ummm ok? (usage question)

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by missy_kay, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Hey everyone!
    I was asked to take pictures at a very close friends wedding. I asked if I could use the images on my website and for advertising an anywhere else, and the couple said of course. They hired this studio to take photos also and it wasnt in the conract that there couldnt be a second photographer. Of course being a wedding photographer, I didn't want to get in their way so I never did.
    I sat in my seat during the ceremony and in my seat during the reception and first dance. But I did however have more time to take great detail shots which the other photographer didn't get.
    So I submit my photos for a blog and they got published. And tonight (about a month later) i get an e-mail from the blog poster that she recieved an email from the second photographer stating that she must take them down. Wtf is that!!! Can anyone please comment on this!
  2. I'm confused. What blog? Whose blog? What second photographer?
  3. First, I assume you're in the US?
    The blog owner received an email from the studio to take your pictures down? You refer to both yourself and the studio as the second shooter, so I just want to make sure I have it right.
    First, the studio has no authority to tell anyone to take down your images. At best, the couple could decide that they don't want the pictures up and the couple could ask the blog owner. But the studio? Nah.
    Email the blog owner back and tell them you are the copyright holder and have a release from the couple to display them (if it's not in writing, email your friends and just ask for confirmation that you can display them).
    I am guessing that the blog owner feels the same way otherwise she wouldn't have contacted you first. I wouldn't bring this up with your friends yet.
  4. I'm confused. What blog? Whose blog? What second photographer?​
    As am I. Here's what I have inferred, but I may well be wrong:
    • Missy Kay is a close friend of the bridal party and took pictures during the wedding
    • Missy Kay submitted the images to a blog and the images were published
    • The studio discovered the images on the blog and asked the blog owner (aka, the blog poster ) to remove the images
    • The blog owner sent Missy Kay an email telling her about this
  5. Rob you are correct!;
    This is the e-mail I recieved
    "Hi Kay,
    I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to let you know that I got an email from a photographer this week, in regards to Kim and Scott's wedding. Apparently she was the hired photographer at the event and was concerned that photos from the wedding were published on a blog under someone else's name. She had submitted photos from the same wedding to national publications, and as you know most magazines don't publish weddings that have been seen elsewhere.
    Its is rather awkward for me to be in the middle of this situation, so to avoid any conflict or further confusion, I just wanted you to know that I pulled the post from the blog. I am sure you had no ill intentions, and really am not sure the best way to handle everything, but removing the wedding in question seemed to be the best option for now.
    Hopefully you understand! I hope all is well with you and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns."
    What kills me is this is the Studio photogapher in Freehold. They are supposed to be an upstanding studio! I guess I should be flattered that they find me such major competition!!!
  6. I am reading this the same way Rob did. The opinion over here is: The studio can kiss it. (When you say "the 2nd photographer", you mean the hired photographer?)
    YOU took the photos, you were not working for them, and you have no contract with them.
    Is this studio going to demand every guest at every wedding at which they work not share the pics the guests take w/ their personal cameras? Try putting a clause in your contract that NOBODY can take a pic except you, and see how many weddings you book.
    My personal opinion is: you were there as a guest. You took pics. You never interfered, you never copied poses, you were never asked to stop.
  7. Maybe some nice, open and honest communication w/ the hired photographer would help. She / he probably just didn't like being taken by surprise, and feels like their pictures are now less valuable to the couple. Talk it over sensibly and calmly; try to work out an equitable solution.
  8. Sorry if I confused everyone. The main photographer was a gentleman and the blog said she got an e-mail from a lady. So I guess the e-mail came from the second photographer who was a woman.
    And Maria- You are correct, I never posed them or stood behind any posed shot whatsoever. The studio doesn't have a clause in their contract because I asked my friends prior to taking the pictures that they asked me to take. They said I as 100% fine. The only shots I got were great detail shots, some ceremony and first dance. I didn't take anything else.
  9. Theresa, the other photographers saw me there that night with my 70-200 and didn't say anything and knew I was there.
  10. Unfortunately, the damage is done since the images were removed.
    Personally, I think both the blog owner and the studio acted unprofessionally.
    What I would do is write a very strongly worded letter to both the blog owner and studio full of colorful vernacular and lots of swearwords (feeling free to even make some new ones up). Read it a couple of times, and then delete it without ever sending it . It really does help!
    This is one of those things that no one wins if there is a fight. As angering as it is, it's a "let it roll off you" moment.
  11. Sounds like contacting the studio directly might be the best bet. I can understand how the blog poster would feel caught in the middle, and certainly has a right to choose to remove the photos.
    Doesn't sound like there was any wrong-doing involved here on your end, but the concern from the studio could be that if these were detail shots, they may have many similar ones that they are using for their own marketing purposes.
    Obviously if there is nothing in the contract the studio can't do anything to you if you post them on your own site or blog, and that might be the way to go. This blogger just may be not comfortable reposting without the studio okaying it, and the only way to do that will be to try and communicate directly with them. Worth a shot - good luck!
  12. Rob, you made me smile!
    lol I'm sitting here getting so upset but you just made me laugh a little. Thank you
  13. Missy, they may not have minded your taking them...but they may mind your publishing them, see what I mean? Lots of people take photos at weddings, but most are not viable as competetive in quality or published. Try the nice approach first.
  14. Rob, you made me smile!
    lol I'm sitting here getting so upset but you just made me laugh a little. Thank you​
    Glad you could smile.
    BTW, a glass of wine helps, too.
  15. That sucks. You have really no recourse with regards to the blog/blog owner as they will have a clause on their site somewhere that states "we reserve the right to reject and/or remove any and all photos at our discretion." I'm assuming that the "official" photographer/studio has more pull with them than you do and they took the path of least resistance and pulled your photos. Which makes sense on their part but it's still a bummer for you.
    If you wanted to, you could contact the studio and say that you don't appreciate them asking independent parties to remove your work to which you hold the rights and kindly ask them to refrain from doing so in the future. Legally, I would say that if the studio didn't have a contract that gives them exclusive rights (only photographer clause), they do not have the right to demand that the blog site take down your photos - but I'm not a lawyer and would run this by your attorney to see if this could be seen as the studio actually damaging your business by preventing you from getting your name out there for photos you took. Does that make sense?
  16. Theresa,
    I understand but my photos were different because I had more time to do the detail shots and it shouldn't concern them what I do with the pictures because I don't have a contract with them so they can't tell me what to do with the images.
    The couple asked me to take pictures, it's not like I just brought my camera as a guest.
    Karin- Not a bad idea, they are messing with my business. It's so weird because they're like a high calibur studio, I would just never expect this from them.
  17. If there is no contract, you don't need to take them down. However, as a professional courtesy I would do so and keep your reputation intact.
    If you want to discuss it, call her and let her know your position and that you were asked. I would not blow this out of proportion though, in fact, you may at a future date receive referrals from her if she felt good about how you deal with this. ???
    Just some thoughts.
  18. What kind of blog is it? Regardless of legal rights, as a wedding photographer, I would think you would understand the studio's position. I would agree with others save for the one fact that the studio is also trying to get their images published. It is true that publishers like exlusives and your images would negate that for the studio and harm their chances of getting published. Since you weren't the 'official' photographer, I would take the high road and not try to use those images beyond your own website and blog.
  19. Missy--for the record I think you're totally right. I'm just suggesting where to go from here. Keep us updated.
  20. Nadine- honestly, I would understand if it was a low end studio. But these people get published like once a week in high-end magazines. The blog I was published on was just a blog. It's not like I submitted the photos to a magazine or something. Plus the studio never submits to blogs.
  21. David used the words I'm looking for--professional courtesy. Put yourself in the studio's shoes. Imagine yourself years from now as a successful wedding photographer looking to publish images from a wedding at which you were the official photographer...
  22. Rob - the PERFECT solution.
    As a matter of fact, I have done that exact thing. Typed a colorfully worded email which was to be saved, FULLY edited, written maturely, and then sent.
    I hit "send" not "save". THAT is an emotional rollercoaster. Anger to panic in .03 seconds. Sooo - be sure you hit that BIG RED X!!!
    And have a glass of wine.
  23. Nadine,
    The studio already published this wedding in the knot magazine. Why would they care if it was on a random blog? It doesn't make sense
  24. I hit "send" not "save". THAT is an emotional rollercoaster. Anger to panic in .03 seconds. Sooo - be sure you hit that BIG RED X!!!​
    Yeah, step 1 is always to clear out the "To:" box.
  25. Missy--it makes them look bad since obviously, they didn't have the 'exclusive' that publishers want. A guest took professional caliber (I hope) images that were also published--how would you feel?
  26. People can only take your rights away when you give them permission to. I suggest you publish the photos yourself on as many web sites as possible. The studio and the blogger should not be allowed to impede your constitution right to self expression.
    I could care less how the studio feels because they obviously don't care one bit about how Missy feels.
  27. All the talk of 'professional courtesy' is fine and all that. But the fact is that Missy has just as many rights to publish her images as they do. This isn't a college frathouse where the freshmen get beaten with sticks and sprayed with a hose until they have 'paid their dues'. 'Professional courtesy' doesn't cover bullying your way to getting what you want so that you come out on top. That's called being an ass. I give professional respect to those who deserve it. Just because you are in the same business as someone else doesn't mean you should show them any courtesy. Particularly if they don't show you any.
    I would tell the studio to cram it and publish the images where ever I wanted. I don't have patience for people who are so scared that they have to worry about random photographer x shooting better photos then they do. I don't care where they get published, nothing says "low rent" like this kind of junk. Absolutely pathetic.
  28. I don't really consider a random post of photos , on some blog, "publishing". If the studio was THAT concerned, then they should have had anyone with a camera or phone with a lens in it, sign a contract to NOT post any pictures anywhere. This is 2009 people. A great number of people post pictures online. This is not competition with big studios. I think it's called "social networking" or something.
    I also find this exclusivity term unbelievable . Just how are they damaged ? They can't prove they lose a DIME, because of a blog. If I am looking for a photographer to do my wedding, and I find their studio, and I like their stuff, I hire them. If I find a shot from the same wedding, anywhere on the internet, I don't call them up in a panic and demand a change in price. This single wedding is NOT the studios only source of pictures to show.
    Now that you have brought all this up, I think a good number of us would like to SEE these shots. I wonder of gets more traffic than that blog they were so worried about ?
  29. The studio may have had a legitimate concern if someone was in fact taking credit for one their images. However, I do believe they handeled it poorly by requesting removal before investigating into who owned the copyright. I would expect them to be familiar with copyrights and it seems out of line and unprofessional of them to try and infringe on those of another protographer. The blog host responed far too quickly before lisitining to the OPs position which I think is lame but understandable.
    I would write a stongly worded but professional letter to the studio asserting my rights and asking them what grounds they have for surpressing my images.
    As to professional courtesy; it doesn't trump my own interests! The only other people who MAY have any claim to my photos and their usage are the people paying me or the people in them.
    Missy, I would be a little flattered that the studio went to all this trouble. Good for you. They either took your photo to be of such quality they mistook it as their own or they were embarrased that a guest could make images as good if not better than their own.
    Can't wait to see them.
    take care,
  30. Missy Kay -
    Legally - there is nothing wrong with publishing the photos - in fact I'd go Josh one step further and put your studio's watermark / copyright information on them and publish them here, there and everywhere. You took the photos - you own the copyright (unless you gave that away to someone in writing) and there was not an exclusivity clause in their contract - even if there was - they'd have to show that the bride and groom knowingly asked you to come and take photos and that you were "on the clock" so to speak for the wedding.
    Why? To bait the studio into contacting you directly so you can tell them face to face what a bunch of jerks they are! Okay - seriously - so you can find out why they think they have any claim to tell you to remove the images in the first place, then let them have it.
    I tend to think that either a) they are worried that you "copied" or "stole" one of their poses or that b) they took a similar photo and are worried that someone is copying their digital images or c) they are looking at your shots as being better than theirs.
    As for "professional courtesy" that went out the door when they contacted the blogger, not you directly. If they wanted professional courtesy - they would have asked the blogger - "Where / who did you get those photos from? And may we have their contact information? We'd like to discuss the photos with the photographer. " That would have been Professional Courtesy.
  31. Did anyone consider the studio might have mistaken Missy Kay's photos for their own?
  32. Alec -
    I think that point has been made a couple of times, but without the studio contacting Kay directly - she has no way of knowing...
    I think that point that a lot of us are trying to make - is that the studio should have asked the blogger where they got the photos from as opposed to just demanding that they be taken down.
    Given their reaction - I'm guessing now more than ever that they saw the photos, said "Hey - those are our photos" and demanded their removal. Which is probably the way that 90% of us would react if we saw our photos on a site without our permission.
  33. Let me get this straight.You are a wedding photographer and your friends did not expect you to cover the whole wedding for free.You actually got to be a guest.Sweeeeet!{;~).
  34. There's a whole bunch of speculation going on in this thread about what happened, what's the "right thing", what's the "legal thing", etc....
    The way I see it, the studio had the typical "we are the exclusive photographer" in their contract clause, photographically it was their wedding, as long as you were just a guest taking "happy snaps" at the wedding there was no harm & no foul. However, now the images get "published" and the truth comes out and the studio is upset.....and rightly so. I completely understand the studio's position, your actions have put them and your friends (the couple that got married) in a compromising position. No one will care about you using the photos in your printed folio to display and promote your work however any form of publishing such as putting them on your website, or someone's blog, or even posting here to P-net is IMO unprofessional. Although your intentions were not to step on the studios toes or to get in their way, nevertheless, bottom-line, you have. New shooters are warned about trying to use someone else's wedding to build their folio on this forum on a regular basis, this potential problem has also been raised several times. The complete lack of empathy and professional courtesy found in this thread toward an established professional studio IMO is disappointing and personally disturbing.
  35. What's the big deal with this woman's blog (the one who chickened out and took down your pics)? Why don't you upload them to your own blog, to, and maybe even to flickr.
  36. "I was asked to take pictures at a very close friends wedding. I asked if I could use the images on my website and for advertising an anywhere else, and the couple said of course. Probably doesn't matter to the couple one way or the other.....OK. They hired this studio to take photos also and it wasn't in the contract that there couldn't be a second photographer How do you know they didn't have the typical exclusivity clause? Unless I personally went over the contract and read the entire thing, I would assume that the exclusivity clause is in there. BTW, you are not the second photographer at this point, you are a wedding guest with a camera. Of course being a wedding photographer, (I should have known better) I didn't want to get in their way so I never did." Until I published images from their wedding while representing myself as a professional photographer.

