Please help me with this issue that has happened to me a few times now. My couple requested that I do not post their wedding images on Instagram. Is there anything I can do about it? It’s in my contract which they’ve signed but it’s at some point later that they tell me this. It’s incredibly frustrating as I rely on marketing mostly through my Instagram
Frustrated From Fulham
Dear Frustrated From Fulham,
Oh boy, I hear you on this one. It has just happened to me this very week as well and it was such a cute wedding – I am also feeling frustrated. Exactly the same as you, my couple requested that I do not post their wedding images on Instagram. In my case, it was just after I posted their Sneak Peeks on Instagram. They had signed my contract without accepting the opt-out and they had even sent over the supplier tags when I asked for them.
So I know exactly how challenging this can feel and I’ve been pondering how to prevent it from happening to me again without compromising my professionalism or client relationships.
My couple requested that I do not post their wedding images on Instagram
First of all, let’s clarify the position in terms of UK Laws on Privacy and Image Rights:
It is very important that you understand in the United Kingdom, individuals have a legal right to privacy, and this includes control over how their personal images are used and shared. The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provide the legal framework for protecting personal data, including photographs of individuals. As a wedding photographer, you must respect the privacy rights of your clients, and this means that if they request their images to be kept private, you are obligated to comply.
Can I Charge Extra To Keep Images Private?
“My couple requested that I do not post their wedding images on Instagram – can I charge them extra to keep them private?” While it might be normal practice in other countries to consider charging extra for keeping images private, here in the UK privacy is a fundamental right and not a commodity that can be bought or sold. The GDPR specifically prohibits charging individuals for exercising their rights regarding their personal data, including their photographs.
You can, however, reward people for agreeing to let you use their images in your marketing spaces. So you might consider some kind of incentive for those couples who are relaxed about this.
Tips On Clients Requesting To Keep Images Private
- Communication is Key: When you first interact with potential clients, emphasise the importance of image sharing for your marketing efforts. Clearly explain that showcasing your work on platforms like Instagram helps you attract new clients and maintain an active online presence. By having this discussion upfront, you increase the chances of aligning expectations.
- Contract Clarifications: In your contract, be explicit about the image-sharing policy and ensure that it’s prominently featured. Include a section that explicitly states your intention to use the images for marketing purposes and seek their agreement before proceeding. Having a clearly stated policy in the contract will provide you with a basis for negotiation later on. If possible include a check-box for this part so you know that they have paid attention to it.
- Follow-Up: After booking, consider sending a friendly follow-up email or message, reminding the couple about your image-sharing policy. Reinforce the benefits of sharing and reiterate your excitement about showcasing their special day. Maybe wrap it up as a request for details on the other suppliers saying you’d also like to help them with promoting their ‘small businesses’ – I’ve found that using this specific term seems to help with perspective on this.
- Respect Their Wishes: If you find yourself in a situation where ‘my couple requested that I do not post their wedding images on Instagram’ despite the contract or having previously seemed agreeable, it’s essential to respect their wishes. While it might be disheartening from a marketing perspective, honouring their privacy concerns will help maintain a positive client experience and a good reputation for your business.
- Seek Alternatives: In cases where clients insist on privacy, explore alternative ways to showcase your work without compromising their preferences. For example, you could ask if they would be comfortable sharing select non-identifiable images, focusing on the details or candid shots.
- Focus on Testimonials: While image sharing is an essential marketing tool, positive testimonials and reviews from satisfied clients can also be incredibly impactful. Encourage happy couples to leave reviews on your website or platforms like Google, which can still contribute to your online presence. I have a great tip on how to easily do this through their Pic-Time gallery here.
- Diversify Marketing Efforts: I’ve never put all my marketing eggs in one basket. We have so little control over what happens on them and things shift and change all the time so I try to show up in multiple spaces and do as much marketing as possible over on my website where I do own the digital real estate. If this is something that you struggle with, I suggest taking my BOOST YOUR ENQUIRIES class.
- Create Sharable Content: If you feel that this is causing gaps in your marketing or you just want to have some creative control over this then consider taking the time to produce your own shoots in lieu of being able to share all of your weddings. It occurred to me that there is nothing stopping me from pulling together a shoot at the same Town Hall that my cute wedding was at and going to the same locations, with a model couple.
Remember, while sharing images on social media is valuable for exposure, your primary focus should always be providing excellent service and capturing beautiful memories for your clients. I too find it frustrating when my couple requested that I do not post their wedding images on Instagram, but ultimately I remind myself that being able to do so is an added bonus. By fostering open communication, respecting their wishes, and exploring alternative marketing strategies, you can navigate this challenge while maintaining a strong professional reputation.
For further reading on this topic, jump over to this article