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Use of your photos on your portfolio?

I am very new to shooting photos at weddings - and wondering if you use your photos on your portfolio without asking to use them?

In a way the customer has bought the photos and feel that there now are their property and in the same way I think they still are mine to use. but people might not be ok with me posting their picture on a portfolio site?

So do you always ask to use them?


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Anonymous's picture

I always had a contract when I was doing weddings where the couple had an option of agreeing to have their photos on my website or web presence. A copy of my contract is at link below.


I would not photograph a wedding without such an agreement. If they didn't want their photos on the internet they simply didn't sign the bottom section.

Thank you ... that was a good idea!
Cheers from Norway

Rob Mynard's picture

It's important to remember that the customer hasn't bought the "photo's" (unless you've said they have in your contract), they've paid for you to shoot their wedding and they've paid for copies of the images with freedoms granted to them to various levels (also agreed upon in your contract) but you still hold the copyright on the images and can use them how you see fit...
Two things to note here though
1 - Your contract should also include a model release section or you could be sued for using your clients image (I haven't looked at Geoff's link contact here but i imagine it includes this)
2 - If you're going to use an image in your portfolio, it's always better to ask permission anyway, even if you have the rights signed off, because clients complaining after the fact on facebook etc. can hurt you more than leaving out a few nice pics :-)

Adam Sparkes's picture

I think Robert is spot-on here. The image is owned by the creator, unless this ownership is explicitly transferred via a legal agreement. (At least here in the US). So while asking for permission from each and every client isn't necessary, it might be a best practice. I don't show a "portfolio" for wedding work, I only show weddings as blog posts, so my clients usually understand that they will be published. I've had two or three clients over the years ask for their wedding to be kept private, and I have obliged them out of professional courtesy.