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Advice - Divorced Client
  
 
tonyhart
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Advice - Divorced Client


Hi All,

I would really appreciate a multiplicity of opinions on a situation to help me think around the issue before I commit to a response.

I have a client that I shot for in 2012 whose weddings is up there with the most photogenic I've ever shot. It has been a mainstay of my portfolio ever since. I also produced a sample album of the wedding, which I still use in every consultation and one of the key images from the day adorns the front page of my client guide. I've shot other weddings that I love, but objectively speaking, it has probably been the single most lucrative set of images I've ever used from promo.

Today I received an email from the bride telling me that her and her husband have amicably divorced. Apparently, when you google her name, First + Surname, an image of them turns up. She said that from a business and personal point of view it was 'less than ideal' and would I be willing to remove all of the images of them from my website. I googled her name and had to hunt a bit, but I found the photo in question, in Google Images. It links to my blog post about the day. I'm not really sure how Google locates that as I only used first names on the page and the image filename doesn't include the surname. Nonetheless it's there.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, I'm very torn about what to do. On the one hand I'm a decent human being and I don't like to cause issues for clients. However, on the other, the images from this wedding hold genuine inherent value for me and frankly, I'm not very willing to agree to not use them going forward. The album and the client guide aren't widely accessible, but the images in the portfolio are super strong, booking generating images. My T&C's of contract clearly state that I have the right to use the images for promo on my business channels.

So... what would you do if asked to give up the rights to one of your all-time 'best-selling' weddings? I don't want to be a dick, but I also don't want to hand over what amounts to a valuable business asset.

Views welcome as I'm genuinely torn.



Aug 14, 2017 at 01:16 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Advice - Divorced Client


Do the classy thing and take the images down


Aug 14, 2017 at 01:23 PM
twistacatz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Advice - Divorced Client


I would tell her no but I'll my best to remove her name from my website. At the end of the day I don't see it as a dick move. She wants you to take down some of your best work which could in turn hurt your bottom line because for her it's "less than ideal" if someone googles her old name?!?!? Come on...

I'm not a wedding photographer so maybe my perspective is skewed but again I would do everything short of taking the pictures down. A contract is a contract.



Aug 14, 2017 at 01:37 PM
MarcosH
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Advice - Divorced Client


Does the blog post have the same importance to your business? I would at least take down the blog post, and remove all metadata about her from your site while keeping the portfolio images. Then explain what actions you have taken and how it will prevent anyone searching for her to find the photos. This way you would be able to keep the portfolio piece and she could maintain her anonymity. I would keep the explanation limited to how you are fulfilling her needs and avoid bringing up the terms of the contract to prevent appearing confrontational.


Aug 14, 2017 at 02:15 PM
jmraso
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Advice - Divorced Client


I would keep it !, about doing a "classy thing", well this is pure business and the way you make your living. Keeping your best selling image up is a classy thing for you and your family !.

Why do we have to behave sooooo differently to other businessmen ?, unless illegal, what is wrong with doing the best or ourselves ?



Aug 14, 2017 at 03:03 PM
widjayaman
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Advice - Divorced Client


I would take it down.


Aug 14, 2017 at 03:13 PM
myam203
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Advice - Divorced Client


One image turns up and that means you should remove all of her images from your site? Doesn't seem very reasonable. I would just do your best to make sure the images can't be found on Google again. Only a stalker would even stumble upon the one she found.


Aug 14, 2017 at 03:15 PM
jmraso
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Advice - Divorced Client


robots.txt is his friend !

Disallow : /folder/name.jpg

In a few days it will be gone !

myam203 wrote:
One image turns up and that means you should remove all of her images from your site? Doesn't seem very reasonable. I would just do your best to make sure the images can't be found on Google again. Only a stalker would even stumble upon the one she found.




Aug 14, 2017 at 03:28 PM
TheyCallMeJ
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Advice - Divorced Client


If the request is directly coming from the bride, your existing client, then yes I would oblige and take it down. It's just good karma and I am sure she will appreciate it immensely. You never know how this person returns the favor in the future.

Besides, it appears that this portfolio has already generated substantial ROI for your business so in a way, it has served its purpose. Nothing prevents you in showing off the images offline, keep a high quality sample album (featuring this wedding) to sell your products. My personal preference is to always have a few offline wedding galleries handy for in-person consultations anyway. I don't want the potential bride to keep saying "well I saw this already on your website, can you show me something different?".

