(Closed) How important is it that you get the rights to your photos?

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

Our photographers still have the rights to our photos (meaning they can use them for advertising purposes, etc.) but we still have a disc of all of the high-res images and a "license for use" letter that we can show to anyone if they question the legality of us reproducing the images.  So I can still put all the photos on Weddingbee (as long as I credit their names), make prints and make albums to my hearts content.  I own the files, but I do not own the rights.  Make sure you discuss this with the photographer because it might not be a big deal!

Post # 4
Member
2144 posts
Buzzing bee

yeah, you should still be able to make the wedding album without a problem. The rights thing means more that they are able to use the photos anyway they wish (commercial right to sell them, to display them in their portfolios, on their website, etc) but you can use them for your own personal stuff generally, just not commercially.

Post # 5
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I have the same arrangement with my photographer as Mrs. Cupcake does with hers.  My photog actually puts a license sticker right on the disk of hi-res images so we don’t have to worry about losing a separate letter.   We have the right to unlimited personal use of the images, we just can’t sell them or use them for commercial purposes unless we get permission from her.  Definitely talk to your photographer about it! 

Post # 6
Member
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I also have an arrangement, like Mrs. Cupcake, with my photographer.  The only downside was in our deal we didn’t know the images show the business name in the lower right corner and we don’t have rights to any photos without that.

Post # 7
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

ditto MrsCupcake – the important part is just that you get the HIGH-RESOLUTION files of  your pictures.  If you just get a DVD of low-res pics, you won’t be able to make good copies/books/prints of them.

GOod Luck and Happy Planning!

Post # 8
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Definitely ask your photographer about usage.  Usually they will give you some kind of personal use license, meaning you can’t sell the photographs to a commercial magazine etc.  I agree with all the above posters about asking for a high-res DVD.  I noticed that this is not always included in photography packages, but is always available a la carte (at least from the many photographers I talked to).  Bottom line, talk to your photographer about this.  It’s very unlikely that you will ask for something no one has before and they will guide you.  If you are very close to booking and this is the thing that might stop you, then let them know that too and see what they can do to help you out.

Another note is that most photographers will also be sensitive about how they use your photos commercially.  I was pretty clear that I esp. did not want photos of the children in our wedding party used in ads etc, and that generally I wanted to be notified if he was going to send another bride photos of our wedding (this is somewhat job-related for me, I just don’t like a lot of images of me out there without my knowledge).  He said given my concerns he would definitely not include our photos in ad materials, and that he always contacted clients before sending out their proofs/slideshows etc.

Post # 9
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@ fizicsGirl — technically, you can’t grant your photographer permission to use anyone’s images except yours and your FI’s.  He’d have to get a signed release from the kids’ parents and from any other guests in order to use their images on his website, in brochures, etc.  I don’t know if all photographers are aware of this but if they’re not, they should be.  It’s definitely good to be clear about it, but it’s not something you should have to be too concerned about!

Post # 10
Member
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

In response to MrsK2be’s post, getting high-res files is good, but if your photographer offers a mid-res file, that might be good enough.  Ask how big you would be able to print the photos.  Professional photographers use cameras with high megapixels, so unless you want a poster-sized print (life-sized!!) you may not need the hi-res files.  So, definitely ask before crossing a photographer off your list!  For example, many photographers use Canon’s 5D Mark II, which is a 21mp camera.  With a 21mp photo, you can print a 12"x18" photo (which would be from a high-res file).  Would you really want to print that big?  Ever? 

Post # 11
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I’ve always wondered this, but when you receive the CD, are the images already "touched up"? Or are they as-is and you have to do that?

Post # 12
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

KateMW, it depends on the photographers.  Ours were touched up to an extent, but not as much as if we were buying individual files or prints directly from our photographers (instead, we opted to buy the whole shebang of all of our photos).  But our rehearsal dinner photographer, Alison Conklin, edits all of her images (beautifully, I might add) before giving the disc of all images to her clients.  It is always important to ask about these things because different photographers may go about things in different ways.  I have the capability and know-how to edit our photos myself, but if you don’t have that, it’s good to make sure that the images your photographer gives you will already be touched-up to look their best.

Post # 13
Member
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

For me….not getting the rights to the photos (or a letter that allows you to use them, etc.) would definitely be a deal-breaker.  They are pictures of YOU from YOUR wedding!  With all the money that photographers cost, you should absolutely get the rights to them! We’re only looking at photographers that give us all of the rights to our pics.

Post # 14
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

But MayBee, not having the rights doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot with your photos.  It just means you don’t have legal ownership to do anything you want with them outside of personal use (ie, you can create an album with the high-res images or post them on Weddingbee with credit to your photographers, but you just can’t sell them to a magazine or use them in an advertisement).  There is a difference between obtaining the final high-res files for your own use and actually owning the actual rights to them.

Post # 15
Member
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

With what Mrs. Cupcake said, make sure when you ask if they’ll give you the disc of images if those images come retouched.  I didn’t ask that, because I just assumbed at least some would be, but I was wrong, so all my images haven’t had anything done to them.  It also didn’t say it in the contract, so I should have caught that.  For me, it kind of sucks because I don’t know how to retouch them at all.  Some images I would love to have retouched and others are okay as is, even though I’m sure those could even look a bit better.

Post # 16
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

@Lillindy~Heather from the blog "We met in a Bar" does retouching and she does a really great job! She works for a photographer on the side I believe. She retouched a pic of my daughter for our Christmas card and it was great. If you’ve got a couple special pictures you want done, I would ask her for a quote. She’s super nice and quick as well! If you can’t find her blog, pm me and I’ll find the exact address. 

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