Update Your Business Model

If you haven’t heard, I’m getting married this year. One of the fun things I get to do is talk to vendors, food vendors, photographers, videographers, DJs, and hotel/resort managers. I recently spoke with a wedding photographer, and a question I always have is “Who gets the rights to the photos?”. This is very important to me for a few reasons. One, because the pictures are of me and my family, and I want to be able to do what I want with them. Two, what happens in 20 years when we want to get another photo album, or more prints, and your company no longer exists to get permission to do so or purchase from directly.

So, I ask the inevitable question, and this photographer tells me we are allowed to print the images ourselves, but cannot take them to a commercial printer. This means I can’t even take my pictures to CVS, Walgreens, Walmart or the local developer to get a few 4×6’s printed. She then goes on to say that

We do all the work, why should they be the ones to profit off of it.

This photographer is paid to photograph the wedding, and wedding photography is not cheap. If you feel your work is worth more than what you charge, and feel the need to retain the rights so that you can make more money off of printing, then you’re doing it wrong. Charge more for your photography work if you truly have the talent to warrant it, and provide better service.

Times have changes, and you need to update your business model to follow suit. This outdated business model makes you look cheap, and your explanation makes you sound bitter.