Photographer Carly Fuller and DJ Ken Rochon of Absolute Entertainment are locked in a heated battle. Both provided their services at a wedding, but Fuller said she noticed Rochon taking pre-ceremony photographs with professional equipment. She claims that Rochon had no right to take photographs for his own marketing purposes at the wedding because she had an exclusivity agreement with the bride and groom. Fuller said she was shocked to see Rochon’s pictures on a Facebook page for his other business, The Umbrella Syndicate.
Fuller contacted Rochon and asked him to take the pictures down because she has an exclusivity clause in her contract that prevents any other professionals from taking photographs at the weddings she shoots. Rochon said that he wasn’t told about the clause and that he wasn’t taking the pictures to compete with other photographers, they were simply for marketing purposes.
Here is the exclusivity clause in the contract signed both by the bride and groom:
“This agreement contains the entire understanding between Carly Fuller Photography and the CLIENT. It supersedes all prior and simultaneous agreements between the parties. It is understood Carly Fuller Photography is the exclusive official photographer retained to perform the photographic services requested on this Contract.”
Rochon admitted that he was photographing during the wedding, however, thinks that this whole thing was a “huge misunderstanding.”:
“Either the bride and groom didn’t know of the clause, or they knew and didn’t tell me.”
“The client was the bride and groom, and the bride and groom never told me I couldn’t bring a camera. The photographer wasn’t my client, and I didn’t have a contract with the photographer. I do have the right to take pictures.”
“When she delivers the photos she shot, she’s still delivering what she was hired to deliver.”
After this incident got known in photography circles, photographers began to come to Fuller’s defense, commenting angry messages on his album and Facebook page:
The controversy grew over social media, he named it #weddingphotogate. He launched his own campaign called “Freedom to Capture Love”. This is an open letter he published on Facebook:
“I have images of them holding the camera and photobombing my ceremony photos. Minutes after I had asked them to put their camera away and I would send them images.”
“Wedding vendors are hired because of their experience, talent, and vision,” Fuller says.
“Each of us has a right to do our job and deliver the quality our clients expect. We have a right to be able to perform our duties without another professional interfering with the process. Another vendor’s marketing needs do not supersede those rights.”
Rochon insists that he has the right to shoot photos during weddings as well:
“Why is it only the photographer that can market the event? Pretty much the only way you can market on social media these days is photography.”
“Everyone has cameras at events these days. I have every right to capture that love.”
“I wasn’t trying to give photos to discount the work of the photographer. I was simply marketing my company and giving my vantage point as a gift to the couple,” Rochon says.
“Going forward, I hope all vendors can embrace the idea that we all should just do what we were hired to do, and BRING IT! But only bring what makes our own profession rock, and what makes our service and product the best they can be. Let’s agree to stay out of each other’s jobs – we each were hired for a reason. Let each other shine.”