Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “beware

Off Topic: Photo Contests

If you like taking pictures (professional, or not) and maybe you take a cool photo once in a awhile. Please be mindful of entering contests. I would guess 90% of contests I see not run by a photographic organization (aka a random business) are just looking to get free photos they can use in advertising, social media & elsewhere.

Sure it might be cool to win an award, or get a photo published, but that’s what they prey on. Meanwhile you save them money on what they would have ended up paying a agency, or photographer for the photo they wanted, and they also can turn around and sell every photo, even the ones that didn’t win, profiting off of you and everyone else who entered.

Don’t believe me. Here’s the fine print to a contest someone share with me today:

“By entering this Contest and submitting an Entry, Entrant hereby grants Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries a perpetual, irrevocable worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and display the Entry in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any purpose, including but not limited to Sponsor’s photo contest, and the advertising and promotion of such photo contest.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off a great photo, and a lot of people say “so what”, but imagine how you might feel if you found out a landscaping company was billing your elderly neighbor every time you cut her lawn out of the kindness of your heart. More, or less thats essentially what these contests are doing.


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #11; Beware of Certain Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.


Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?


While rare, although not as rare as I’d like, the biggest concern would be that the work the photographer is presenting as their own, is actually copied from other photographer’s websites. This however can be extremely hard to find out. A more common bait & switch is performed  by studios who show work from photographers who no longer work for them. The other is when a photographer is really only good at one, or two types of photos.

A great way to flush both of these pitfalls out is to ask for samples of at least 100-300 images form a wedding that is completely their work, or the work of the photographer you’ll be working with. I have seen a lot of wedding portfolios with great artistic colored details shots of flowers, but lack any real candid moments. A couple who recently booked me mentioned that several of the photographers they looked at seemed more concern with the skyline in the background of the posed photos than the bride & groom.


Here’s a great post from Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia, giving 7 solid tips on things to look out for when hiring a wedding photographer.



Coming up tomorrow

Question #12

How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

Previous Questions

#10  What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?