    Had you been simply a guest with a camera and you shared the images in an amateur site like Shutterfly, I doubt the studio would have cared.
  37. BTW, if you'd really like to do the "right thing" and be open and honest about all this, shoot the studio an email inviting them to participate in this discussion.
  38. Of course, a little look at David's bio and you'll see why he thinks the studio rules in this case. "....complete lack of empathy and professional courtesy found .....toward an established pro studio....". That says the whole attitude of pro studio's that pull this stuff. They're scared of the new comers abilities. Rather than try to make their work better, they bully the new my opinion.
    But, the customer requested you to be there to take pics.....apparently BEFORE the contract with the studio. But even if I read that wrong, you were requested by the customer. You did not in any way interfere with their business or sale of their pictures. You put them on a blog. Now, I understand the bloggers caution in removing them, but I personally would make the effort to create my own blog, or website, and put the pics up on it. There is nothing the studio can do. they are your pics. you are not trying to sell them. you were requested by the customer to take the pics. putting them on someone else's blog may have some gray area of legality that I'm not familiar with, but putting them on your own blog is well within the law.
    As far as I see it, the studio is pulling the old beat up the small guy to keep their business more in the limelight. letting you post pics...that they didn't get....jabs them a little in their sides. And they probably deserve it if they aren't trying to promote new business by being "better" at what they do.
  39. I was going to write something very similar to Josh's comments so I'll just second his.
    The way I see it, the studio had the typical "we are the exclusive photographer" in their contract clause...
    If you read the very first post you will "see" that the situation is the opposite.
    Respectfully, the rest of the comments seem pretty much backwards as well. Professional courtesy? This studio used bully tactics making invalid claims, failed to make any request of Missy. The studio already published their precious images they made with no interference or hassles whatsoever. The studio was not harmed in any way. Missy afforded all the courtesy the studio deserved. If anyone put someone in an uncomfortable position it was 100% the studio causing it. Shame on THEM.
    if you'd really like to do the "right thing" and be open and honest about all this, shoot the studio an email inviting them to participate in this discussion.
    The studio isn't identified. No such need.
  40. Look, in all honesty, not enough is actually known to make a proper judgement on this. Depending on the details, I could side you or the studio.

    For instance:
    - did the second photographer mistake the images for their own? (note that it was a second photog and not the primary or at least other photog, so could easily have made the error)
    - did the studio have a line(s) in their contract about them being the exclusive photographer? Easily, non-photographers are not fully aware of such things, or if they are, they easily dismiss them as petty things; your friends could easily have made the mistake
    - did you get paid for the blog post, was the blog post to advertise your work, etc? Conflict of advertising: they want to advertise the wedding in their name, and easily the B&G can be recognised and the photographer confused
    Perhaps the photography studio should have not been so hasty: but without knowing the full details, it's hard to make a decision.
  41. "Of course, a little look at David's bio and you'll see why he thinks the studio rules in this case. "...." -Thomas

