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Do Photographers Need Client Permission?

May 7, 2014 - Business, Photography

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Dear Jasmine, I love your advice when it comes to clients and how to handle the unique demands that comes with each one of them. I am recently struggling with clients that are not wanting me to blog or post their pictures for reasons of them not being able to pick the ones I use. As in, they might not like how they looked in the picture.
I do have them sign a paper saying I am the primary owner of the images and may use them for blog/post/advertiment ect. Do you please the client and not post your work when you are a slow/steady business?
Sincerely,
To Post or Not To Post

Dear To Post or Not To Post,
This is actually a conversation I had with a my friends a few weeks ago. As fellow photographers, we discussed the delicate balance being well within our rights to use the photos (by way of a signed contract), and client requests. When I first started my business, sharing images was paramount to my growth and success (and still remains to this day). It was only by sharing images that I was able to market my services, which resulted in getting new commissions. In a simple equation: photos + sharing = business growth.

The irony is that most clients find us by images they've seen online, yet they don't want to share theirs. So what's a photographer to do?

I can't say what's right or wrong, but here are a few options to find the best fit if the client doesn't want the images shared online:
    1. Compromise
If the client would like to approve the images before they're posted online, find the terms you agree to. For instance, document a timeframe in which the clients must approve the images or outline how many images you can share online once approved. Find a way to make both parties happy…in advance. And get it in writing.

    2. Charge a Non-Usage Fee
I know of a photographer who photographed a high-profile wedding and couldn't use the photos online. In light of the inability to leverage his photographs as part of his portfolio, he charged an additional fee for non-usage. This fee is intended to off-set loss of potential marketing opportunities.

    3. Refer Another Photographer
I'm going to be honest: if I can't share images from a wedding, chances are I won't accept the commission. Why? It's as if the wedding didn't exist and limits my ability to do what I do best: curate a love story online. Yes, I'm a photographer, but I wear lots of hats in my business and one of my main responsibilities is staying in business. For me, leveraging my photos in a marketing capacity is vital to what I do. If I can't use the photos, it's in everyone's best interest to refer a photographer who doesn't mind private portfolio pieces.

I hope this helps, but–furthermore–I hope you find the best option for you…and stick to it. If you're not happy, it'll be hard to make your clients happy.

Find Your Business Growth Equation,
j*

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FREE PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER

Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

[With cherry flavored chapstick.]  

FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
Sign up to receive a free Instagram marketing guide, helpful tips, and free stock photos you can use for your business.  

It’s basically an Instanote sent to your inbox to help push you toward your social goals and help grow your following.

FREE STOCK PHOTOS

You're busy, pulled in lots of directions, and trying to run a business. 

In addition to all this, you know you should be posting on social media, so how do you balance it all? 

I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

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