LICENSING MUSIC FOR WEDDING VIDEOS

Everyone uses music in their highlight reels and edited video productions.

Wedding or event clients may request a specific song - the client may even give you a legally purchased and downloaded copy of the song to use. But it is important to understand that purchasing and downloading a song for personal use does not give you the right to use it in an audiovisual production - especially a video that you produce and sell for money.

VIDEO CONTRACT PITFALLS

Event photography is a special skill. It takes not merely a strong technical ability to capture images of the quality level expected by your clients, but also a keen sense of timing, situational awareness, and empathy to know when an important moment occurs and how best to capture it. All of this is doubly true when capturing video instead of images. How do you know when important moments are coming so you can catch the whole thing? How do you capture mobile moments, when people may be moving around, dancing, walking down the aisle? These are all concerns that you should have the discretion to approach and solve in your own way, and the best way to ensure that freedom is with your contract.

SOCIAL MEDIA RIGHTS

If you’re a professional photographer, social media is vital to your operation. Not only do you probably advertise heavily on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, but your clients in many cases hire you specifically so that they can post pictures you take on their own social media. Many wedding clients will buy a hardcover wedding album, but almost every wedding client will at least post their pictures on Facebook. When it comes to posting your proprietary images on social media, there are three issues to discuss. The first is how to prevent that sort of theft before it even happens, with your own contracts. The second is how to react when your images are posted on social media in a way you don’t like. And the third is what rights those social media platforms themselves have over your images when you or your client posts them.

EQUIPMENT FAILURE

Imagine, if you will, that you’ve been hired to fly to Italy to photograph a wedding. The wedding is luxe; the venue is a thousand-year-old castle, the guests include George Clooney and Meghan Markle, the event is a week long, with all expenses covered for everyone. You are being paid a crazy amount of money, and you are not about to mess this up: you’ve brought your best two cameras and no less than three backup cameras, a whole trunk of support equipment including elaborate lighting setups, and two well-trained assistants in case you get sick or need a break. Your contract with the wedding party states that you are the sole and exclusive photographer and that no other photography is allowed, and the wedding party has already contracted with People magazine for exclusive rights to the shots. You are so, so pumped. This is your big break.