    Thanks Thomas, and while we're at it, let's take a look at Nadine and David Wegwart's bios and re-read their comments above.
  42. as to your second point Farceur....."They hired this studio to take photos also and it wasnt in the conract that there couldnt be a second photographer"....sure looks like they looked at the contract and didn't see anything about using another photographer.
    your 1st point makes no nevermind....the studio's second shooter is still their the mistake is still in the studio's ballpark.
    your third point also seems mute....a see no mention of Missy getting paid for anything. And I have listenned to some "professional bloggers" DUMBOs New York Photo Festival....and believe me, they don't pay for anything.
  43. sorry were the last commentor, therefore the comment most recently recognizable. Of course, we have to take a look at the possible bias of any comment.
    I still think it very heavy handed of the studio to do this. If it's the studio I think it is, THEIR bio stinks of elitism....and I actually would expect this of them.
  44. :(
    That's sad. Would like to see the pro's photos vs yours, Missy Kay :)
  45. Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't read all of the responses yet bc I just woke up. But I did contact the studio and this is what they said
    "Hi Kay,
    First of all, I, by no means, EVER took credit for your photographs. I would never do something of that nature. I only said that the post featured a 'real wedding' that another photographer is claiming to have photographed. I also said that I truly have no problem with start-ups trying to build their portfolio as guests at weddings, but taking that extra step of trying to have the images published under false pretenses as being the professional event photographer is simply unfair.
    I just happened to come across this blog and was stunned to see my event featured as a 'real wedding'. I did immediately respond with an email to the editor, because I have already submitted this event to several national publications that (as I'm sure you will come across) REQUIRE that THEY have exclusivity to the event and it CANNOT be published in print or online with ANY other publication. Therefore, your images (which were very nice) compromised my ability to have the event published. Obviously, as the professional photographer for the event, I felt that this was simply unfair.
    Honestly, if I had not already submitted this event to several publications, I never would have bothered to get a third party involved in this matter. I felt so bad even suggesting to Darci that she take down one of her posts. As a fellow photog, I hope you can understand my concerns about maintaining the ability to have the event published and I am sorry if this has caused any unnecessary drama.
    1) I never said I was the main photographer.
    2) Does she think she owns rights to an event?
    3) Simly unfair? She is stealing my rights and infringing on my business
    4) Magazines state that they cannot be published in OTHER magazines. Not blogs!
  46. IMO, Not only is the studio likely in the right, seems to me that they are being awfully nice about it. I still can not imagine an established studio not having the exclusivity clause in their contract......could be, but I just don't see any reason not to have it. Again, suggest that you shoot them an en email and let them join the discussion Editing their side of the story would seem unfair.
    START UP????? Yes, start up.
  47. Ok everyone, I typed my response but did not send it yet. Thoughts? What should I edit? Keep in mind I am sort of upset so I apologize if this comes off a little rude, which is why I only saved it as a draft
    As friends of the bride and groom, they asked me to take images prior to even signing contract with you. Out of professional courtesy I tried to stay out of anyone's way as much as posible. I'm not sure if you are aware of copyright laws, but you do not have rights to an "event". You have right to your images, and I have rights to my images. Therefore, you are violating and infringing upon my rights as a photographer as stating you are telling me what to do with my images.
    Other magazines state that the event must not be published in another magazine, which has absolutely nothing to do with a post on an obscure wedding blog and would not have any affect on your ability to publish. You on the other hand, have affected my ability to publish, so if anything this situation is "simply unfair" to only my studio.
    It's difficult enough competing with large studios such as yourselves, but to go this far when A) you were the second shooter and B) your studio is published all of the time in national magazines, i find it quite absurd. So honestly at this point I only see two options- 1) The blog posts get placed back up on the website that you had taken down or 2) I personally submit the photos to every single wedding, blog, online publication that has ever existed. Please let me know what you decide.
    Sincerely, K"
    David-They didnt have it in their contract and you obviously work for a big studio like stated above so its hard for me to believe anything you are saying.
  48. "David-They didnt have it in their contract and you obviously work for a big studio like stated above so its hard for me to believe anything you are saying."

    You're welcome to read my bio, I have worked for large studios in the past. Obviously you can simply ignore or discount everything I've said. Now read the posts from Nadine and David Wegwart and ignore theirs as well. If you are confident in your position email the thread to the other studio and invite them to contribute their version.
  49. because I have already submitted this event to several national publications that (as I'm sure you will come across) REQUIRE that THEY have exclusivity to the event and it CANNOT be published in print or online with ANY other publication. Therefore, your images (which were very nice) compromised my ability to have the event published.​
    I have to say my feeling is that this is just too bad, and something the studio will just have to live with. There are plenty of guests with cameras at weddings and it's completely out of order for the paid photographer to attempt to interfere with what one of the bride's close friends does with her own photographs. Missy Kay bears no responsibility for the policies of "several national publications" and if the studio has a problem they should take it up with the publications themselves.
    Were I the bride who paid the studio I would be writing a letter of complaint directly to the director of the studio with a stern warning not to interfere with my guests in the future!
  50. Kay -
    Couple of points to your letter.
    1. Do a spell / grammer check - there's a couple of lower case "i''s in there...
    2. I'd rewrite the last paragraph. Suggestion:
    It should be noted that I have never claimed, nor will I to have been the photographer of record for the wedding. Nor will I claim nor have I led anyone to believe that I was the primary photographer at this event. As to whether or not I can claim that these are "real" wedding photos - the wedding was legal, it was not staged, and I did not substantially alter the contents of the photos. Therefore - I am claiming that these are "Real" wedding photos.
    T, as I'm sure you can understand, it's very difficult for me to compete with the large, established studios such as yours, thus I need to publicize my skills and techniques through non-mainstream methods such as blogs,etc... Also, I feel that you are misinterpreting the exclusivity clauses of those publications, as I believe that they are referring to only the first publication and exclusive rights to the photos which you have submitted to them. As such I feel that there is no need for your studio's permission or approval for me to publish my photos in any manner that I see fit or deem necessary. If you can show me a legal precedence, statue or ruling from the state in which the photos were taken, then I will be happy to discuss further.

    Now if you had interfered with them, copied their poses or shot over their shoulder, etc... I might have a different opinion on this...
  51. I still can not imagine an established studio not having the exclusivity clause in their contract......could be, but I just don't see any reason not to have it. Again, suggest that you shoot them an en email and let them join the discussion Editing their side of the story would seem unfair.​
    I normally agree 100% (or more :) ) with what you have to say and, with this statement, I still do. However, I think there are some assumptions that have gotten out of hand in this thread.
    We don't know if there was any exclusivity clause in the contract. Those of us who have been shooting for a while assume that there is but Kay was led to believe there wasn't - after all, the couple asked her to bring her camera. If that wasn't clear to the couple, then I do want to point the finger at the studio and ask why such a clause isn't clear, or made clear.
    But... in the emails from the studio, there is no mention that Kay's shooting is a violation of the studio's exclusivity clause. The concern the studio has is about possible publication.
    If there is an exclusivity clause, then THAT is the argument that the studio should be making. Using the argument that Kay's publication dilutes the studio's chances at having the images published nationally makes the studio come across as sounding petty.
  52. The part I don't get (probably because I don't submit to magazines but probably should) is this: if the... scratch that... if ANY studio submits to multiple publications and each publication requires exclusivity of content, what happens if two or more publications accept the images?
    Or do you submit different images to each publication?
  53. Or do you submit different images to each publication?​
    Well if that was ok there'd be no problem as Kay's pictures haven't been submitted to any magazines at all.
    As for exclusivity clauses: I can't see how they would bind the guests.
  54. Even if there was an exclusivity clause in the contract, so what? Missy Kay isn't a party to the contract.
  55. Even if there was an exclusivity clause in the contract, so what? Missy Kay isn't a party to the contract.
    True, but the bridal couple would be and they were the ones tat asked Kay to shoot. In that case, the studio could make the argument that the couple had no right to ask her to shoot.
    Again, without being privy to the content of the contract, all we can do is speculate and offer some form of support to Kay who, in good faith, shot her friends' wedding and was blind-sided by this.
    I still don't think the studio handled it well.
  56. Kay, when responding, please use the paragraph David suggested, it is to the point and professional. Please do take out this section "1) The blog posts get placed back up on the website that you had taken down or 2) I personally submit the photos to every single wedding, blog, online publication that has ever existed. Please let me know what you decide." - it's a knee-jerk reaction that won't get you anywhere.
  57. Kay,
    First I would like to say that I adore your work, down to the ground. Much like Neil Ambrose as well, it's stunning and I would like to make that clear before I continue.

