the photographer sells her images to all kinds of places to make extra money, or is this just a case or, the photographer reserves the right to use images from our wedding for her own promotion - say on her website, social media page or other promotional materials?

My fiancee took this as "If we died in a plane crash tomorrow, the photographer could sell our images to the newspapers for profit", or some example like that.

So I guess I'm just wondering if that kind of verbiage is normal, or if that is an odd addition we should be alarmed by? Is there anything else here that brings up a red flag?

Thanks in advance for your help!




  
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rrblint
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Jan 26, 2016 23:19 |  #2

That's pretty standard. Most of the "verbiage" is just legalese, she probably just wants to use pictures of your wedding in her portfolio in order to attract more business.

That being said though, it does give her the legal right to do most anything she wishes with the photos and you can't(legally) complain about it.

Still I personally wouldn't worry about it. Congrats on your wedding.:-)


Mark

  
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nqjudo
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Jan 26, 2016 23:31 |  #3

If you find the clause undesirable I'm sure you could negotiate to have it excluded from the contract. I'm think most photogs would be amenable to that.


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WMUCarGuy
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Post edited over 3 years ago by WMUCarGuy.
     
Jan 26, 2016 23:34 |  #4

nqjudo wrote in post #17874440 (external link)
If you find the clause undesirable I'm sure you could negotiate to have it excluded from the contract. I'm think most photogs would be amenable to that.

Yea, what she sent us was a sample contract, so perhaps she would be willing to take it out. I would imagine if it was the difference between getting a job and not, she might consider it.




  
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nathancarter
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Post edited over 3 years ago by nathancarter. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 27, 2016 07:36 |  #5

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Express last night.


It's pretty standard, and I don't see any huge red flags. Most of the time it's just there to cover the photographer's usage of the images to promote his own work - for instance, if the photographer shows off the images in his portfolio, you might claim that it's commercial advertising use. If the photographer comes up with one absolutely stunning image, and wants to use it in a print ad or flyer to sell his services, that's definitely commercial usage, and this release will cover that.

If you're concerned about it, the photographer should be able to modify the contract to remove it. However, there's potentially a lot of value for using those photos in his portfolio or to bring in more business, so if you want to strike that from the contract, don't be surprised if the photographer asks for more money.

Important note 1: Rights of publicity vary by country and by state. However, it's extremely likely that the photographer could sell those images to a newspaper or tabloid with OR WITHOUT your permission. Newspapers and publications are not considered commercial, promotional, advertising use - so generally they won't need your release. Do you think all the celebrity gossip tabloids have releases for every subject?

Important note 2: Even if you sign the release in the contract, you're not signing a release on behalf of any other person. You can't sign for your fiancee, you can't sign for your wedding party, and you certainly can't sign for all your wedding guests.


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joedlh
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Jan 27, 2016 08:14 |  #6

The photographer owns the copyright to the photos in most countries. In the U.S. and other countries, if the photos were used for commercial purposes the photographer would need a model release from everybody in the shot. This basically falls into the category of advertising use. The clause in your contract basically notifies you of rights that the photographer already has vis-a-vis the copyright and also adds in a model release. In any event, the two most common commercial uses would be in the photographer's portfolio or web site or stock photography. In either case, there's not a lot of money involved unless you or your betrothed are famous.


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Editing ok

  
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seanlockephotography
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Jan 27, 2016 08:46 |  #7

WMUCarGuy wrote in post #17874427 (external link)
She sent us her contract to review and my fiancee was a bit uneasy with some of the verbiage in it. So I wanted to ask all of you wedding photographers exactly what this means and whether it is normal for wedding photography. The verbiage is:

"MODEL RELEASE: The CLIENT hereby assigns the COMPANY the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of the CLIENT or in which the CLIENT may be included, for editorial, trade, advertising, educational and any other purpose and in any manner and medium; to alter the same without restriction; and to copyright the same without restriction. The CLIENT releases all claim to profits that may arise from use of images."

My fiancee initially took notice to the portion about being unable to claim profits that may arise from use of images. Is this normal to see in wedding contracts? Should we look at this as the photographer sells her images to all kinds of places to make extra money, or is this just a case or, the photographer reserves the right to use images from our wedding for her own promotion - say on her website, social media page or other promotional materials?

It's for whatever they want to. At the least, it's to promote their own site. At the most, it could be sale (and don't be misled that there aren't profits to be made) on stock sites or to advertisers. Personally, I think that you are paying them to do a service. If they want to use your likeness to either promote their business or for anything else, they should be paying you for that right.




  
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travisvwright
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Post edited over 3 years ago by travisvwright.
     
Jan 27, 2016 09:05 |  #8

nqjudo wrote in post #17874440 (external link)
If you find the clause undesirable I'm sure you could negotiate to have it excluded from the contract. I'm think most photogs would be amenable to that.

Wedding photographers take note. While that's easily negotiated I would guess at least half the people who didn't like/understand the wording would just move on to another photographer. How many times have you sent a contract and the client goes AWOL? Given the extreme low probability of the photos being worth anything requiring a model release it's likely better to not even have a clause like this.

ETA: no personal remark towards WMUCarGuy here. OP, about the only real situation were this would come into play is if the dressmaker, venue, hairstylist, etc. saw the pictures and wanted to use them in an ad. Almost all other uses are within their rights even without this section.


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gonzogolf
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Jan 27, 2016 09:13 |  #9

As mentioned above your wedding photos are likely to have zero commercial value and are unlikely to be sold. But the model release does allow the photographer to use the images in promotional materials for their business. Many here are adamant about the need for the middle release and will only waive it if the couple pay a higher fee because they lose a Promotional opportunity.




  
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Jan 27, 2016 09:44 |  #10

i generally don't think it is fair for the photographer to claim all rights with wedding photography.

Rights to use for promotion of their own business? sure
Rights to sell your image to a third party? nope

I would start there and ask the photog to provide a contract with those terms.


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tcphoto1
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Jan 27, 2016 10:28 |  #11

It should be easily struck from the contract or revised to give her use of images for her own self promotion, website and no licensing to a Third Party.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 27, 2016 17:43 as a reply to  @ tcphoto1's post |  #12

Third party is mighty useful if your work goes viral. (Speaking from personal experience).


Peter

  
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tcphoto1
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Jan 27, 2016 18:18 as a reply to  @ memoriesoftomorrow's post |  #13

Not being compensated from additional licensing is not good from the models perspective. If someone is going to pay for usage, they should be compensated. I'd like to hear about your experience.


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Roamingbull
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Apr 18, 2016 19:00 |  #14

Standard like everyone says. It just says she can use your images for her use period. Sometimes clients do not want their images posted anywhere online or on social media. If is the case, you can negotiate this, it may mean she would require additional rates to compensate for what is in fact a the loss of a critical resource (experience, and representation of work done) As for profit, it means that you have printing rights (be sure of that) but the images are hers. If you were to decide to open a bridal shop and start selling wedding dresses, you would need her permission to use her images of you in your wedding dress.

Hope that helps


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ericcrazyman
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Apr 19, 2016 08:46 |  #15

A buddy of mine gets married. We talk to the best photographer in the area. She can do wedding. This is how she works. This is at a time between film and digital. She used T90's at the time. She shoots the event, hands over 15 rolls takes her money and leaves. We had negs scanned at picked a bunch to be printed. Awesome set of photos. She was not interested in copyrights, working the neg or anything else. Takes away from shooting she says. At any time we wanted, we could get a print reprinted or whatever with no need to find photographer. Money back if the photos were not liked. She was good!


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Strange Verbiage in Wedding Photographer's Contract - Please Help!
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