It sounds cliché, but I believe that my best work is found in the next wedding. I enjoy the chase and the motivation that comes with it. I understand your emotional attachment to these images but I don't think you have peaked back in 2012, you are undoubtedly capable in producing even stronger images for your portfolio.






Aug 14, 2017 at 03:31 PM
chrisfphotog
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Advice - Divorced Client


You've had the image in your portfolio for 5 years already, no harm in updating it. Happy clients = referrals. A couple photos, to me, isn't worth the battle. Should be able to remove their names and metadata from the blog post so that google won't find them.


Aug 14, 2017 at 03:51 PM
 

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tntcorp
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Advice - Divorced Client


curious as to what you're basing on to say that these images are "most lucrative set of images I've ever used from promo..."?

if you believed that the images you shot 5 years ago is pulling in new business, then your skills had peaked then. with that argument, then the current images should be as a comparable in quality and capable to pull in just as much business.

think of it as a wake-up call to update your advertising brochure ... :-)



Aug 14, 2017 at 05:02 PM
g-money
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Advice - Divorced Client


jmraso wrote:
robots.txt is his friend !

Disallow : /folder/name.jpg

In a few days it will be gone !



This is your answer. It is a win for both sides.



Aug 14, 2017 at 05:14 PM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Advice - Divorced Client


I've had a few split couples in the past

Typically I'll remove the images from my site. If they're REALLY good I'll strip their names from the metadata and file name (I typically use just first names anyway, but just in case), and only use wide/more ambiguous photos.

If they ask me to specifically take down a photo, I do. Happy clients > 1 photo.



Aug 14, 2017 at 05:54 PM
tach18k
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Advice - Divorced Client


I would remove it from on-line access, but keep it in a hard copy portfolio of your work. Is there a set of pictures that maybe do not show her or her ex faces you can use without giving up names or likeness?


Aug 14, 2017 at 07:01 PM
tach18k
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Advice - Divorced Client


I would remove it from on-line access, but keep it in a hard copy portfolio of your work. Is there a set of pictures that maybe do not show her or her ex faces you can use without giving up names or likeness?


Aug 14, 2017 at 07:01 PM
amonline
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Advice - Divorced Client


Robot is an answer. However, this is exactly why I do not ever use full names on my website. You should really consider this moving forward.

All that said, and based on you using full names, I'd remove as requested from the net. Keep the physical marketing material.



Aug 14, 2017 at 07:34 PM
tomrock
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Advice - Divorced Client


I would tell her exactly what you told us up above and see if you couldn't get her to agree to a compromise.

I'm sure there some solution between showing what you're currently showing and showing nothing.



Aug 14, 2017 at 08:03 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Advice - Divorced Client


Really interesting reading these replies. I didn't use full names. I'm struggling to work out how Google is attributing the full name to this picture.


Aug 14, 2017 at 08:03 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Advice - Divorced Client


I do not see the problem. Your former client is not going to go to your website and see the pictures and if that were to happen it would be her fault. If you had the pictures on local billboards or on display at her church that would be different.




Aug 14, 2017 at 08:16 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Advice - Divorced Client


tntcorp wrote:
curious as to what you're basing on to say that these images are "most lucrative set of images I've ever used from promo..."?

if you believed that the images you shot 5 years ago is pulling in new business, then your skills had peaked then. with that argument, then the current images should be as a comparable in quality and capable to pull in just as much business.

think of it as a wake-up call to update your advertising brochure ... :-)



This.

If hers/theirs is the set that is getting you sales then what have you been delivering to other clients? Presuming you have multiple weddings on your website, her cannot be the only one pulling the average quality up to sell your services? I think this wedding for some reason has more of an emotional attachment to you than a business attachment.
It is really not worth the problems having an annoyed/frustrated ex-client.

I would play the emotional card and reply to the effect of "I am sorry to hear of your divorce and will take your set from my website with a heavy heart. It is a day that I remember with great happiness and a set that I believe whose strength has drawn the attention of many potential clients."
She may reply 'Aww, go on then...."




Aug 14, 2017 at 10:03 PM
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