    I have to agree with Nadine & David on this one. I myself am a "start up" I have been doing this for many years, but this has been my first proper cycle (like you yourself posted lately to ask if you should raise your prices) and although we feel we have been well and truly weather beaten by the economy and the demands of brides increasing we are still the young blood in this.
    I think most of the advice here on the forums is usually along the lines of "remove the emotion, and think of the business." It would be much more beneficial for you to establish a friendly relationship with this rather large and successful studio in your area rather than making enemies. Sure, you can say she was the one that "started it" but then that gets a bit juvenile.
    Legally, I am sure you have every right to post your own images wherever you would like and can submit them to whomever you choose. The blogs will not take you on anymore if you start being affiliated with dramatic or embarrassing situations. And having a blow out with this lady at the studio is a way to start that sort of rumor circulating. And that would be very, very bad for you and negate any positive publicity you might have gotten from the original post. So, it's ultimately better for you and your reputation to do this tactfully.
    And yes, always always use spell check! :)
    The focus is not really who is in the wrong, and who is legally allowed to do what and where. It's more about playing the intricate game of business (which I myself am still learning undoubtedly!) and trying to come out on top, despite tricky situations like this!
    You also tend to focus on your religious beliefs in some of your posts with blessings etc, perhaps lean a bit on that to temper your irritation and calm your raging river into a calm stream. :)
  58. Howdy!
    In the age of ubiquitous digital cameras, exclusivity clauses are silly, unenforceable, and promote bad feeling at a wedding. I only ask that people refrain from shooting photos while I'm posing people, because I don't like it when everybody looks every which way except at my lens.
    Here's a thought: If Kay was the bride's mother instead of the bride's friend, no doubt the studio would have gotten an earful from the bride by now.
    I have followed David's remarks for many years. Although like him as a fellow curmudgeon, he would probably agree that we agree to disagree on many things. This issue is no exception. I concur with the majority opinion that you have every right to publish the photos in any manner you see fit.
    However, I disagree with some posters who believe that a written response to the studio is necessary. You would be talking to a wall, and you might say something that would get you into further trouble. The most effective response would be to publish the photos in your gallery on We'd love to see them.
  59. ***I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice***
    Folks, keep in mind what "exclusivity" is in a situation like this, it typically means that a studio (or photographer) does not want other hired people there at the wedding.
    1. Unless I have missed it, Missy has said nothing about being paid. She should probably clarify this situation. But as far as I can tell, she was there as a guest.
    2. This exclusivity only goes as far as the contract between the b&g and the photographer. There is no contract in the world that a wedding photographer presents that can stop a guest from doing whatever they want with their images. This is a free country. The ONLY people who can stop publication of an image YOU took are the subjects IN that image (and in some rare occasions the owner of the property). And even then, there are still situations where you can publish without the permission from those subjects.
    3. Even if Missy WAS hired to shoot this wedding in contradiction of a exclusivity clause, the studio's issue would be with the b&g, not with Missy. A contract she was not party to cannot stop Missy from publishing those photos. The b&g would have broken the contract, not Missy. Their only recourse is to legally go after the b&g. The studio has no control over the copyright of Missy's images, the rights to any of the subjects in the photos, Missy's right to take photos, or her right to publish them.
    Other than that, I stand by my previous statement. This studio (or whoever it is doing this) can rot as far as I am concerned. They are absolutely unprofessional and would get zero respect from me. In the interest of politeness, I won't repeat how my letter to them would go if I were in Missy's position. This is a weak power grab from nothing more than a bully. Pathetic.
    ***I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice***
  60. Dawn -
    There's a time for playing the game and a time to stand up for one's rights. If the studio had called Kay before contacting the blogger and tried to explain the situation or even their view point...I'd go along with playing the game...
    To me - the studio crossed the line by going to the blogger and saying - hey - take down that photo. Given their reaction to this - my guess is that they are not someone that if it were me, would want to have a working or any other kind of relationship with. Doing a quick google search of the town mentioned - I'm betting that I can guess which studio it is...just from their site. The problem with 800 lb gorillas is well, that they're 800 lb gorillas. We all have to deal with them at one point or another.
    Also as was pointed out earlier - we only lose our rights when we give them up.
  61. If the studio had called Kay before contacting the blogger and tried to explain the situation or even their view point...I'd go along with playing the game...​
    I agree. If I were in this situation (a guest or friend-photographer at a wedding) and the hired photographer came to me later and said:
    "Hey, here's the situation and what were trying to do. I know you have every right to publish your images. But is there any way we could ask you to hold off on these particular images until we get ours published?"
    I very likely would have said yes. THAT is professional courtesy. Bullying people to get what you want is not.
  62. It's a dog-eat-dog competitive business world out there. You've just come across a very big, mean dog. Companies can do pretty much whatever they want to until somebody pays the money to take them to court and prove a case against them. They played you by intimidating the blog-owner into removing your legitimate photographs. They played a strong hand and won, and you were wronged. This should come as no surprise to anyone anymore, as all large companies play dirty like this. They were intimidated by the competition and bit the legs out from under you. It sucks to take a loss like this, but they smelled out your weakness and took advantage of you.
    Since this round definitely goes to the studio, you should bow out and cut your losses. To pursue this any further will only damage you more, as others have pointed out. Good luck in the next round. My best advice is to try and get ahead where you can without attracting the attention of bigger dogs.
    If you're going to play on the same field with these guys in the future, make sure you're backed up by solid contracts (even if you are shooting for free, get permission on paper if there will be pro/studio guys at the event). Follow that up by providing proof of legitimacy to any publication or blog you are going to submit your work to.
  63. Missy--I would caution you not to send your letter until you have given yourself time to calm down and look at things without emotion. Certain parts of your letter sound like threats, as Dawn pointed out. No matter who is legally right or wrong, damage to your own reputation and to your relationships with associate photographers and studios is something you don't want.
    I am still curious as to what kind of blog published your images and how they published them. If the blog made it seem as if you were the official photographer at that wedding, then more so, I would leave it alone.
    Even so, I think the real issue here is not whether your rights were trampled upon, but how and whether you want to shape your own reputation among both publishers and fellow wedding photographers/studios. This is your choice, regardless of rights.
  64. My $0.02
    This isn't your blog, and this isn't the blog of the hired photographer. Why fight between the two of you. The owner of the blog needs to make up his/her mind whether to resurrect those photos or not. I would send an email to the blog owner (maybe cc the hired photog) with content something like that in the letter composed a few posts up above. Explain to the blog owner why it is perfectly reasonable to have those pictures up.
    Suppose the blog owner decides not to host, just to be safe. No big deal, it's just a blog. Make some prints and burn a disk for the Happy Couple, and keep those photos in your own portfolio. That's what counts.
  65. I am going to stick with Nadine on the "don't bother to contact the studio". There is really nothing to be gained here. As Hal said, they pulled a power play and you lost. As I said, it was unprofessional and pathetic.
    But the reality is that you don't have much to gain here by fighting with them over this particular situation. There is no money at stake for you and while blog publicity is nice, it isn't like you got blocked from being featured in Modern Bride.
    Just move on, lesson learned. Every professional photographer has these lessons that they have to learn in the beginning (with refresher courses even later on). If you want to make yourself feel a bit better, post and publish those images everywhere you can think of. Here, flickr, your own website, and so on. These are your images and as I read the situation (keeping in mind that I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice) you have every right to do whatever you want with them. But fighting with a large studio isn't going to get you anywhere, particularly when you and they know that you have nothing to gain by fighting.
  66. Howdy!
    I tend to agree with Nadine on most things. Allow me to elaborate further on what she said.
    I have a liberal attitude with my associate second photographers. I allow them to post pictures from weddings where we worked together in order to promote their own careers.
    One associate stepped over the line by posting his pics from a wedding I booked as if HE were the principal. His pictures were accompanied by verbage such as "When I shot this wedding, I had a wonderful time working with (bride's name deleted), we got along fabulously!" While true, the statement conveys the mistaken impression that he was the only person there, or at least the principal, which means that he didn't shoot any more weddings with me.
    I prefer to post pictures with as little verbage as possible. By using verbage you might say something that would drive away a potential customer, or damage your reputation with other photographers. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, it should stand on it's own.
    Now if you had used verbage in your blog that conveyed the impression that you were the principal, I could understand the studio's position.
    My position on verbage also applies to flaming responses. I agree with Nadine that any response to the studio at this point could only hurt you, and possibly provide them with motivation to take more aggressive action against you. However, I do believe you have a right to publish your photos, sans verbage, in whatever manner you see fit, and I look forward to seeing them on
  67. Hey everyone,
    I wanted to clarify a couple of things :)
    1) I was not paid by the couple
    2) I didn't formally submit these photos. I was published on the blog for another wedding, and the blog said they loved the other photos so much they would like to publish them too. It never said I was the main photogapher.
    3) I posted some of the images on my blog and never wrote anything. I never wrote I was the main photographer.
    4) I sent the e-mail as edited above by the other member (thank you)... So I guess there is nothing I can do at this point and we'll just add it to the victory list for big studios. But I can take it as a compliment that an established studio with multiple locations found me threatening enough, even in my first year of wedding photography, to try to pull this.
  68. photographically it was their wedding​
    Huh. And I thought it was the Bride and Groom's wedding. Since when does being the hired photographer give you the right to tell the B&G which of thier freinds are allowed to take photos and what thier freinds can do with those photos.

    Based on what I read, if they photographer/studio wants to have the images of the B&G published in a high end magazine, THEY should be paying the B&G to cover the event; it is their wedding after all. I would expect a little more professionalism from a high end studio. But it seems that they are more concerned with who has "rights" to the images than actually providing the service that their clients paid for.
  69. Howdy!
    Your pics look lovely. I'm very impressed that you were able to get such quality without moving around much.
    I can see why the big studio would feel threatened. It would appear that you covered every meaningful moment in an artistic, sensitive, and technically proficient manner. When you throw in the teaser that these images constitute a "preview" of things to come, and the fact that every picture has a huge signature on the bottom, the overall impression conveyed is that you were indeed the paid principal. It's a subtle (and quite masterful) bit of saleswomanship. Kudos.
    However, these facts remain:
    • You weren't the principal.
    • You were not paid.
    • You made no verbal claims of either being the principal or being paid.
    • You shot so well that a big studio is running scared.
    To this, I have only one thing to say:
  70. Howdy!
    Almost forgot. Please post your images on and offer them for critique ASAP. You deserve it.
  71. David -
    I was simply trying to convey that I felt it would be in Missy's best interest (business wise and emotionally) that if she was going to contact the studio to not be aggressive or threatening - to go about this in a tactful way.

