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For Photographers: When Clients Request Privacy

What do you do when your photography clients request their images not be shared online? How to handle this tricky situation.

It’s somewhat rare that this happens, but every once in a while you’ll work with a couple who would rather that their images not be shared online. This could be for any number of reasons, but the key (like with everything else) is how you handle it! Here are some of my thoughts on how to do so with grace:

Weigh the benefits/negatives before deciding on your policy
Whether or not you are able to accommodate their request depends on a couple of things…do you really need work to show for your portfolio OR do you need business from a couple that’s bound to tell others about how much they loved the experience working for you? For me, at this point in my business, though I really love creating new work to show off for my portfolio, I also don’t necessarily need it if the couple is a really good fit. The benefits of working with them can outweigh the potential benefits of securing a few new portfolio images! I take these situations on a case by case basis and it usually depends on the couple and how well I think we will work together!

Agree on a set of boundaries
It could be that they’d be fine with you sharing photos as long as you use only their first initials rather than their names, or if you share the images using pseudonyms. Or they may be okay with you sharing detail images but nothing showing their faces. Would they be okay with you sharing some of their images with potential clients who are getting married at their venue? What about how you handle sharing with vendors that you normally work with? I think it’s important to discuss and agree on mutually beneficial terms and work them into your contract if you find that they’re a good fit for you!

At the end of the day, what people remember about us is how we treat them and how we make them feel. It’s important to take our ego and our feelings as artists out of the equation (we all really love sharing gorgeous images don’t we??) when clients come to us with requests for privacy and determine what makes the most sense for us as business owners. Put yourself in the mindset of a kind business owner instead of that of an artist and think about things from your clients’ perspective!

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