Fake It ‘Til You Make It?


Recently I had the opportunity to work with a planner who was professional, super sweet and extremely helpful the day of the wedding. In all honesty, I was not expecting her to have those qualities because I had formed an opinion of her way before I had met her and I’ll tell you why. My opinion of her was that she was a fake, a fraud, a thief, I could go on and on. How could she? Why is she?? What was she doing you ask?

She was using images from Pinterest and Google in her portfolio, and one or two that looked as though they might be her work… there was the west virginia wedding photographers

As a photographer, and I think I speak for most photographers when I say this, we take copyright serious!! Not just for ourselves but other photographers in our industry as well. In my opinion, this is stealing which makes you look very dishonest. I’m sure that’s not what you’re intending and I know a lot of vendors are just not educated on this. I hope this post helps someone out there avoid a major headache or worse, a lawsuit =(

When you use an image that you’ve purchased through a stock site, or copy/save from a Google search, you’re implying to potential clients that this is your work because it’s showing the service you are selling. If what you’re selling is the ability to decorate someone’s wedding, I believe the images should be of a wedding or event, that you’ve actually worked on. The same goes for any vendor in the wedding industry, whether you’re a photographer, florist, cake decorator etc. If a client assumes that all the images they see in your portfolio or on your website, are your own work and then they find out it isn’t, there goes your credibility. Establishing trust with your clients is essential for building your brand and should be your #1 goal.

If you don’t have any pictures from events you have worked on, take some of your own images until you do have enough to build your portfolio. Get creative and design a table, bouquet or cake then find a photographer who is looking to build their portfolio and stage some shots. If you still feel the need to use stock photos then at the very least you should explain that the images are samples, ideas or inspiration. Also crediting the images as stock or crediting the photographer who actually took the shot once you have permission to use them. I love networking with other vendors, I don’t mind supplying them with a few images at no cost… provided my work is credited. It doesn’t hurt to ask, so the next time you’re working an event just ask the photographer if they would mind sharing one or two images and if they agree PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give them credit. A bonus would be if you also shared their work with your potential clients or fans. They may return the favor and before you know it you’ll have an amazing portfolio!

I want to stress to brides & grooms looking for vendors… DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Here’s a great article written by Mike Allbach, it pertains to photographers but it’s great advice that can be used for every vendor.
How to Catch a Wedding Fraud-tographer

west virginia wedding photographersIcon photo credit: Icojam =)

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