    I agree that the tactics they used had a superior and unthoughtful attitude and were a rather abrupt way to ask for images to be taken down. I see your point in fighting, but I too, was saying to fight - in a sense. But in a more "sugar vs. vinegar" way. Sounding argumentative in an email like that only makes them go on the defensive and the email that Kay got from the Studio was pretty decent. You might not agree with their methods or their opinion but their comments to Kay were in no way rude or aggressive so I felt it wouldn't do Missy any favors to be that way.
    When faced with adversities such as this, it's better to have the upper hand, walk away with your head held high, having not succumbed to such petty exchanges. I understand her rights have been in your opinion walked over, but how would you suggest to fight it? Ultimately no matter what sort of email is sent, the studio is in no way going to lay down and do what Missy wants so why make it into an argument?
    I am confused because although I agree with the sentiments behind what you're saying how is she actually going to achieve anything other than venting? The battle has already been lost, but the war is ongoing and I feel it would be much better for Missy to focus her energies on the future and her creative endeavors than lamenting over this for any extracted period of time as I don't know what can be achieved from your version of "fighting".
    The blog is owned by a third party, and that third party has made their decision - Missy pushing the issue isn't going to garner her favor with that blogger, whom she has a perfectly good working relation with at this point. So, other than posting the pictures in her blogs and her portfolio there isn't much fighting to do is there? Other than grumpy emails to the studio, and wasting Missy's valuable time.
    I'm all in favor of fighting a battle that can be tangibly won on some professional level.
    All this being said I think there is a big bias against studios, and quite possibly for reason's like this but yet again we are all photographers and we should all try our best to work together in as many ways possible. I see that they didn't regard Missy's feelings about the issue, but I don't really think they were any of Missy's concern either. Overall I think the studio has overreacted but Missy getting upset about it isn't going to achieve much.
    I personally prefer wedding and location photography but I have great respect for studio work and those that have become successful enough to run their own large studios. I think everyone should have a moment of zen or prayer or a glass of malibu & coke, take a deep breath and say "C'est la vie."
  72. The other photograph cannot request that your photos be taken down
    Even if there was an exclusive right to photograph the wedding, the other photographer's issue would be with the COUPLE NOT YOU. There IS no agreement between you and the other photographer, only he and the couple. Leave your pics up.
  73. Missy,
    As a rule, if I am attending a wedding and not being paid to shoot it (sorry, I avoid weddings like the plague), I will usually introduce myself to the photographers at the event. When I introduce myself I will tell them my intentions, and if they have any requests, such as don't release them outside of friends and family for a year, they can tell me then. Just a thought for the future.
  74. The studio may have a line in the contract that states that they are the only "hired" photographer. That's fine but they cannot prohibit other people to come and bring camera. Even the B&G would not forbid the guests from bringing cameras and taking pictures.
    The studio does not own the event!!!
    Now, if one of the guests felt that the picture that he/she took was a great one, it's his/her right to publish it. The guest is not being paid by the B&G and therefore, there is no breach of contract. The studio wants to publish the pictures for publication or whatever, but so does everybody else. The guest is the photographer, he/she owns the right and sure can publish his/her pictures.
    Missy even got permission from the B&G, was not paid, used her own camera and lens, was not in the studio's way, was not stealing the studio's pictures or posed. So, the studio has no right whatsoever.
  75. Send your correspondance to the blog owner and ask them to put the photos back.
    Publish the photos on a different blog.
    Create your own blog or portfolio page and post the images.
    Definetly let them know that they have no right to request photos that they do not have any copyright claim on to be taken down and request that they send a message to the blog owner to have the pictures reinstated. Should they insist on claiming copyright or any rights you will seek legal council, which you may want to do anyway and at least have a lawyer send them a letter so they think twice the next time.
    They had NO right to ask the blog owner to remove the photos. If they want to make a deal with you they can do so.
    These people need a legal letter because they are clearly trying circumvent the law with bully tactics. I say their letter did imply that they held copyright and they have no right to prevent you from publishing the photos in any medium. If they want to buy those rights they can sign a check.
  76. Most magazines won't touch a story if it's been published elsewhere. They will almost always ask for exclusivity. Even when you shoot for them, as opposed to submitting, they'll ask for exclusive rights for a period of time and ask you not to release the images to the subjects or publish them on your site, etc. The reason for this is to protect their content, which, if it's good enough and unique, will keep subscribers happy, which keeps the ad dollars coming in.
    I can see why the studio was concerned- your photos have enough merit to be published on the Knot. But I don't think they can do anything about you or your photos. The only thing I'd be worried about, if it was me, would be that if the Knot or other magazine, blog, etc. remembers you as, "that photographer who killed a story for us." I think that's pretty remote, but maybe it's something to consider.
  77. If I were you I would tell the other photographer to shove it. You are simply AWESOME!
  78. they are being awfully nice about it.
    Not just nice but "awfully"nice? Did you even read about what they did? Making bogus claims, factually and legally, and bullying third parties and failing to make any attempt whatsoever to communicate to the photographer before pulling these stunts. That's "awfully nice"?
    Its unfortunate that the blog owner caved to the studios facially invalid claims. The studio's behaviour comes close to tortious interference with a contract and unfair trade practices as defined by various state statutes. But for the lack of a formal contract, measurable losses and little likleyhood of repeat conduct directed at Missy, it would be worth exploring. Practically speaking, when picking battles, this one is not likely to be worthwhile despite the egregious behavior. The letters won't do much.
  79. I've scanned most of the responses here, though I may have missed if someone else touched on this. One other thing to keep in mind - the innocent bystanders in this that could be most impacted are your close friends. Have they gotten their prints/album/photos yet? Unless they're completely done working with the studio, it might be worth backing off just to not ruin their experience.
    For the life of me, I don't understand the comments above from those who think they have any of the rights they claim to have around a wedding as an "event." But since this situation doesn't seem to have any financial impact on you aside from some lost (and admittedly important) publicity on the blog - I'd probably let it all go, if for nothing else than your friend's sake. If you work in the same market, I suspect you'll cross paths with this studio again. Things like these have a funny way of coming back around, and I suspect you'll be prepared when it does.
  80. A guest with a camera can take photos and post them on facebook, shutterfly, etc.... and the studio wouldn't gripe. A professional wedding photographer posting a wedding that they were not hired for and representing the work as their wedding (even if it's not written, it would be implied) is a different matter. I very much doubt that the contract with the couple from the studio would not include an exclusivity clause, it's pretty standard and I would suspect that a studio that routinely publishes would have a pretty descent contract. While I suspect that legally the studio could not do much about the situation, it could have a significant effect on the relationship between the studio and the wedding couple. This situation also doesn't do much to endear the relationship of established studios tolerating the presence of young shooters hoping to shoot alongside the pros.
    This entire argument is completely one-sided without the studio's story. In the past I have warned start-up shooters of potential situations of this sort when they shoot for family/friends and plan to use the images to represent themselves. Again, the only fair thing to do is to give the studio a chance to comment, the OP is hardly in a position to represent their experience in all this.
  81. My last point
    - did you get paid for the blog post, was the blog post to advertise your work, etc? Conflict of advertising: they want to advertise the wedding in their name, and easily the B&G can be recognised and the photographer confused​
    was answered by their replying letter. To be honest, the blog has every right to execute the decision to delete your post. The studio can request it, even though it may not be legally supported.

