As a wedding vendor, one of the most important things to include on your website are beautiful, high-quality images of your work. Whether you are a venue owner, calligrapher/stationer, florist, or something else, it’s important to include professional imagery on your website.
As a designer, I find that many vendors don’t have a good backlog of images from weddings they have worked. We have to spend time tracking down images and organizing them, slowing down the entire web design process! Wedding vendors are often hesitant to reach out to photographers about past weddings. Vendors don’t want to be seen as bothersome, or they simply don’t know what to say.
So, how can wedding vendors request wedding day images from photographers? And how can they organize and share those images properly to showcase their own work and properly credit the photographer?
You can probably guess my take. As a proud member of the Rising Tide Society’s San Antonio chapter, I’m a firm believer in community over competition. It benefits both photographers and other wedding vendors when wedding day images are shared openly. And as a designer, it makes my job of creating your website about a million times easier!
But, I have to admit, I’m no photographer! So I went straight to the source and asked some of my wedding photographer pals to share their philosophies on sharing images with wedding vendors. Read on to see their responses and some takeaways at the end of the post!
I’m Anthony Gauna (pronounced GOW-nuh). After my journey to becoming a rockstar failed, I picked up a camera as another means of expressing myself. I’ve been a full-time wedding photographer since 2012 and can’t imagine doing anything else. I live a fun and simple life in San Antonio, TX with my wife and son.
Hello! We are Jon and Becky Kent. We are hybrid wedding photographers based out of Northern Virginia. We met at a coffee shop in 2011, and have been photographing weddings together since our honeymoon in 2013! We founded The Kents Photography in 2016 when we realized that we were ready to both jump into this business full time, and we’ve never looked back. Today we live in our mountain farmhouse, with our two adorable preschoolers enjoying life’s sweetest moments.
I am Sonia Freeman, a photographer and videographer for Aria Productions. I have a background in corporate media production and my business is currently focused on photography and video production for weddings, special events, and portraits.
I’m Adrien Lappe of Pine and Blossom Photography. I’m a fine art wedding and portrait photographer based in New Braunfels, Texas. I travel all around the world capturing love stories and genuine moments that will last a lifetime. I’ve been capturing love stories and family memories for over 10 years. This is more than just a passion for me, it’s a lifestyle.
Hi there! My name is Rachel Mandel, and I own and operate Mandelette Photography. We focus on weddings and engagements, and love to capture love in a bright, timeless, and inventive way. I founded my business to honor my great grandfather who invented the first tin type camera, the Mandelette. I love what I do, and would be happy to shed some light on this issue!
I interviewed each of these awesome photographers about their philosophies and practices around sharing wedding day images with vendors. Here are some excerpts from our conversations (responses have been edited for length and clarity).
Anthony Gauna: I always share photos with vendors unless there’s a very rare occasion where I have a couple that would prefer to be more reserved or private. I genuinely enjoy being able to help out vendors if I can.
Jon and Becky Kent: We are firm believers in sharing photos with our fellow vendors. Without them, we would not have a subject for our pictures. The only time we do not share pictures is if a client specifically requests that we not share them.
Sonia Freeman: I love sharing photos and videos not only with my couples, but also with fellow vendors because this is such a creative industry and I am always so impressed with the amazing work I see coming from other wedding professionals. So much goes on behind the scenes, so I love being able to highlight the work of such amazingly talented people. If the couple has consented to me sharing photos, I definitely do.
Adrien Lappe: We love sharing photos with the client’s vendors! This is an awesome way for us to give back to the vendors and they can see how their services or items were captured. It’s also a helpful way for them to advertise with making great connections along the way. We always try to send the florist, planner, venue, any rental companies, DJ or band, and any other vendor that helped out.
Rachel Mandel: It is actually built into my workflow to send the gallery to all vendors that I know were involved within 30 days of the wedding. I choose to share the images this way because not only do I want to help vendors thrive with beautiful images of their work, but I also want to have my images in front of as many eyes as possible 🙂
J&BK: About two months after the wedding, we will send a group email with instructions and a gallery link to all vendors involved. We also include a quick reference tag list, so that you can simply copy and paste all the vendor information! We decided a few years ago that what was most fitting for us was to send the whole gallery. We know from a marketing standpoint that many other creatives need a variety of photos for their advertising, and it was easier for us!
AL: We love sending the full gallery to each vendor. Even if they didn’t have a part in the entire day, I like to think they would enjoy looking through the client’s gorgeous wedding they were a small part of!
