Bride Blushes at Racy Photos, Studio Sued

A bride gets ready for her wedding day.

I've shot a lot of bridal preparations. Getting the hair together, the makeup, the shoes, the dress and wrangling the bridesmaids can make for a lot of great little moments and great moments are part of what makes a great photo.

Of course just because the moment is striking doesn't mean a photographer should click the shutter.

Recently a Long Island bride sued her wedding photographer because the photographer clicked when she shouldn't have (or maybe not as the case will bear out) but beyond that the studio shared those photos as part of its portfolio. The bride found those photos of her in her lingerie getting ready and was aghast claiming that she had asked the photos not be taken in the first place let alone shared with the World Wide Web.

This dispute highlights the importance of good communication between a client and a photographer (especially since after she asked to have the photos removed the studio allegedly only put them behind a password). It's important for everyone to understand what the expectations are on either side and to work together to capture the most important moments. What a photographer thinks might be striking might not be what the client wants to see and share with her loved ones, underwear especially.

The first step (after establishing a rapport) is to come up with a good list of shots and an idea of the story you want your wedding photos to tell.

This can be vague (you want photos of the preparations, the bridal party, the ceremony and the reception) or it can be a lot more detailed (I want before and after make up photos, before and after hair photos and then full length photos with the veil on and off, etc). You should also think of any shots you don't want (photos of people at the tables, a million photos of people's shoes), which the photographer shouldn't focus on (but we'll try and get some of them anyway so there isn't a call from the mother of the bride or groom asking where such and such a photo is, mothers are fierce).

I've yet to be in the room for that stage of bridal preparations, for the most part I don't see a need since most people want to share these photos with friends and family. Personally, unless it was the most stunning image I'd ever taken I'm not sure it would even make the cut for the blog or the online galleries if a bride asked for them simply because they're so personal. If they were that stunning, I'd certainly ask the bride about it first (and bribes would probably follow).

It's not that there's anything wrong with racy photos, what matters is consent and the audience. If a bride wants something exciting to share with her husband (or the other way around) and not with her family, it's easy enough to schedule a separate shoot that can make for a great honeymoon gift (or tease right before the wedding). That way your wedding photographer can focus on your wedding.