Post # 1
I have pretty much picked my photographer…he is wonderful and his images are absolutely beautiful. I have gone over the contract and everything looks fine but I wanted a second opinion so I asked my parents to read over it to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. My mom told me that my photographer should not retain rights to my photos. That she was watching Judge Judy and a photographer took a not so flattering photo of a client and put it on a billboard with the caption of “Don’t let your wedding photos look like this, hire me!” I had only emailed a couple photogs but they all retained rights to the photos after your event for the use of advertising. So did your photographer retain the rights to your photos after your event?
**I don’t necessarily see an issue with my photographer keeping the rights, if he is going to put his name on something then I’m sure they will be quality images. I just want to show my Mom that this isn’t uncommon for a photographer to do.
Thank you ladies!
Post # 3
We’re having my FH’s aunt shoot our wedding, so I expect that we will have a bit of a unique situation. Kind of like a joint copyright?
Post # 4
To my knowledge, most pro photographers I know retain their copyrights, as they are the artist and the photo is their art. The client usually gets the right to reprint for personal use.
Post # 5
@Jenniphyr: Yeah, our photographer is giving us a copyright release so that I can print the photos as many times and however I want but he is still keeping the images so he can put them on his blog and use them as advertisements if he would choose to do so.
Post # 6
It’s pretty standard for a photographer to retain the copyrights. They will usually give you print rights, so you can print your own photos whenever you want, but they retain the right to use your photos in advertising and such. If you really have a problem with this you can try to buy the copyrights from them, but generally the only people who care about that are celebrities or politicians who don’t want the photos sold to the media.
Post # 7
All of the professional photographers with whom I’ve ever worked have retained the copyrights to the photos that they take.
Post # 8
@SoupyCat: That is an excellent way of phrasing it. I will tell my mom that 🙂
Post # 9
Yes, our photographer retains copyright and gives us usage rights (so we can get photos printed, etc.) which seemed to be standard when we shopped around.
To put some perspective on it, she explained that without copyright, a photographer couldn’t even use the photos on their website.
Post # 10
my photographer kept the rights to the images, but i have printing rights. And so anytime that an image is used, i have to make sure her name is credited. For example, my Destination Wedding travel agent and my resort wedding coordinator both wanted to use my wedding photos on their company websites to promote their own businesses, and my photog agreed as long her name was attached to them. i even credited her on facebook just to be safe.
Post # 11
Some good points being made that “usage rights” are not the same as “copyright”.
If you are really concerned about your photos being used without your permission, you could include a clause in your contract regarding that (i.e. photog can only use certain pics, cannot list your personal information, etc.).
Post # 12
I am a (male) photographer (we are not all ladies here!) and it is customary for the photographer to maintain copyright. In fact, if they don’t, they are either not a true professional or don’t know what they are doing. Typically the photographer gives the clients a usage license, either to use the photos for commercial purpose, or more commonly in wedding photography, a release that allows the client to make print reproductions, post on social networking sites,etc,etc.
The case your mom is referring to is a rare occurence. If you insist on copyright, you will have to find a photographer willing to sell it to you (this will be very costly) or find someone that just doesn’t know what they are doing and is desperate for work
Post # 13
I voted yes, my photographer will keep the rights to my photos and he explained it this way…
He said that in the past his brides that he’s shot have taken the photos and entered them into contests which have won cash prizes (or trips) without his permission. He stated this happened on two occasions..the first one… the bride entered a pic of her and her bridesmaids to an RW & Co. contest b/c she had purchased all of her BM’s dresses there. She ended up winning and the pic was plastered all over everything and the photographer didn’t get credit. The second time he took a pic of a landscape (in his spare time) and a local magazine got a hold of it and entered it into a photography competition for a local calendar so his picture ended up in this calendar without his permission.
He told me I would get all of the digital files for my pics but that he would have the “rights” to the pictures. In this case I understand.
Post # 14
@Aisling10: Also, if you had the rights, he would have no usage of the images for his portfolio, blog, or website, or samples to show any future clients. It’s business suicide.