    In all honesty, I side the studio on this one, since the blog was probably dedicated to wedding photographers, and in posting you may have seemed like the photographer for that wedding (thus other photos from the wedding could be confused easily for yours and thus less advertising for them).
  82. Kay, don't worry too much about it. If you're sure you want to keep these images displayed with whomever you choose, so be it. Not for me to judge your position and my advice was merely what I felt the best thing in the situation.
    Now, on another note, I just looked at the few you posted and, well quite frankly I can see why the other lady is felling a bit threatened by those wonderful images. I would not worry about which images you show/share from this one wedding as you will undoubtedly go far with your quality of work.
    Best, D.
  83. In all honesty, I side the studio
    Do you side with their tactics?
  84. I've gotta agree with David here. I've just been looking at your web site and, unless the "official" photographer was pretty darn good, they should feel threatened. Nice work! Had I not gotten married 18 years ago, I'd hire you.
  85. If this would have happened to me, I would have started by discussing the situation with the b&g. If they signed some clause giving exclusivity to the studio, I'd just drop the whole thing, as it might poison their relationship with the studio, regardless of whether the clause is legal or not - strike it under experience. If they didn't, on the other hand, I'd just start a photographic blog with this story and sample photos and I'd post a link here - I'm pretty sure you'd get a bunch of hits for a start and I'd like to see the studio sending me emails to take the photos down.
  86. Wouldn't it be interesting if your Bride and Groom friends eventually never agreed to have pictures of themselves at their wedding published in a magazine? That might stick this bully of a studio in the eye . . . Then again, without seeing the actual contract, we'll never know what was agreed to and what wasn't. Missy, this will be a great experience for you, and to learn how not to act to newbies when you have your own huge studio from having your own great skills.
    Josh Root's answers ROCK!
  87. @Timothy
    Ironically, this particular wedding is one of her (Missy's) least impressive ones - some of her other events are just phenomenal. If that Studio lady saw those too, she'd have fainted I guess :)
  88. I still would like to know what kind of blog it was that published Missy's images. And how those images were shown. If they were shown with Missy's logo on them, as they appear on her own blog, or the images were lumped in with other images from an event where Missy was the official photographer, and/or no mention was made of the fact that Missy was not the official photographer at that specific wedding, I would say the studio has cause to request removal.
    They have no legal right to demand removal of the images based on copyright. They also (it seems) don't have the right to demand removal based on being the official photographers at the wedding, since they didn't have that kind of exclusivity clause in their contract. They have no right to demand anything, actually. But they do have cause to request removal. I agree, though, that they should have contacted Missy first and requested removal from her--professional to professional.
    The difference between this case and one such as the bride's mother (or any other amateur) placing images she took on a blog, is that Missy was an aspiring wedding photographer and now is a wedding photographer competing with all others, including the studio. Unless the bride's mother (or whomever) is also an aspiring wedding photographer with a website, blog and intent to solicit wedding photography business, it isn't the same.
    It is true that many publishers (print and online) stipulate that event images (such as from a wedding) being submitted for publication are exclusive to the publisher and no other images from that same event have been published in similar publications. From what I can determine, the studio photographer thought this was the case when she submitted her images to several publication offices. With Missy's images being on the blog (I assume, a similar enough publication), her chances of her images being accepted were compromised. Being that the studio photographers were the official photographers at that wedding, they should have precedence, and professional courtesy should be extended on the part of the non-official photographer, regardless of how clumsy the studio photographers' attempts to remove Missy's images were.
    Why? Because Missy was not the official photographer, because she will have her chance to shine with weddings where she is the official photographer, because potential damage to her reputation and to publisher/fellow photographer relations isn't worth being 'right' about this issue. I would not have submitted to the blog, any images taken in a non-official capacity to begin with, even if they were requested by the blogger, just to avoid these kinds of problems.
    I find it difficult to believe that professional wedding photographers have trouble understanding this. I don't condone the studio's behavior, but I think the correspondence from the studio photographer is cordial, and I think Missy's letter is not so cordial, and some bridges have been burned.
  89. Howdy!
    Well said Nadine, but there is one key point that changes everything. The studio did not ask for professional courtesy. Instead, they used heavy handed intimidation. The fact that they were nice later when damage control seemed most prudent really doesn't change things much. Bullying is unacceptable, and it doesn't get any better when the playground thug thanks you kindly for your lunch money.
    Kay seems like a reasonable person, and I doubt she meant any harm. If she's guilty of anything, it's naivete. If the studio had contacted her directly, and tried to work out a fair deal, this whole thing might have had a different outcome altogether. Kay might have even made a little money off the deal in exchange for declining to publish for a while, and everybody would have walked away happy.
    I do agree that Kay's letter was probably better left unsent, But the only way people learn to avoid the Poison Pen is to suffer personally from it when words written in anger come back to haunt them. The pen is truly mightier than the sword, but like the sword, it cuts both ways.
  90. Paul--I believe I said I don't condone the studio's behavior. However, I don't think, reading the letter from the studio photographer, that they were being nice at that point just to smooth things out. There is an assumption of professional courtesy in that Missy would certainly understand their position, and therefore, an openness, in that letter (IMO). Your opinion may differ.
    Regardless of bullying, I would still have done the same thing. This is not the time to be nasty because someone was nasty to you.
  91. Missy Kay: Say the photos on your blog, very well done :)
  92. In all honesty, I side the studio
    Do you side with their tactics?
    What tactics? The closest that we come to hearing the studio's side of the story is an email provided by the OP, and upon reading that email letter, it looks very professional, business-like, and matter of fact. I don't see any evidence of bullying except on the part of the OP by isolating the studio from this discussion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but it would make more sense if they were based on more facts from both sides of the issue. If the situation were reversed and the studio was presenting only there version of the events, I'd be just as cautious about jumping to conclusions.
    Nadine, I believe that the blog in question is a general information blog about weddings which features info on multiple vendors, planning how-tos, very similar to printed bridal mags.
  93. The closest that we come to hearing the studio's side of the story is an email provided by the OP
    That's because this isn't a trial. Its more like an advice column where the response is based on the facts as they are presented which is how you routinely respond to other posts. Perhaps you might be able to respond, in kind, as to whether the tactis, as presented, are appropriate?
  94. Hey Everyone!
    Wow, this thread got huge and very quickly lol!
    To answer some of your questions- 1) I did not get paid for the blog publishing. 2) I did not submit for the blog, they asked me if they could publish them 3) I'm not afraid of the Knot lol 4)The couple said they would contact the studio on my behalf asking them to allow the blog post- I told them not to because I didn't want it to interfere with their albums or prints. 5) I have no problem inviting the studio to join in the discussion. But I have posted their e-mails without any editing so I don't see how it's "one-sided". But she still has not responded to my e-mail, so I'm not sure if she would participate.
    I just wanted to thank you all, even if you disagree. I think it's a good discussion and valuable for new shooters in the future. We're all here to help eachother and thank you all again!
  95. Howdy!
    Nadine, I do agree with you that nastiness as a response to nastiness is inappropriate. Most people on this thread, regardless of their position on the matter, urged Kay not to send a haughty response. This includes Josh, you, and me.
    Where we differ is whether or not Kay should have given in to the studio on their terms after she received the letter. I say no, because regardless of whether or not posting the images was misleading, she still had every right to post them. They were obtained legitimately by a guest, and she has just as much right to post them as any other guest. Any request to take them down should have been directed to the Kay, accompanied by lots of sugar.
    Of course, Kay could certainly have responded to the studio's letter with a counter-offer that didn't read like an ultimatum. The door was still open for a win-win. By sending a flaming response, that door is probably closed, which means everybody loses.
  96. "I have no problem inviting the studio to join in the discussion. But I have posted their e-mails without any editing so I don't see how it's "one-sided". But she still has not responded to my e-mail, so I'm not sure if she would participate." -Missy

    I'm willing to bet that if you send them a link to this thread that they will be happy to participate. The only information from the studio that we have is a single email within which I don't see anything nasty or bullying. Although John correctly points out that this is not a trial, nevertheless there are numerous judges with rampant judgments. Personally, I'd like to hear about the studio's contract with this wedding.......from the studio.
  97. Howdy!
    I see your pair of deuces, and I'll raise you on my three kings showing.
    I'm willing to bet that the studio already has a link to this thread, and that they are avoiding it like the plague. They have absolutely nothing to win by posting here. Firstly, they would identify themselves to this online community, most of whom do not hold them in high regard based on the information provided here. Secondly, if the publisher they were going to advertise with was dragged into an online fight, the studio would never publish there again.
    Thirdly, contrary to the old adage, there is such a thing as bad publicity.
    I don't think we'll be hearing from them anytime soon. ;^<)>
  98. Morning all, of course depending on where you live. I've been reading along since the start, thank heavens, but have really been hesitant to add any more along the way because, in fairness, I'm still not sure what to make of all this. So for starters rather than write another long post I'll just say that Dawn Tyler and David Shilling are seeing it similar to myself and I would just be writing many of the same things. That being said, here goes the long post. I think the studio in question, and being a long time NJ photographer I am aware of their most excellent work through the 1980s and 90s, has taken some serious bumps and a few nasty comments here for an action that to me still is questionable. Apparently if I'm getting this right, and Nadine appears to raise the same point, this unidentified blog site is a pro photography or similar site, not quite an amateur family snapshot site. If so, regardless of Kay's constitutional rights to happiness, everyone is not happy here. I thought the email from the 2nd shooter was cordial, and I can see where she might be a little miffed and chose to go right to the horse, especially if she has any relationship with them. Was this all in good form, probably not, but it got the job done. I think next step was for Kay to deal with this privately for a while and see how things play out before airing it all out on here. It makes good business sense to follow that model, not what's going on here. Further more, the 800lb gorilla remarks should be used in another way here. It is a plain and simple fact that several of the competitor's studios, several of whom I used to work for, either went out of business or went bankrupt and this would make their potential client bases open up even more for the studio in question. I can also tell you that besides my own personal work. I did work for about five studios and all of the owners had the highest regard for the owner of the foe studio. The owner's work at the time was absolutely exemplary, so that's how the monkey grew into the gorilla. It's also very hard to believe that some of you who call yourselves professionals would cut apart another well established busines like this that some of you are trying to build for yourselves. Dawn Tyler makes perfect sense about the delicate balance of using good business sense. This was perhaps a bridge to build for Kay, not one to burn, no photographe in busines can isolate all around them and stuff like this is going to happen and a lesson is being learned every post. I don't really care what anyone thinks of what I wrote, I'll still be cleaning my house and watching college football. For some of the newer pros on here I think read some of the more focused and sensible posts and learn from them because a lot of this three day rant is based on emotion and not good practical business or profesional sense.
  99. I want to clarify that when I say competitors studios, I'm referring to competitors of the foe studio in question, not Missy's competitor. Also just to emphasize a further point, I myself never did any work for the foe studio in question, so I don't want all that junk blowing around on here. I only worked for some of their competitors and for studios in their immediate area and not for the foe.
  100. Howdy!
    Not to quibble too much, but there is no right to happiness. Otherwise, most people would have grounds to sue the government.
    The Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to the pursuit of happiness, but that's not the issue here. The issue is the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression, and freedom of the press.
    H.L. Mencken said that "freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." In the past, only persons with sufficient capital or influence could afford to publish, i.e.; own a press. Now that there are blogs galore, everyone can afford to publish. Kay simply took advantage of the fact that she owned a press.
    When one party attempts to seize freedom of the press from another party by force, the agressor is beneath contempt, regardless of the circumstances. That's what the studio allegedly did. However, Mother Teresa said, "If you want to make peace , you don 't talk to your friends . You talk to your enemies."
    Kay missed an opportunity to leverage her First Amendment right by not talking peace with her enemies. They could have come to some accomodation that would have been best for all.
    Also, when I mention the studio, I do so as a corporation. It's quite possible that the action taken by the studio was done so without the knowledge or consent of of the owner. If so, then the owner has an opportunity to rectify the situation.
  101. Paul, you are indeed correct in correcting my constitutional awareness, but I'm sure you knew what I meant, as you corrected it and I stand corrected ;) You also bring out and excellent point in that all this business may be without the knowledge of the principal, and he/she/they may have a completely different take on it. As for playing the "freedom of press" card, I know that I'm not qualified to argue this point so I'll use my 5th Amendment Rights instead :) Seriously, what "freedom of press" rights apply to private blogs with rules and moderators? They didn't want a conflict, weighed on the side of the studio and Kay's indeed beautiful images are "poof" gone, and we hence have this instead.
  102. Was this all in good form, probably not, but it got the job done.

