Model release for weddings

Started Jul 1, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Model release for weddings
Jul 1, 2008

Hi all,

I have an odd question about weddings and model releases.

A couple hires you to shoot their wedding. Most photographers retain the copyright on the images and charge for additional prints. This means that over and above the fee for the day, the photographer is using the images commercially by selling copies to one or more people.

At no wedding I've ever been to was I told that by being there I was agreeing to be used in commercial images. I know that some events like airshows and special days at other venues will sometimes have a sign up saying something to the effect that filming is going on and by being there, you agree to being filmed and for that footage to be used commercially - never seen that at a wedding though.

How does that work then? What if you're in one of the party shots (e.g. best man's ushers) but don't want your image being profited from? Can you block the photographer selling prints of that image to the couple that hired him for the work? Decide that you had a bad hair day and don't want any images of you at the reception sold ?

This is clearer for commercial event photography like corporate events because all staff have contracts in place surrendering copyright, but I'm less clear on how it works with regular events like weddings, etc.

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