Mrs. Siedlecki
Dedicated January 2017

Wedding Photography- Rights to your pictures?

Mrs. Siedlecki, on September 19, 2015 at 10:51 PM Posted in Planning 0 39
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Hi everyone,

I am just getting ready to start searching for a wedding photographer. Is it true that you do not get the rights to your photos or that you have to pay ~$20 for each one?

39 Comments

Latest activity by Amy, on July 25, 2018 at 6:08 AM
  • Crystal L.
    Master August 2015
    Crystal L. ·
    • Flag

    Ours has a wedding package that includes the rifts to all of the photos! =)

    • Reply
  • AlexisM082
    Master February 2016
    AlexisM082 ·
    • Flag

    Our photographer also releases the rights to our photos for downloads and printing, but what she does not release is the right to basically profit from the photo(s). So we cannot sell the photos(via the Internet/download/or print). I don't know who would, but I guess I could see that happening. Once upon a time, photographer would charge an additional $200+ for the release, but I haven't seen that for a few years. Not in Phoenix at least....

    • Reply
  • Jay Farrell
    Jay Farrell ·
    • Flag

    You are probably confusing usage rights with copyright holding. I personally grant shared usage with clients, but as Alexis said, they cannot use them for commercial use (why would anyone do that anyhow) without consent / purchase rights to. And that's a mighty handsome fee.

    As much as I hate it, clients may print from those files. I also provide web sized for social media and other online use. Studio retains intellectual rights to use for their marketing etc. You don't need exclusive ownership, which excludes any usage by the image creator.

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  • MrsGW2Be
    Dedicated April 2016
    MrsGW2Be ·
    • Flag

    I think it really depends on the photographer. All of the ones I've looked at give you the rights to reprint as you see fit

    • Reply
  • D
    Expert November 2015
    DRGCAS ·
    • Flag

    I refused to hire any photographer that kept the rights to MY pictures. After a long search I found one and I didn't have to pay extra. They're a younger couple who understand how important it is for couples to fully own their photographs.

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  • Carole Cohen
    Carole Cohen ·
    • Flag

    Some photogs will definitely charge you a ton more to get the rights to your own pictures. They will send you small files, or low-res files that you can "see" but not use because they will look bad on Facebook or printed. So you'll have to either print them via the gallery they set up for you, or buy the rights to the ones you want.

    But that is a pretty rare thing nowadays (thank goodness).

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  • Jay Farrell
    Jay Farrell ·
    • Flag

    It's apparent some in this discussion still don't understand that the photographer will always own copyrights. Most today share usage / print rights with the client, which is ALL you need. This just means the photographer can still use the photos for web and print marketing / trade show marketing etc.

    If you have shared usage / right to print, you still do not own photos. You don't need to. But that gives you everything you need, there is a shelf life for the photographer's use for marketing obviously.

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  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    The general rule under copyright law is that the creator of an image (the photographer) owns all rights to it. However, that rule can be modified by contract. Modifications could include restrictions on what the photographer can do with the photos (e.g., is it okay if they are on his or her professional site?) and permission for you to use the photos (e.g., to make prints or albums yourselves). But you definitely want to look at the contract closely.

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  • annakay511
    Master July 2015
    annakay511 ·
    • Flag

    My package includes the rights to all our pictures. This is a MUST!!! It's absolutely worth it to pay a little more to own the rights so you can afford your pictures.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
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    Please re read Jay's and Carol's posts again. This is what my photographers tell their clients too.

    • Reply
  • RJmargo
    Master May 2016
    RJmargo ·
    • Flag

    You need to specifically ask the photographer if you are given the rights to the photos and double check what the contract says before you sign one. Most photographers these days will give you the high res photos on a USB or CD and give you the rights to make you own copies. This is as opposed to having to buy any copies through them. As Jay and Celia said, the photographer owns the copyright. All you need is the rights. My photographer included the rights as part of his packages. So no it's not true that it's specifically $20 for each photo.

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  • Mrs. BMM
    Devoted October 2015
    Mrs. BMM ·
    • Flag

    Our package with our photographer includes all of the photos on a USB stick and the rights to post and print the photos however we want. She just requests that if we post them online for people to see that we tag her as the photographer to give her credit for her work. She retains the rights to use the photos for marketing and still owns the photos.

    • Reply
  • EatKnitRun
    Master May 2016
    EatKnitRun ·
    • Flag

    The photographer created the image, so he or she owns the rights unless you buy them. Many wedding photographers include the rights to the images in their packages, but not all do. We chose a wedding package that includes all digital photos and the right to print them, but we bought the rights and digital files for our engagement photos a la carte. I think we paid $350 for them (after paying $250 for our engagement session), and if we bought rights individually it would have been around $15 or $20 per photo. Your photographer's prices sound pretty normal.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Master May 2014
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    As Jay said, you do not need to OWN your photos (copyright) and rarely will a photographer provide that to you without a very hefty price tag. You just need to ensure that your contract allows you the right to print and share the images as you wish. Most pro photographers now will provide printing rights as part of their packages.

    DRGCAS - they are not YOUR photos from an ownership perspective. You didn't create them. The photographer created them on his/her equipment, therefore he/she owns them.

    • Reply
  • Carmen Rojas
    Carmen Rojas ·
    • Flag

    Love this thread! Jay explained the situation pretty well.

    The photographer is the creator of the image and will always be his/her image. Clients only need rights to print and share.

    • Reply
  • Jay Farrell
    Jay Farrell ·
    • Flag

    Thank you Lord. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • FormerUser
    Master July 2015
    FormerUser ·
    • Flag

    It depends on the photographer and contract. We made sure to choose a photographer who issued us all rights to print and share, but we asked our family and friends to support her by buying prints through her website.

    • Reply
  • Carmen Rojas
    Carmen Rojas ·
    • Flag

    Ok CatsBoninCats... once again... your heart is pure gold! This meant a lot to your photographer for sure!

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
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    Cats, you rock.

    • Reply
  • D
    Expert November 2015
    DRGCAS ·
    • Flag

    ETA: The contract that I signed with photographer states that I own the copyrights to MY photographs. They do not/will not have my permission to use as promotional materials, on their social media page or anywhere else without my consent. I will fully own them. This is why it took me a very long time to find a photographer that agreed to this without charging extra for it. Company has been in business for almost 10 years, young photographers who understand how important it is for couples to own the rights to their pictures. Company asks couples for permission. I was told most couples agree because they like to see their images posted on the company's website.

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