A polite plea to wedding vendors - a plea for a teensy bit of understanding.
We photographers have a product we work hard to create - we compose an image, make sure the lighting and surroundings are right, take the picture, download the images, cull those that are not worthy of the final cut, process the proofs, and come up for air a couple of weeks or so after the wedding to show the couple their beautiful pictures. And it's so heartening to hear the ooos and ahhhhs from the couple, and nice too to get lovely remarks from the other vendors who were part of the day.
Now, there are some vendors I know well, I work with regularly, and I happily share photographs with them. They don't need to ask, it's my little thank you for recommendations or for how well I've been looked after by them - sharing my photographs of their work, their contribution to the wedding day is the least I can do. So I'm happy to offer before I'm even asked.
And then there's the vendors I don't know and I hear from with The Request ... "I love your work, your photographs are gorgeous. I'd love some photographs from Mr and Mrs YYY's wedding. My flowers / makeup / cake / cars / venue / table decorations look gorgeous in your pictures and I could do with some good photographs for my blog. I'll give you a credit on my site."
It's very kind of people to offer a credit. Thank you for asking for the pictures too - it's so nice to come across people who ask rather than just take the photographs off the blog or facebook page. But - and this is where I ask for the teensy bit of understanding - The Request is asking for our craft, our product for free. And you know, if you offered to pay, offered us wedding photographers a proper contradeal, a true exchange, well, chances are we'd say "Nooo, don't worry about it, I'll happily send you some pictures". But I'm starting to feel as though there is no value for the work that we wedding photographers do amongst some wedding vendors - oh, don't get me wrong, I don't think it's on purpose, I genuinely believe that some wedding vendors don't think about it or just don't get it, so I know it's not meant as an insult.
So my plea is this - if you are a wedding vendor, and you like the photographs of a wedding photographer who worked on a wedding you worked on, a photographer you don't currently have a working relationship with, please offer to purchase the images, or offer a fair exchange. It will go a long way to creating strong relationships that work. Next time, why not make The Request something that shows you truly value the wedding photographer who has showcased your work so beautifully.
Otherwise please don't be insulted if you find yourself receiving the kind of response that I've started to send to wedding vendors who I barely know who ask for photographs in exchange for credit on their website or blog - "Sure, it's £50 per image for full usage rights which you can pay in cash or as an exchange for your services."