Are the wedding photographs on my website your own work? I often get asked about my work and how I created it. I’ve spent a long time developing my style of work (it’s similar to a few others) but my work is all my own. I even run my own wedding photography training courses to show others how to achieve the same results!
When running workshops I, like I’m sure many other people, are careful to point out that you should only use the images if you know you CAN replicate the work yourself and then tell you that if you can to go away and hire your own models and do just that. It takes more equipment, more skill, more knowledge.
It’s misleading for photographers to use images taken from workshops/course and pass them off as their own work, and something that I ask my students not to do. After the course, hire your own models and do it yourself – that’s fine. But don’t take the work I craft, use my lights, my models (or in my case real brides) etc and pass the work off as your own because you pressed the shutter. That is the misleading part.
Wedding Photographers – Be Honest!
I’m all for training new wedding photographers. If you have attended a wedding photography course or workshop then, by all means, brag about what you have done and show off… but put the caveat that you created those images whilst on a training course! Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of having to attend a training course! We all do it, from the “I’ve been doing this for years” to those just starting. I invest around £1000 in my own development each year to stay on top!
It’s dodgy and illegal.
What many fail to realise is that it is also illegal to do this – Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 is there to protect consumers from unfair or misleading trading practices.
The ASA – Advertising Standards Agency also take a dim view of this.
“Misleading practices, like false or deceptive messages, or leaving out important information.”
What is banned outright (and thus open to you being prosecuted) is “Being honest about advertorials“, “Faking goods.”, “Pulling the wool over their eyes” (yeah – that is what it says!)
Some Advice for Brides and Grooms
One amazing photograph does not make a wedding photographer, nor does attending a training course.
If you see some amazing wedding photographs online (a Facebook forum for example) then check out the rest of the wedding photographers gallery. If the style, poses etc don’t look the same ask why! Ask to see a full gallery of images from the wedding with the amazing photograph, in fact, ask to see several from different weddings.
If the wedding photographer can’t or won’t give you the access to the galleries back away. It is that simple.