I just recently started photographing naked women.
I guess that’s why the internet sharing issue has started to surface more frequently.
Here’s a little story about another situation that made me want to give up working with people and retreat to a pug farm in I don’t know, Idaho.
A while back I ran a boudoir promotion in order to boost my marketing activities in this niche. I offered a limited amount of free boudoir sessions in exchange for permission to use the images online (e.g. my website and social media).
The shoots were a success and I was all revved up and ready to expand my outdoor boudoir business. I emailed each of the models with the images I wanted to use. They all loved them and almost everyone gave me permission to use their photos online.
But there’s always an exception.
One model backed out completely. Of course this was AFTER we had done the shoot and AFTER I had spent hours and hours editing her photos.
Like I did with everyone else, I had sent her an email with the photo attachments fully expecting a happy reply. But instead I got a complete 180. Suddenly she was no longer OK with me using pictures. She had her reasons for being uncomfortable with it, i.e. her boyfriend and her job. I understand that.
I just wish I would have known in advance so I could have found someone else to take her place.
Out of all the sessions, hers was one of my favorites which made it even more frustrating that she didn’t want it online. And then there was the fact that I had made it a point to really lay out the terms of the promotion clearly and well in advance to prevent something like this from happening.
Now that those terms were completely out the window, (well, not completely, she was willing to let me use the shots of her from the neck up – uh, no thanks, this is a boudoir promotion in 2014, not 1842.) I had to ask her to pay full price.
Mind you, this is also the abbreviated version. I don’t want this blog to read like the headache this situation really was. Ick. Moving on.
The thing is, I get a lot of inquiries from women interested in booking a boudoir session. And naturally some of them are reluctant about using the images online. I used to leave it up to the client to decide, but I was secretly annoyed whenever someone wouldn’t let me use them.
It actually made me not want to do the session at all. What’s the point if I can’t share it?
I’d rather book that spot with another client who lets me use their photos.
Like any photographer with a weird client problem, I asked: What would Jasmine Star do?
Sure enough, she had the answer in her post “Do Photographers Need Client Permission?”
Upon reading it I had an immediate “Fuck Yeah!” moment and was inspired to update my policy.
Instead of being frustrated by missed marketing opportunities, I’ve chosen to reward clients who are happy to release their images.
I offer them a substantial discount as a token of my appreciation.
And they deserve it because they’re awesome.
They’re actually really, really awesome.
Here’s what they’re doing when they decide to share their images:
- They’re encouraging other women to celebrate their bodies
- They’re building a broader acceptance of the female form in general, and not just pinned images of Miranda Kerr, but all types of everyday women in real, natural settings (sometimes even photoshop free!)
- AND they’re helping outsmall business! The true engine of the economy.
There’d be no way to run a successful photography business without client support.
After all, it’d be pretty weird if I said I was a boudoir photographer and a prospective client couldn’t find any boudoir photos on my blog.
So there it is folks!
My policy and thoughts on sharing images on the web.
Hands down, I’d still prefer to share the session versus not sharing it, (and I hope that’s the option most women will choose). Either way it’s important to have a policy in place to protect you from becoming that bitter photographer whose only company is a flock of pugs.