Florist + Wedding Photographer Intervention by Alison Ellis

When floral designers are proud of our work we really, really, really want professional photos to show off our stuff. It somehow seems increasingly hard to find photographers who are willing to share their work with us. Here’s my take on it…

Why don’t wedding photographers share photos with floral designers? We always want photographers to share photos, but some are pushing back and even want to charge for photos of our work. What can we do about this as a professional community? Can’t we all just get along?

Tell us about your experience with photographers sharing professional images in the comments.

Alison Ellis
Floral Artistry
Vermont

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Comments

  1. Such a hot topic right now – I would love for all floral designers (or dress designers, or hair and makeup etc for that matter) to get credit along with the photographers and perhaps if we make more noise, we will.

    I have always tried to ask photographers nicely for images and have luckily never been turned down or charged. But do often have to wait months to get them (long after the couple even) which I can understand during the busy season. But I think there is an international trend towards not sharing images or toward charging for them, so would rather be prepared…

    Great interview!

  2. I am sort of stuck in the middle with this one, as I am a photographer who works in the floral world. It’s understandable that florists (or other wedding vendors) want to share their work via the artistry of photographers – but I think what is misunderstood or left behind in this digital world is the fact that photographers must compensate for digital copies.

    Like Allison says, while the offer of a link or a share/mention is great – it’s not always worth your while if the following isn’t adequate. Though shares and links and mentions are great publicity in certain ways, they aren’t necessarily bringing that photographer any money or business – at the end of the day, we’re doing what we do for money, not Likes.

    Now, I’m not saying that photographers shouldn’t share their digital work with other vendors, I’m just saying that in the circle of trades, everything needs to be fair. Personally, as a photographer, I would rather a printed advertisement such as a small poster, or even my business cards to be displayed within a shop than a Facebook share or Twitter mention. A personal recommendation from you to your clients could go a longer way than a social media name-drop.

    I, myself, would never deny another vendor from sharing my work online, so long as my copyrighted information stayed in tact and the photo was not cropped. My opinions would change, however, if a florist or vendor printed my photograph that was only intended to be shared. Not only am I a photographer, but I’m a creative person and I have the ability to create business cards or posters and other printed materials for you to market yourself. Using a photo for printed materials certainly does not fall into the same category as a photographer allowing you to share a link on Facebook. This is why I recommend using a smaller photo to share online – NOT a high-res photo – and creating a very simple terms of use contract between the photographer and sharing vendor.

    I think it’s important to show yourself off, and help others in the process. Not every photographer feels the same way – and hey, that’s fine. They’re not charging you because they don’t like you – they’re charging you because they’re a business.

    My advice is to simply ask. The worst they could possibly say is no.

    • I appreciate your input in the discussion. I definitely understand the position photogs are in when it comes to the digital scene and to me it’s the talent that is what a couple pays for, not so much for the tangible photos these days.

      It’s totally understandable that each photographer has to have his or her own policy on sharing…some will, some won’t, but as an industry of wedding pros it would be wise for us to have some sort of mutual respect for each other’s work and role in the process. It would be great to eliminate the “greedy florist” vs “stingy photographer” reactions and move toward a new age of acknowledgment of each other’s worth.

      Great to hear your perspective.

  3. Great topic Alison!

    I agree with your points here and you’re right, the goal is the same for photographers and florists: to do the best job possible and create amazing art for the bride and groom on their wedding day. I can’t imagine ever charging florists for images, but I do know the one time I was sort of turned off from providing images at all was at a wedding I photographed in Massachusetts, when the florist asked me to send images to her the next day. I said that most likely I would not have anything ready that quickly and her response was “Why? Tomorrow’s Sunday, I’m sure you have the day off.” Obviously this was an anomaly, but it goes back to the way you approach people. I don’t think photographers are scary people, and we’re all on the same level with the same goal… but it just comes down to common courtesy. I’m sure if the roles were reversed and I had demanded something of her the day after a wedding, on a day when most people spend time with their families and their friends, she would have scoffed at me. I did actually end up getting her images, but because of the way she asked it was months later. I wasn’t trying to punish her rudeness; I just didn’t have the same desire to help her out as I usually have when nice, friendly and respectful florists (like yourself!) have similar requests.