    Translation: Who cares if a studio chooses intimidation to get its way instead of making any effort to contact the photographer first? As long as it works.
    The message from this and the rest of the post... Full professional courtesies are expected of small time Missy but criticism of the big 'getting the bankrupt studio's clients' studio Dave likes (and almost identifies) is so unfair.
  103. John--there are plenty of people who said the studio didn't use the best methods in trying to get Missy's images taken down.
    As for Missy being 'expected' to take her images down while the big, bad studio does whatever it likes--this is not the point, as I said above. Yes, the tactics weren't admirable, but the studio photographers were the official photographers and Missy wasn't. IMO, the fact that the studio used less than sterling methods to get the images taken down does not mean that Missy gets to do whatever she likes. She also could have reaped benefits out of this situation but chose not to pursue that path.
    If the 'foe' was not a studio, and instead was a lone wedding photographer, I would still say the same thing about this situation. This is not a big bad studio/poor starving wedding photographer conflict. This is about extending professional courtesy--allowing unencumbered self promotion by the official photographer by not muddying the waters with one's own images of the same event--to the official photographer when one was not.
    I remember reading previous posts about photographers complaining when a guest/would be wedding photographer at one of their weddings posted images of that wedding on their website, making it appear to anyone viewing the website, that the guest was the official photographer. Now, would there be such an outcry if the photographer in question tried to get the guest to take the images down? Even if the photographer leaned on the guest a little? I think not. I think people would be posting with suggestions as to how to sabotage the guest's website and the like.
  104. there are plenty of people who said the studio didn't use the best methods
    I was refering to other people. Those who hold up the OP to professional courtesies but excuse the studio or whoever wrote to the blog such standards. I don't have an issue with anyone being critical of Missy. I'm addressing the arguments of those who defend the studio for its conduct or justify it because "it got the job done" so that others hopefully will not behave the same way.
    Now, would there be such an outcry if the photographer in question tried to get the guest to take the images down?
    The studio chose to use different methods instead of this approach. It only helps to contrast the studio from those who would follow common professional customs.
    I think people would be posting with suggestions as to how to sabotage the guest's website and the like
    Which serves as a reason to focus on the studio's behavior and discourage others from mimicing it.
  105. John, cool spin, but off the mark a bit.
  106. Nadine,
    I'm not sure what your issues are with the way I handled it, but I chose the high road. I could have fought the studio, called in my husband who is a lawyer, said yes to my friends the bride and groom who wanted to call the studio telling them their place, cursed at the studio and sent them my original e-mail, and I could have sent the photos to every single magazine in the U.S. making it a conflict of interest and essentially doing to them, what they did to me (making it inelligible to be published). INSTEAD, I did none of that above and just accepted it. So why you, a moderator, would keep saying that the way I handled it "wasn't the high road" IS UNACCEPTABLE
  107. I'm a fairly new wedding photographer, (in business 3 years, ) and here's my two cents from that perspective, for what it's worth. It quite possibly will reflect poorly on you if this gets out, and it is causing unnecessary drama that could stain your business reputation, all over a few detail shots. You've got them posted on your own blog...isn't that enough? You work is lovely, and I'm confident that there will be many other weddings to promote your business with. Use those.
    If the situation were reversed, would YOU be upset? (Be honest with yourself and think about it carefully once you've had a chance to cool down.)
    Be glad you did the right thing and let it go.
  108. cool spin
    "but it got the job done";)
  109. I am accepting the assumption that there was no exclusivity clause in the contract, and that Missy did not represent herself as the official event photographer. Given that, the methods the studio used, and the simple fact that they took action first and contacted her later invalidates any notion of professional courtesy.
    So as long as Missy did not represent herself as a business with the published photos, what right does the studio, or anyone, have to demand the photos to be taken down? Just because they were good photos? Any non-professional photographer can be there taking pro-quality photos, and since there was explicitly no exclusivity clause, they are free to publish them as they see fit, be it on Facebook, on their blog, or any other website.
    I'm all for defending one's rights with a passion, but i just don't see any rights here on the side of the studio, legal or otherwise. Everytihng was explicitly allowed by them when signing the contract and during the event itself. It seems that Missy was just another shooter in the crowd and they only went after her because, unlike a hobbyist, she has a reputation to defend, so they can intimidate her. No courtesies, no legal arguements, just pure underhanded competition with any means available. They are trying to make up for a badly written contract.
    I am not in the business, this is just the way it seems to me and i am curious about this story. Where i live most weddings are open public events and it is entirely possible for any random passer-by to drop in and take pictures if they wanted to.
  110. I'd really, really like the studio to respond to this thread which would be the open and honest way of getting all the information. I might be wrong but here's the scenario that I see and how it could have played-out.
    Missy's friend is getting married and knows that Missy is a new wedding photographer in her first year of the business and asks her if she would take some shots at her wedding. The bride and groom hire a studio to shoot their wedding (might have been a better move for them to have offered the gig to Missy but they didn't). Missy asks if the contract mentions any problems with her shooting. The bride calls the studio and says her friend is coming as a guest and is a "start-up" photographer and asks if it's OK for her to take some pics at the wedding. The studio says no problem to her shooting (out of professional courtesy), the friend tells Missy no problem and everyone is happy. However, I'm doubting that the studio does not have the "exclusivity clause", it's standard and if this is an established studio with any kind of history, I would expect them to have the clause, it wouldn't make sense for them to not have the clause. Now, in the studio's mind, Missy is there shooting as a guest for her friend and not as a professional, they're OK with it out of professional courtesy on their part. Wedding goes OK, she's happy, the studio is happy, and the B/G are happy. If it ends there, all is OK, if Missy uses the images in her print folio, I doubt the studio would squawk, even if she posts them on her website/blog (technically an act of publishing) I think they are probably still cool with it. However, they discover that unknown to them (because Missy doesn't alert them to this ahead of time) that images from their wedding appeared on a wedding blog that is the cyber equivalent to a bridal magazine which creates a problem with their submission of their images that they have taken/obtained under a contract with the B/G and have submitted for publication in various outlets. They recognize what's up, notify the blog of the conflict of interest and requests that the blog remove the photos. They craft a polite, professional email (as noted above) and explain the circumstance and as a fellow professional they expect some reciprocal professional courtesy by way of Missy having a professional understanding of their position. In which case I would totally support their position. However, instead of reciprocal professional courtesy, what follows is this thread on an internation forum for wedding photographers. Perhaps it didn't go this way but without hearing the "other" side I have no way of knowing that it didn't.
  111. Well, calling her an "upstart" is not polite neither professional on their part, even if she is. But the main issue here which we all agree on is that the deciding factor is whether there was an exclusivity clause or not, is that correct? I think Missy has implied in the opening post that she has a) read the contract and that b) there wasn't such a clause, but she hasn't explicitly stated so. Answering this might help clarify things.
  112. Another thing, a generalisation that i'd like to hear opinions on - the question is broad/vague on purpose because i think it reflects the multitude of cases that might arise in a real scenario: if i am present at a friend's wedding as a guest and take good pictures with whatever camera i have and upload these pictures somewhere, what exactly determines if the hired wedding photographer(s) has the right and leverage to move against me, legally or not?
  113. Tasos...The email reads "start-up" and not "upstart".....quite a difference. I agree, it would be nice to get some clarity on exactly what was in the contract. I believe the email from the "studio" was very polite and well written.
  114. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    But the main issue here which we all agree on is that the deciding factor is whether there was an exclusivity clause or not, is that correct?​
    Not if she wasn't part of the contract. If she didn't sign a contract with an exclusivity clause, then there is nothing they can do after the wedding to stop her from doing what she wants. If there was one, either the photographers or the signer of the contract (probably the bride?) was obligated to say something . But there is absolutely nothing they can do to someone who didn't sign or otherwise agree to a contract.
  115. Tasos, pretty much you can take the pics at your friends wedding and post them and tell the photog studio to go pound railroad pegs. What's going on here is a little more concerned with professional courtesy and ethics and who gets the nod here, Missy or the foe studio. If you read all 100+ posts, you can explore all the opinions and you'll see there is not much common ground here and thus the long thread.
  116. Tasos...The email reads "start-up" and not "upstart".....quite a difference.​
    Nope, just got mixed up there somewhere in the huge thread, sorry. Yeah, it's not the same at all but it still sounds a bit like intimidation.
    Jeff, does that mean that no matter what a contract says, a guest can arrive with their D3s, compliment of pro lenses and a couple of assistants and take and publish whatever photos they want? As long as they don't get in the way of the hired photographer i'd imagine it to be that way legally, but isn't there a burden on the B&G side to make known any restrictions? At least in the form of what they wish if they are not backed by law. Am i correct to think that this is a grey area? As far as the law is concerned, do any other provisions apply other than what is explicitly mentioned in the contract?
  117. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Jeff, does that mean that no matter what a contract says, a guest can arrive with their D3s, compliment of pro lenses and a couple of assistants and take and publish whatever photos they want?​
    As long as nobody says anything to them. If there's an exclusivity contract, usually it allows the hired photographer to do something (like tell them to stop, or maybe to leave if the b/g don't do anything about it) or requires the b/g to do something to inform the guests and/or stop them.
  118. Dave, i think i have read it all by now and to me it seems like a misunderstanding that may or may not have gone out of hand. For what it's worth, i don't think there was any ill intent initially, although both sides have subsequently acted "unprofessionaly". Then again as i have said i am not a professional myself.
  119. David S and others....
    I would venture to say that there would be 100% unanimity in the resumes to this post if the situation were as follows:
    1. Kay butted into the posed / formal shots of the Official Photographer
    2. Kay stood up during the ceremony - near / or blocking the Official Photographer
    3. Kay posted the photos in a gallery and laid claim to the wedding - trying to sell the prints and promoting herself as the sole photographer.
    From the side we've gotten - she did none of that. I think that all of us who do weddings either full or part time would object to the behaviors I've pointed out above.
    Kay did what thousands of guests do each year - she took some photos of a friend's wedding, and posted them on her blog. They were good enough to be picked up by a blogger - whom the studio obviously happens to follow. The studio sends the blogger an e-mail - saying whoa - hold the horses - that's our wedding - pull it now. Blogger does so and informs Kay. Kay goes ballistic - or at least semi-ballistic - since she knows what her rights are and what can and can't be done legally to her.
    A lot of the discussion above has been about building a relationship with the studio and working with them. Did anyone stop to think that maybe Kay doesn't want a relationship with them?
    As for the tone of Kay's response to the studio - I think we'd all agree that the first version was a tad emotional and threatening to publish the photos on every site possible was, well, ill advised at best.. That's why I offered the edit that I did - and from the sound of her response Kay took that edit and used some or all of it.
  120. As long as nobody says anything to them. If there's an exclusivity contract, usually it allows the hired photographer to do something (like tell them to stop, or maybe to leave if the b/g don't do anything about it) or requires the b/g to do something to inform the guests and/or stop them.​
    Thanks for that clarification.
  121. "Not if she wasn't part of the contract. If she didn't sign a contract with an exclusivity clause, then there is nothing they can do after the wedding to stop her from doing what she wants. If there was one, either the photographers or the signer of the contract (probably the bride?) was obligated to say something . But there is absolutely nothing they can do to someone who didn't sign or otherwise agree to a contract." -Jeff