RM: I send a Pixieset digital gallery to each vendor with the same images that I send to the couple. They have 30 days to download the images, and I email the vendors when the images will disappear.
AG: For me, a simple email asking about them is always best. I will reach out to vendors before the wedding to let them know I’m happy to send them the link. I want to set the expectation that I’m on top of things.
J&BK: We’ve had vendors in the past who have been irritated that we did not send photos, or we missed them on the list, and I would remind them to have grace with photographers. We love when our vendors send a quick “I am so excited to see the photos from Sam and Jilly’s wedding on June 2nd, do you know when the gallery will be available?” Because we know that they are excited and we always assume the best in others!
SF: I am always willing to send photos. A simple email request and I will get it to you. The only advice I have about this is to be mindful that some seasons are much more busy than others, so if you are looking for images in a hurry or you need something produced like a banner image or an album, be aware that my time may be limited.
AG: Because most of the vendors I work with only want photos for social media or website, I’m simple. I do not watermark because I think it degrades my photos. For social media, all I ask for is to be tagged in the post or comments. For a website, I ask to have my website credited in a caption if possible. But I know that’s not always possible. I believe that if your work is great and you treated the vendors well, they’ll say great things about you to others. Word of mouth referrals are the absolute best.
AL: Anytime on social media, we prefer to be tagged in the image and also in the comment section. As for websites, we don’t mind NOT being credited. We decided that we prefer non-watermarked images for our vendors. They can rename the image “PineandBlossomPhotography” if they’re feeling extra sweet, but we know everyone needs images for marketing. We prefer to make amazing connections with vendors and receive their referral than to give watermarked images.
RM: I prefer a tag on the image as well as photo credit in the caption. If a vendor is tagging me in the comments, there is a greater likelihood that no one will see my name. On a website, it’s always nice for vendors to have a credits page where they list the place and image that each photographer’s work is used on the site.
J&BK: A “no-no” we often hear about is when a vendor puts an Instagram filter on a photographer’s photo. Nothing will crush the spirit of a photographer like putting a filter on their curated artwork. Not only does it make the photographer feel terrible, but it can also confuse potential clients. In this day and age, first impressions are huge, so an inconsistent image for a photographer can cost them potential bookings.
SF: I have had a venue screenshot images that were previously shared with them in a high-resolution format and then post them low resolution with a filter and not tag me. I sent them an email and asked them to correct and explained that when you screenshot an image it degrades the quality, and then adding a filter diminishes the intention of the artist. Photographers work very hard to produce clean, crisp images for social media, so please post as the artist intended and credit them for their expertise and talent.
AL: The only time I’m slightly hesitant or decided to not share the client’s images is when they’re being submitted for publication. The publications prefer to not have the client’s images shared until THEY are the first. So we like to wait until it’s published to share the full gallery!
Thank you so much to these amazing photographers for participating in this post! Please do me a favor and go check out their beautiful work on their websites and social media (linked below).
It was funny to me reading these interviews because so many photographers said the exact same thing. Photographers love sharing their wedding day images with vendors. Not only does it benefit them with advertising for their business, but it’s also a great way to build relationships and support others in the industry! Here are some next steps for wedding vendors based on these interviews:
Be patient and be nice: Of course, we should all keep in mind that photographers are people. They don’t owe anyone images, even though all of the photographers interviewed generously share their work. It’s important to treat them with respect, show them grace, and ask nicely any time we are asking for wedding day images. Be patient and wait until a few months have passed since the wedding before reaching out to the photographer, and ask politely if they can share the gallery link when it is available.
Be proactive: It’s also a great idea to be proactive about getting wedding day images. Especially if your role is more behind-the-scenes and you won’t actually meet the photographer on the wedding day, it’s a good idea to ask your couples to share your information with their photographer before the wedding. Many couples might not even know to include you or realize why it’s important!
Download photos immediately: While these photographers are great about backing up their images for years to come, it’s a great idea to download the images from the gallery link as soon as you get it, and save it to your own hard drive. That way, you won’t have to reach out to the photographer again if you accidentally wait until after the gallery link expires.
Organize photos: After you download the images, save the entire gallery by date and couple’s name. That way you can easily share those files with your website designer.
Credit photographers properly: On social media, tag the photographer in the image and the caption. On your website, consider crediting them in a caption, image name or alt text. Or, you could consider a “credits” page to your website listing all the photographers whose work you are using.
I hope this post is helpful to wedding vendors as they gather wedding day images to use on their website. Tell me in the comments your thoughts on this topic!
Special Thanks To: