What to say when a vendor is using your images without permission

WTSvendorusesimagesnopermission-wide

It’s probably happened to all of us.

An eager vendor wants to show off the photos from your fabulous wedding last month, and before you can even share the gallery, they’ve screen-shotted from your blog or from your Facebook page, and it looks terrible. Plus, you were always willing to share full resolution photos anyway, but you haven’t even delivered the gallery to the client. What’s a photographer to do?

If this is the first instance of image use without permission, you may wish to step lightly and give the benefit of the doubt, while teaching them how it works. While “I didn’t know!” isn’t a valid excuse in a court of law, the simple truth is that most people are unaware of the nuances of usage and copyright laws, and they may think that taking your image from your blog is within reason. Use this opportunity to gently and firmly educate them for the benefit of your future relationship and for their relationship with other photographers.

Here’s an email template that might be a good start on educating them, asking them to take it down, and assuring them they will be able to choose the photos that they need for their marketing materials from the actual gallery when you deliver it to them.

Hi VENDOR,

I noticed that you’ve used a screenshot from my blog on your Facebook page.

So that we can be sure our best work is online and properly credited, please remove the image from your Facebook page and anywhere else you may have used it online. I will be glad to share a collection of optimized, downloadable images with you from our client’s gallery after our client has received them on DATE.

I’m sure you’re wondering why, since I am always happy to share images! Here’s the answer: not only is the screenshot of the image poor quality, which compromises both of our reputations for doing excellent work, but I have not yet released the images for vendors to use and share except via my blog post. In addition—I know you may not be aware of this—it’s a violation of copyright to use the image without my permission.

In the meantime, if you are anxious to share our work online, you are more than welcome to repost my original blog post (LINK HERE), which fully credits your work as well as mine and all of the other wedding creatives we worked with on NAME and NAME’s wedding.

Thank you!

Warmly,

PHOTOGRAPHER

Was this a helpful scenario for you? You’ll find this one and more than 74 other helpful scenarios and email templates in our Wedding Photographer’s Inbox Solution, available in the store at Pencil & Lens! The Inbox Solution includes a series of messages to vendors, beginning before the wedding, so they know exactly what they will receive from you, when and how they should credit you.

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1 Comment

  1. Rafy Vega on August 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Just perfect ! Thank you for sharing.

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