Local Shop Refuses to Print Wedding Photos without Written Permission

Started Apr 18, 2008 | Discussions thread
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jpfisher Regular Member • Posts: 263
Local Shop Refuses to Print Wedding Photos without Written Permission

As an avid hobbyist, I'm interested in hearing some pro's opinions on this one --

One of my oldest, dearest friends recently got married. A very small ceremony, I was invited and offered to take some photos. The couple had hired a professional for the ceremony. She was very nice, and encouraged everyone there to take photos -- I wasn't too interested in recreating the staged shots, as I figured she would do a good job with them. She was only there for the ceremony itself, I was the only one with an SLR at the reception. I took some shots with a K10D, some with a Pentax ME, and some with a Hasselblad 500C.

So long story short, I gave my mother a CD with the full-sized versions of the photos last weekend. She took them to an independently-owned camera shop today to get some prints made.

The person at the shop asked my mother what type of lens was used when asking about making the prints. She said she didn't know, that her son had taken the pictures, but the camera was a Pentax. He told her that they would not make prints from the files without my permission in writing.

I understand the rationale behind this: protecting the resale rights of a professional who was hired for a job. However, if a pro provides a client with a CD of full-resolution files, isn't permission to make reprints the idea there? Is the requirement for written permission something that is common at camera shops? What really gets me, is that Mom could have gone back to the office, printed off a letter, and signed my name -- this requirement for "written permission" is utterly useless unless the person who shot the images frequents the shop for prints and gear.

My suggestion to Mom was to not do business there in the future, and to take the CD to Wal-Mart and get prints made there -- she only wanted 4x6" prints, and I figured they could do a decent enough job from the files, which were already post-processed on a calibrated screen. Since the Fuji Frontier systems there are fairly idiot-proof, I figured that was a safe bet.

So, my question to those who make a living from shooting weddings -- was the shop in the right or in the wrong? Have you run into this before?

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