Dear Preston: Should Photographers Share Images?
September 25, 2012
Having planned and designed events for over a decade, I feel weddings are collaborative events that allow vendors to engage in a mutually-beneficial relationship. I recently planned, designed, and executed a large wedding and am finding the photographers are unwilling to share any images from the day. I find it frustrating to have poured my heart and soul into it, working to make certain every detail and moment was flawless only to wind up without any images to show for it. I would like to know your thoughts on this situation. Was I too presumptuous to assume the photographers would be open to sharing their images? Having never met an ounce of opposition in the past, I am a bit surprised. How would you handle this situation?
I am so sorry you are in this situation. I agree with you that collaboration is an essential component of success, but it is important to remember that it is not mandatory. Photographers make their living by selling their images in the same way we make our living by doing our respective jobs. Photographers make their living by selling their images. I think it is a mistake to assume that the photographer in question should be willing share their images with you. I agree with you that most photographers don’t mind, but some do, and in those cases, you can always offer to pay for their images.
My advice to you is to always make an effort to speak with the photographers beforehand and make arrangements with them so that there are no surprises. You might even suggest exchanging images for referrals. A big part of collaboration is the give-and-take component.
Readers, I would like to ask to ask your opinion on this subject. As a vendor, do you expect photographers to share their images with you? Photographers, do you share your images with vendors free of charge?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.