    This is exactly true which is why I said in a much earlier post that the studio would have a problem blocking Missy from using the images legally. In the scenario that I proposed above, with the exclusivity clause, the studio could have prevented her from shooting at the wedding.....(OK, attending as a guest and shooting as a guest should seem OK and can create a can of worms if you decided to enforce the exclusivity clause at and during the wedding)...... However, if the studio gives her the green light out of professional courtesy, I think that they should expect that she respect/refrain from publishing the images....also, out of professional courtesy.
    A similar situation arose a while back where a young "start-up" wedding photographer, attended a friend's wedding, asked the pro if it was OK to shoot along side him, he not only said OK but gave her some pro tips at the wedding. He's happy, she's happy, and the B/G is happy. However a few weeks later the photographer posts several hundred images from the wedding to a pro-smugmug site with the images for sale at the default smugmug prices (less than 25 cents for a 4X6 print). Then, wonders why a pro-photographer would have a problem with that.
    The problem as I see it lies in role confusion. If you are a guest shooting at a friend's wedding there's a different set of expectations than if you are there because you have the contract to shoot the wedding for the B/G. I also believe that there are ethical issues among professionals in this field but often find myself in the minority at times like these.
  122. David S -
    Huge difference between publishing the photos and selling them... Huge...
  123. Gives new meaning to the old saying "Published and be damned."
    Josh Root is right in an earlier post - publish your images wherever you can.
  124. Missy--I don't have 'issues' with the way you handled what is your business to handle. You asked for comments, and you got comments. I have an opinion, and so does every one of the people who posted. You may have accepted the situation, but not willingly, and your letter is not a letter I would write. I do think you missed an opportunity to turn this situation into a win-win situation, and I don't think you understand my point, but again--these are my opinions and your decisions to make.
    My continued comments in this thread are to try to clarify what I think is a series of misunderstandings. The first one is that an exclusivity clause in the studio photographers' contract affects this situation. It doesn't. You said there wasn't one, and even if there was such a clause, it does not affect this situation either way.
    The second misunderstanding is that since the studio photographers' were (supposedly) heavy handed, you have the right to retaliate or refuse to take down your images.
    The third is the notion that the studio should have no problem with your publishing your images on a blog because your capacity was that of a guest and you didn't interfere with the official photographers at the wedding. In reality, you are not like any other guest at a wedding, because you have subsequently started up your wedding photography business and have a website, blog and are actively soliciting wedding photography business. The blog your images were on is also not just any blog--it is a wedding oriented blog similar to other publishing vehicles used by the official photographers. Also, I don't know this, but I suspect your images had your logo on them, were lumped with the other images you had on the blog, and when you were mentioned, it was in the capacity of a professional wedding photographer, and no mention was made of the fact that you were not the official photographer at that particular wedding, so the assumption on readers' parts was that you were the official photographer.
    The fourth is that this situation is about your right to publish your photos anywhere you want, and the studio photographers are trampling on that right. This situation is not about rights, legal or otherwise.
    I won't go into details on some of the above because I already have, above. And when I express myself on a thread, it is in the same capacity as any other member. My words should carry no extra weight because I am helping to moderate the forum. Feel free to comment on anything I say. I strive to equally hold everyone, including myself, to the same guidelines for posting on forums.
    David H.--it isn't only the studio with which Missy should be concerned about maintaining positive relationships. What about the publishers of blogs and magazines? Plus, one's actions and reactions to situations are watched by many in an industry, and word gets around.
    I also would not have advised her to take what was essentially your words and use them in her letter. The difference in writing style is quite obvious. I don't know how she used them, but I would think it made the overall effect worse, not better. Again--my opinions.
  125. I think Kay mentioned in one of her last posts that she didn't reply to the studio's email or did I misunderstand that?
  126. Katrin, Missy sent her e-mail, as stated below.
    "4) I sent the e-mail as edited above by the other member (thank you)..." The 'other member', I believe, was David Haas.
  127. I agree with what Nadine has said.
    Some of my images were submitted to a magazine a few weeks ago and I had to sign that to the best of my knowlede images from that wedding had not been published elsewhere including magazines, online / blogs (excluding my own).
    I would be upset if a "guest" at a wedding where I was the hired photographer were to compromise me being able to have my images published in a magazine.
    I'm not sure why so many other photographers here don't feel the same way.
  128. So why you, a moderator, would keep saying that the way I handled it "wasn't the high road" IS UNACCEPTABLE​
    A bit of admin clarification, Nadine having an opinion that is contrary to yours, contrary to mine (I'm the guy who runs this site), or even contrary to every single other person on a thread does not make a breech of her duties as a moderator. She is welcome to her opinion and as long as she is not using her position as a moderator to (for example) delete posts that do not agree with her, there is no problem.
    Unlike many other photography forums, our moderators typically have a lot of experience in the field of the forum that they moderate. Nadine's experience crafts her opinions and those opinions need to be respected as much as anyone's opinions (including yours). In this case, she thinks the "high road" would have been doing something other than the path that you took. While I don't agree with Nadine overall in this particular instance, I do respect her opinion as someone who has done many weddings and is very successful in her field. Being a moderator has no bearing on the situation and you need to understand and accept that.
  129. time to move on...
  130. I'm the guy who runs this site
    That's awesome! lol, now I feel kind of cool that you responded :)
    (I love the little crown on your admin icon yay!)
    To clarify, I was upset with Nadine because I chose the path of non-reaction. I didn't go off the handle the way I could have and have accepted the situation at hand. So why she thought I was handling it the wrong way and saying that I didn't take "the high road" is pretty ridiculous considering I essentially didn't take any road.

    I didn't argue with the blog moderator after her final decision, and I didn't do those other options as per listed above. The only thing I have done is respond in this forum regarding my rights as a photographer. Like I said way up in the post, I have accepted things and realized I cannot fight a big studio such as this. The only thing I can do is to feel flattered that they would feel so threatened by me in my first year of wedding photography. I hope to have a good future ahead of me. And I don't see why I would have "burned bridges" as Nadine said, the blog said they were actually sorry for what happened and they would like me to submit in the future.
  131. I agree with many of Nadine's points. However, if the hired photographers waived their exclusivity clause and allowed Missy Kay to shoot, out of professional courtesy, then I believe respecting their right to publish would be more than fair.
    I'm not so sure that they "feel threatened" by this. From the look of their website it appears that they are well established and doing quite well.
  132. I'm actually going to close this thread. There really isn't much more to say about the topic.
    And to be honest, I'm not real excited about this turning from a discussion about an unknown studio to being about a specific studio that has started to be identified. That doesn't do anyone any good in the long run. It's one thing to talk about something in theory, it's quite another to use a forum like this in a way that identifies someone specifically. So I'm going to remove some names from the thread and leave it as anonymous as possible.
    Interesting subject, good lesson for many people (particularly beginner shooters), and overall everyone was able to state their case in a very civil fashion. But I do not want to see the thread go any further towards attacking this studio personally. That's not what we are about here.
    I thank you all for posting, but it's time to move onto another topic.

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