Lately, we’ve received more and more requests from our clients who want to keep their wedding photos private. While it is a request that we can accommodate, it depends on the specific situation. In this post, we hope to give you a full understanding of why they want to keep their photos private and why it “might” cost them more to do so.
Why do people want to keep their photos private?
Because they want to. Yes, seriously! Although they have their own reason, whatever reason they have, it doesn’t change anything, still the same result. What really important is to discover different levels of privacy when it comes to photographs being published.
Different levels of privacy
Each client has a different level of privacy. Here are some that we’ve worked with in the past:
- Some don’t want their wedding photos to be searchable.
- Some don’t want their wedding photos to be seen anywhere on the internet.
- Some are okay with their photos to be publicly displayed but don’t want their face to be seen or recognizable.
Because there are different levels, there will be different ways to accommodate to privacy request. Here are some solutions that we use:
- If they don’t want their photos to be searchable, we change their names when we post the wedding. By doing so, people cannot google their wedding photos by typing “[name] wedding”.
- If they don’t want their photos to be anywhere on the internet, well … this gets tricky and might cost more.
- If they don’t want their face to be publicly shown, we only post shots from behind, silhouette, etc. Similar to above, this might cost more for the reasons we will explain below.
Why it costs more?
That is a valid question for anyone who wishes to have their photos completely private (nowhere on the internet). Before we answer that question, let think about these questions first:
- When you look for photographers, what makes you contact them in the first place? The portfolio, isn’t it? What if they don’t have any or have just a small portfolio to show?
- Between a more-expensive photographer and a less-expensive one, what justifies the decision to hire the more-expensive one? Probably the portfolio.
- When you search for photographers (most likely with Google), how can Google know and show their websites in the search result? The portfolio, isn’t it?
- Every photographer wants to charge higher if they have more experience. The only way to do that is to show their new works, new skills, new experience, which comes from the portfolio being frequently updated.
As you can see, in a visual field like photography, the portfolio is their greatest asset. In addition, the ability to publish their work is their biggest right. Without that right, they are giving up the opportunity to build their asset. Without their asset, they are potentially losing other businesses.
But wait a minute … “It’s just one wedding”, you might say. Yes, it is. However, what if everyone or many people have the same request? Each wedding is an opportunity for them to build their asset. One request like this means one less opportunity. Thus, by accepting the request, they are accepting one foreseeing loss. Thus, they should be compensated for that loss. This is our opinion under the perspective of a wedding photographer.
So, that is the conflict of interest. Photographers want to publish their work and you want to keep your photos private. What is the middle ground here? What solution can both sides reach?
The middle ground
I’ve seen some photographers who always say NO to such requests regardless. I know some well-established photographers, with a minimum package of $10k, still charge an extra fee (a few thousands more) for that request. On the other hand, some of our colleagues, who just start their business and really need to build the portfolio, don’t charge a dime to accommodate that request. For us, sometimes we charge, sometimes we don’t. Every photographer is different. Every situation is different. The perfect solution for you and your photographers requires communication and understanding from both sides. Explain to them the level of privacy you are seeking for and expect these following responses:
- If they say NO. Well, you either look for a different photographer or still work with them because of their beautiful work.
- If they say YES. Good for you, although they are taking a loss.
- If they charge an extra fee, don’t look at that as a deal breaker or unfair treatment. They are trying to meet you halfway. If the total cost still works for you and you like their work, that’s what matters. This is how we will look at this matter under the perspective of a client.
Let us know your opinion in the comment section below. Do you agree or disagree? What will you suggest?