    I think the other feeling photographers sometimes get is that we are providing something tangible. I recommend florists all the time and those same florists recommend me because we’ve worked well together in the past, and I’ve provided images to them. When we’re recommending a florist, but also providing tangible images, it can sort of seem like “am I getting an equal return from this?” Hopefully that doesn’t sound horrible, because if everyone in this world was giving only EXACTLY what they received then things would be pretty sad. But I know personally I would LOVE to have more florists to have in my network for things like stylized shoots or engagement session flowers (where images would be provided as well, of course). I once provided a whole bunch (like my flower metaphor?) of photos to a florist and then he didn’t want to help me out with a small bouquet for a stylized shoot a few months later, which really irked me.

    I think it’s a great topic and I loved hearing your thoughts on it. I’m curious to see other responses so hopefully it gets the discussion going in a positive way so that florists and photographers can understand where each other is coming from. Also, you’re reminding me that I completely forgot to credit all my vendors in my last wedding post! In my defense, I hadn’t photographed a wedding of my own as Alanna Scully Photography in two years lol. But I love seeing you at the weddings I second shoot for Amanda! You rock girl!

    • Thanks, Alanna! It’s so essential for us to keep in mind that there are human beings behind all of these businesses and some are more deserving of a cold shoulder, but it’s the overall respect and acknowledgement of each other’s work that is what will ultimately sustain us.

  4. This is a great topic, I think that as a florist we should be respectful and be thankful when photographers share photos. As a wedding vendor our jobs are never done, family time and sleep maybe lacking…. so when a photographer takes time to share photos of the flowers with me I am very appreciative! I think you make a good point that we should be working together, when a photographer takes time to give me photos I might offer to do a bouquet or centerpiece for a shoot or just send them a thank you note at least!
    I haven’t run into photographers charging, and I think if that happened I might have to decline and just rely on taking our own photo’s, I just feel that if we work as a team in the industry and referrals and networking are so important so I would hate to have to run into the feeling of certain photographers charging while others don’t, I would imagine I wouldn’t recommend them anymore, but maybe a florist’ recommendation isn’t that important to their business? I also see the side where I’ll see my work used on blogs or even magazine ad’s where it’s not credited and I try to just take it as a compliment, but if it’s online it’s pretty easy to add a simple credit to the vendors involved.

  5. naturegirl says:

    I have been fortunate the last few years to experience events and weddings from other perspectives (such as catering and set up/design, besides only floral). And this has been in an area well known as a “destination”, Lake Tahoe – which means the majority of the clients are from out of town (across the country and even from other countries completely). An amazing amount of these people have no idea where to start to find local professionals when they are so far away, and usually ask for references or suggestions about other local professionals. It has been my experience that cross referrals have a lot of potential, and it’s been the working and sharing experiences between us professionals that has really driven each other’s business. We not only refer based on how good another company is BUT how easy they are to work with and how nice they’ve been in the past (including sharing). I realize the uniqueness of a destination area gives us a bit of an edge in cross company cooperation, but working together to help each other out is (should be) universal everywhere.

    I understand both sides of this issue. And I hope something mutually beneficial can be worked out rather than have one side feel “cheated”. Love the team point you made, Alison :), because that really is the case here.

  6. I am always thankful for pro photos. I also am one to send a nice Starbucks gift card to anyone who goes out of there way to accommodate me. I think most of my venues and photo togs know I treat them well and are always willing to accommodate me with a couple of great pics.Its a cheep way to get on the good side and get some amazing photos to build your website with ~

  7. Something that recently came up for me because I am a flower farmer when I sell gorgeous blooms like cafe au lait dahlias that are the focal flower of the wedding design is it OK to ask the floral designer for pictures? It’s kind of a trickle down to you wouldn’t have that beautiful bouquet without my flowers. I had a florist use my dahlias for a wedding and posted a bloom on her Facebook cover photo. I did have another designer tell me she would get me photos so I’m looking forward to that.

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