"Why Do Photographers Copyright their photos?"

January 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

“Why do wedding photographers copyright the pictures they take at weddings?”

 

 

 

          Legally speaking, the person who takes a photograph owns all the rights to the reproduction (and digital dissemination) of them. Traditionally (and especially in the olden days of film) photographers retained these rights fully, since the client would rarely have any access to having professional prints made and the photographer who shot your photographs would personally handle the production of all your prints. Most photographers spent as much time in a dark room developing as modern photographers do in front of their computers editing in programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop.

          As the field has evolved, people have more access to print labs and the ability to make prints on their own, at a fraction of the price a professional photographer would charge to have a print or an enlargement made. All you need is the original digital files and you can make all the prints you want. As an awareness of this "loophole" has been spread, the demand for this concession has become nearly universal. Most photographers (myself included) now include a disc of fully edited images with every session we shoot. However, there is still a concern to be voiced that once a bride has those images, she's free to do anything with them, including things that would not be advisable by, or respectful to, the artist who created them. Re-editing the images is always frowned upon. If you have proficiency in Photoshop and can enhance your  photographs to your liking in a way that is tasteful, your photographer may overlook it when you post them on Facebook, but this is rarely the case. 

          The availability of one-stop kiosks at Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other places seem to be the most popular outlets for having digital files printed and the educated, discerning photographer also frowns on this. Knowing that a client will most likely ruin a photograph with ham-fisted editing and low-quality printing leads some photographers to still hold sole possession of the copyrights to their images, insisting that if the bride wants prints made, they must accept that the artistic integrity of the photographs has to be respected and therefore the processing must also be handled in a professional manner. 

          I stand on what I think is the middle ground. I understand the merit of saving money on my client's end but I also treasure the time and effort I put into getting her photographs to look exactly as they are, so I take modest steps to educate my brides on the best way to care for their images and have them reproduced in a method worthy of their investment. 

 

 

You're welcome to reprint or repost this article on your website, blog or e-newsletter free of charge, provided that you don't change the aricle in any way and you include the byline "Authored by Brendon Pinola Photography" with the appropriate hyperlink to my website. In doing so you agree to indemnify Brendon Pinola Photography and it's directors, officers, employees and agents from and against all losses, claims, damages and liabilities that arise our of their use.

 

::about the author::

Brendon is a photographer in the Birmingham area, available worldwide for nearly any project or event. Visit his main website (linked below) to see his portfolio, resume, bio or to get in contact. Add this blog to your RSS feed and "like" his Facebook Fan page to receive fresh photos and content. 

Brendon Pinola Photography 2013

American Pictoralist  |  Storyteller

 


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