Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

photography contract

  So, we are due to sign the contract with our photographer pretty soon. 
  I have a question about a portion of the contract I feel a bit uneasy about. It is under 'model release' and it says the following:
  Client’s guests at the wedding shall be deemed to have consented to the use of their name, image, or likeness by Client, Studio and Photographer for the duration of the Assignment, and Client shall defend and indemnify the Studio and Photographer from and against any claims that any of Client’s guests may assert against the Studio or Photographer arising from, or related to, the use of any name, image, or likeness of Client’s guest[s] by the Studio and Photographer Client during the Assignment. 

I am not sure about this. Am I being paranoid? I am sure they would probably not use my pictures or pictures of my guests for anything other than advertising. However I am not sure I can sign a release to say that my guests consented to the use of their name and likeness, isn't this presumptuous? 

Another thing is my fiance does not want pictures of us on their website for strangers to see, and I am not sure if more of our guests feel the same way. However another part of the contract says that they can do pretty much what they want with our pictures (including selling them). I am not sure I am ok with this. 

 Is this unreasonable of us? I am a little annoyed that I am paying for someone to take pictures of me and I have basically no control of what they do with those pictures. Is this a normal practice, was this included in your contracts as well? 

Re: photography contract

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    knottier said:
      So, we are due to sign the contract with our photographer pretty soon. 
      I have a question about a portion of the contract I feel a bit uneasy about. It is under 'model release' and it says the following:
      Client’s guests at the wedding shall be deemed to have consented to the use of their name, image, or likeness by Client, Studio and Photographer for the duration of the Assignment, and Client shall defend and indemnify the Studio and Photographer from and against any claims that any of Client’s guests may assert against the Studio or Photographer arising from, or related to, the use of any name, image, or likeness of Client’s guest[s] by the Studio and Photographer Client during the Assignment. 

    I am not sure about this. Am I being paranoid? I am sure they would probably not use my pictures or pictures of my guests for anything other than advertising. However I am not sure I can sign a release to say that my guests consented to the use of their name and likeness, isn't this presumptuous? 

    Another thing is my fiance does not want pictures of us on their website for strangers to see, and I am not sure if more of our guests feel the same way. However another part of the contract says that they can do pretty much what they want with our pictures (including selling them). I am not sure I am ok with this. 

     Is this unreasonable of us? I am a little annoyed that I am paying for someone to take pictures of me and I have basically no control of what they do with those pictures. Is this a normal practice, was this included in your contracts as well? 


    We had a similar item in our photographer's contract, I don't recall anything about releasing our guests, just ourselves though. 

    Since your FI does not want your pictures anywhere, then I would speak with your photographer about this portion of the contract.  State that your FI does not want your pictures to be included on any portion of the public website.  They may work with you or they may insist on having their contract signed unchanged.  Then you need to decide how you want to proceed.  I would discuss that part with your FI first, so you can quickly walk together, if need be.

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    Like @OliveOilsMom, I remember releasing that for us too.  I would be hesitant to speak for all the guests though, which is what it sounds like.  Unless I'm reading it wrong?


  • This basically means that your photographer can use photos taken at your wedding to promote his or her photography business, like on their website, in portfolio (which may be online), on business cards, posters, etc.

    If you don't want your photos used in this way, ask about it. Don't sign a contract you don't understand. If you are uncomfortable with the way the contract is written and can not come up with a new contract, select a different photographer. 
    ******************************************************

  • I'm not sure what to do now because I really like this photographer's portfolio and personality.
    But I am not sure I am ok with not owning the rights to our own pictures, that we are paying for.
    My question is: was your contract like this too? Am I being unreasonable in wanting to own those rights? Did any of your guys had any issues with this when booking yours?   :/
  • knottier said:
    I'm not sure what to do now because I really like this photographer's portfolio and personality.
    But I am not sure I am ok with not owning the rights to our own pictures, that we are paying for.
    My question is: was your contract like this too? Am I being unreasonable in wanting to own those rights? Did any of your guys had any issues with this when booking yours?   :/
    I work for a company that often solicits wedding photographers for their photos, to be used in our promotional materials (which we pay them for). In most cases I have seen, the photographer owns the rights to the photos, not the couple. This does not mean that you are not allowed to print/post your photos on social media etc., but it DOES mean that you are not allowed to sell them to a third party. In my opinion, this makes sense; the photographs are considered artwork made by the photographer, so they still own the images themselves. For comparison, you may purchase a painting from an artist, you can display it in your home, post photos of it on social media, etc. But you could not start selling prints of it for profit.

    To your question, yes - this is what my contract looked like too. Most photographers use photos they take in their online portfolios, promotional materials, marketing on social media, etc. If you are not comfortable with it, however, you should definitely speak to the photographer directly. But it is very common for photographers to include a clause in the contract stating that they own the rights to the photos.
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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm moving this to the proper board. I responded on the xp on e.
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  • edited February 2016
    this is a pretty standard clause in a photography contract, since they are in the same category as any other type of artist.
    in canada we now have a law that provides ownership to the artist, but this is a recent thing and prior to this, it was a manditory inclusion in contracts to retain rights to your own images as a photographer; it's essentially a model release form. i'm not sure if it's the same in the US.
     if you are not comfortable having your photos possibly used for promotion (this includes submissions to wedding blogs, professional contests, etc) have the contract reworked if they'll let you. most photographers are pretty adamant about inclusion of this type of clause, but keep in mind, they really only use the creme of the crop...if this is the case, wouldn't you be flattered?:) 
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