photography copyrights
When booking a photo session one may wonder who holds the copyright to those images. Follow along as I answer a few questions for both the photographer and the client about how this whole copyright thing works.

What this means for the photographer

Q: Who holds the photography copyrights?
A: The creator of the images. You, the photographer, own the copyright.
Q:  Should I give the copyright to my clients along with their pictures?
A: No. By giving away the copyright you can no longer use those images for yourself. No blog posts, no promotions, no social media sharing, and no reselling of those images. You can provide them with a License for Personal Use which allows them to print the images wherever they want, but does not allow them alter the image in any way or use it for their promotional purposes.
Q: Do I need to do anything to get my images copyrighted?
A: Not necessarily. A copyright is automatic when you capture an image and a copyright symbol or registering your portrait sessions is not needed. However, this may differ for artwork where legal protection is absolutely necessary.
Q: Where can I find more information on licensing?
A: I really like the Licensing Guide by the American Society of Media Photographers. The link to their guide can be found <<<here>>>

What this means for YOU the client

Q: Can I add pretty filters and crop my images? After all, they’re my pictures.
A: No. A copyright prevents anyone other than the photographer or their company to edit any image. When you share an image on social media, some apps may crop the image for you. That kind of crop is fine, but cropping out people you’re no longer friends with is not okay. Besides, you’ve invested your time and resources on this photographer because you like their work. You might even love their work. But when you change the way the image looks it no longer reflects the style of that photographer and might even prevent them from getting new potential followers or clients because people may mistake your edit for the photographer’s. Instead of altering an image, show it proudly to your friends and let them know who the talented photographer is that took it. Referrals are the best!

Q: Can I buy the copyrights?
A: It depends on the photographer’s willingness to give up their use of your images for their promotional material and it may also cost you a pretty penny. Instead, ask for printing rights also known as License for Personal Use. This allows you to print the images wherever and how many times you like without permission from the photographer.

Q: Can I use my portraits for my business?
A: No. This is out of the scope of family or personal portraits. A license for commercial use is required from the photographer in order to use those images for your business website, flyers, brochures, etc.

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