Your right to privacy (and a promise).
As a photographer I use the images I take to market my business, they show my skills, my style of editing, the connections between myself and my clients and the interactions between individuals. I am predominantly a photographer of people, whether it is children playing or learning whilst at school, a couple celebrating a wedding, families getting together or capturing small business owners and their work.
As a parent I capture days out with family, holidays and special occasions. Occasionally I share these across various social media platforms - on instagram as stories giving my clients an insight to the person behind the lens, on facebook to share with family and friends - nothing usual with that.
Recently my daughter and I enjoyed a day out at FriendsFest, the layout of the day allows fans to visit the sets and recreate some of the icon scenes from the hit tv series including the titles etc. The stewards at the event are fabulous at helping you capture these moments. Subsequently on our return home, I shared a few of these images on holiday. Roll on a few days later when I was driving my daughter and her friend when the friend commented that they had seen a few of these images, my daughter asked "where?" "Oh on facebook, my Mum showed me!" came the reply. A look was thrown in my direction from my daughter, quickly followed by “you didn’t ask my permission!” She was right, I hadn’t asked her permission to share these images online. At 15, she is aware of her rights to privacy. She then asked me if I did this with the images I capture for my clients.
Throughout my social media feeds I often see sneak peeks from weddings, family sessions and other photography commissions very often online within hours following the session, closely following these sneak peeks are many posts from other photographers moaning that clients do not want their images online. Many photographers contracts will state that they can share the final images online and may use them for future marketing however many clients may not read the contract in detail or forget it is included and perhaps do not realise that a sneak peek maybe shared online before they have had the opportunity themselves to see their final images before family and friends. It can be lovely to see these sneak peeks, it can put your mind at rest knowing that your memories, your business have been captured, the photographer has carried out the work detailed in the brief.
My contract states the following: “include use of the Photographs to promote and advertise our business, including:
- (a) in our printed publications, presentations, promotional materials (including leaflets, brochures, stickers, bookmarks, posters, factsheets, calendars);
- (b) on our website and other digital advertising of our services; and
- (c) in social media forums such as Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.”
When I meet with clients, as well as answering any questions, I explain how I work, what my back up plans (a whole different blog!) and their rights including their privacy rights. Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act your right to privacy is enshrined in law - if you don't want your images shared online, whether it be social media or the photographer's website, you have this right. Obviously, we'd all love to share every wedding, we need to share images to advertise. But, if for whatever reason you would like to keep everything private. That's ok.
I strongly believe that all clients should see their images first whether it be a slideshow of highlights following their wedding, or the entire gallery or maybe a sneak peek via personal communication - not their friends and family on their social media feeds. Only after you have seen this will I ask for your permission to share images. You also have the right to stipulate the images I share, you may wish not to have any that include your children online - that of course is fine. I will respect your wishes. And of course at any time you have the right to withdraw that consent!
So my promise to all my clients (and my daughter!) - you will be the first people to see your images from any session with myself and I will always seek your consent to share online.