Dear Aspiring Planner...
The craziest thing happened to me this morning and I just had to write to try to get over the shock and frustration I am feeling. My morning started like most, 6:15 am alarm, snooze for 45 minutes and up finally, coffee, Instagram scroll, then emails. Going through my inbox, I stumble across an email. At first, it seemed like a nice email from a planner starting out but its was more than that. Email goes like this... Are you ready? It's so good!
"My Good afternoon Akeshi, I hope all is well
My name is ******* ****** and I am a student at the University of ************. I am the owner of ***** ** ***** Weddings & Events and am absolutely floored with every event that you do, your hard work and passion is inspirational. There were a few photos of a wedding that you did that I wanted to use on my site, but they are only pictures of the bride and groom. I have already spoken with ************ and she said as long as it was fine with you it wouldn't be a problem. The pictures I would like to use are below. Thank you so much and I hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience"
I was dumbfounded for about 5 minutes. After many WTF's, I was able to find my bearing and compose myself to write. How is this ok? The email also included the photos they wanted to use. 3 of them. Well as long as they are only pictures of the bride and groom. Again SHOCK!!!
So here is the deal.
NO!!! HELL NO! I appreciate you asking. That is way more than I have received in the past. They normally just steal images from my past events and put them up on their website, Pinterest and Instagram. So thank you for asking but darling, NO!
A wedding is probably going to be the most personalized event my clients will ever have and I do not take the trust they put in me for granted. As wedding professionals, it is our duty to protect our clients and the integrity of our industry. No you cannot have images from my past weddings for your site. If you like these beautiful images from the weddings, you need to understand how I got there. It takes us over a year of non stop planning, sleepless night and countless hours to pull off this beautiful wedding you want for your site. Also, allowing you to post photos of a couple you have never met or worked with breaks the trust they have put in us. There are a million other reasons why this is so unethical but I think I have made my point.
- Crawl before you work.
- Work you tail off.
- Continue to put in the work and be patient. If you put in the work, the clients will come.
- Be honest.
- Remember integrity is everything.
- Be ethical.
- If it's pretty images you seek, plan a styled shoot that reflects the style of planning you want to pursue and use those images for your website until you get a real couple to hire you. When you do get those images, protect them. Protect your clients!!!
All the best,
Akeshi Akinseye was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Nigerian parents, grew up in Benin-City, Nigeria, and returned to the United States in 2000. Coming from a design background, she launched her event planning and design business. She is established as a premier event designer for clients all over the world. Her clientele includes celebrities and athletes. When she is not producing events, she teaches her floral masterclass "The Kesh Experience", a series of design masterclasses that offers education to design creatives. Akeshi's work has been featured in many local and national wedding publications.