As of May 25th 2018 the old Data protection laws have grown up, taken steroids and been morphed into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for all companies, regardless of size, in the European Union.
Now, it's fair to say that it's a bit of a dry subject but it is there in this digital age to protect all of our personal information and how it is used. Anything that potentially means less Spam mail has got to be a good thing, right?
Your personal information that I collect (not like a hobby but like stuff that I need)
I will collect your name, so I know what to call you when we chat.
I will collect your e-mail address, so I can communicate with you.
I will sometimes collect your mobile phone number, so if I need to call you to find you on your wedding day then I can.
I will collect your address so I know where to post your lovely wedding photos to.
All of the above I need to be your photographer.
How do I collect your personal information?
I tried wearing a sliver foil hat with knitting needle antennae tuned into 358Khz but didn't get much business so now I just rely on old skool methods, see below.
A) You contact me directly by e-mail to say hi and we start talking about your wedding.
B) You contact me by me contact form on my website to say hi and we start talking about your wedding.
C) You contact me by phone, we have a chat and then if it all goes well we communicate by e-mail.
Your personal information is now filed away in my computer. Securely, behind locked doors and with a really good password.
If you don't decide to book me I will place your contact details in a separate sad place in my computer. There your information will stay, just in case I am called upon in a time of great need. If that time doesn't arrive I will delete all your personal data after 1 year.
Your right to access, verify and amend the personal information I hold on you
You have the right to do this. It's not a complicated process, just drop me an e-mail and I can tell you what personal information I have on you (see first point). Hopefully it'll match the information you gave me if not then I can correct it, which'll be a good thing for the both of us.
Alternatively If you want me to delete all of your personal information then again just drop me an e-mail and I'll get straight on it.
One point on the above though, it's best not to ask me to delete all your personal information before I've taken your wedding photos. Potential logisitical issues there.
Use of your personal information
Ok this ones an easy one. I collect the minimum amount of data from my clients, the bare minimum which allows you to conduct business with me. I use that information only to do business with you, find out where your wedding is, make some lovely pictures and then post them to you. Stuff like that.
I don't use your personal information anywhere else. I don't send out mailshots or newsletters and I deffo don't give or sell your personal information to anyone else.
I don't tend to do wedding blogs but if I'm contacted and asked then I will contact you directly and ask you if it's OK and maybe even ask you to send me the copy for the wedding blog describing the details of your day. You are quite within your rights to just say no. I sometimes have the same reaction to wedding blogs.
Are photographs of people classed as personal data? Well, yes they are. However, the photographs I make are pretty important to the succesful running of my little business. Consequently I have what I think is called "legitimate interests" in storing and using photographs of the people I take. So this bit to me is all about common sense.
I retain the copyright to all the photographs I take but I don't sell the photographs to any 3rd parties. I keep them so I can show them to other couples who are looking for a wedding photographer. This proves to them that I am a photographer who has covered lots of other weddings. Hopefully when they see all the amazing weddings on my portfolio they will book me for theirs.
Now in order to make sure that everyone out there in the great internet cloud knows where I am and what I do it really, really helps me if I show off some of my work on fb and instagram and most importantly of all on my website. My portfolio is my thing, it saves me having to explain in cliché ridden sentences about what I think my photography is all about. Future clients can just simply look at what I do and decide whether they like it. So, I do like to share a few wedding photos on social media and on my web site and also with the other really wonderful wedding suppliers at your wedding. These passionate people also really like to show the world the beautiful makeup, amazing hair, delicious cakes, stunning flower arrangements and carefully designed weddings they have created. Oh and when I have the time I sometimes submit photos I really like to wedding photography competitions, no personal information is submitted just the photos so I can win shiny baubles of praise.
All my couples are asked if it's OK for this photo usage in my wedding contract. If you don't want to then no problem it's an opt in or opt out choice for you.
Website personal information
All my clients are given access to a private gallery on a part of my website to view and share the gallery with their friends. The gallery is password protected and you don't need to have an account to access it, just the password.
If my clients do create an account on the gallery side of things to order prints or download photos then some personal information is gathered and stored by my 3rd party gallery provider PHOTODECK. They are not only a thoroughly good bunch of people but also a GDR compliant company.
The information stored is again the bare minimum required to access your account, namely:
Your name and your e-mail address and your password. If you decide to buy a nice little print then they will also store your address which is really useful for them to know where to send your prints to.
How could I forget cookies? I don't collect any personal information from cookies primarily because I'm not interested in it but also because I wouldn't have a clue how to even get it.
GDPR compliant policy
Is it? To be honest I'm not sure. I'm just a simple photographer trying to run a very small business and make beautiful images for my clients. I'm an honest bloke who has absolutely no interest in upsetting anybody, my sole aim in life is to make those people around me happy (this includes all my lovely couples) and live stress free with a smile on my face so I for one won't be messing about with your personal information. Oh no.