behind the scenes

filed in

Behind-the-Scenes Series #8 – What is Copyright?

Behind-The-Scenes Series – Tips From A Wedding Photographer!

       Welcome, welcome! If you are recently engaged and have a million things on your mind – you have come to the right place! As a wedding photographer, I get to see so much of what goes on at a wedding and I can’t help but share some insightful info with you. There is just too much goodness to share and I must share this with you!! 

If you’d rather watch the video re-cap, here ya go! Or feel free to read along. 😉 


One of the main questions I hear frequently from couples who inquire is “do we get the copyright to our photos?” Which is a great question! Because you do want to be able to print your photos!

This week I am going to break it down and tell you what all this photography lingo means and what you do want to look for. I’m gonna make it super simple! And I am no expert on this – but giving you the tips I have learned in college and researched. Ready? Let’s do this!

Here is the definition of copyright:

     So basically anytime a work of art is created, the copyright is set in place by the originator of that piece. The second I click the shutter on my camera, that picture automatically becomes copyrighted to me. No forms to fill out or anything (that was set in place by an agreement years ago…interesting history there) By having the copyright, I have control over who and how that work (photos) get printed or distributed.

I also have the moral right to take action if the photo is falsely represented. Remember that family photographer who’s picture went viral because of terrible editing to their faces (if not…go look that up!) If someone was just a terrible person and took your wedding pictures and edited them in a way that was morally wrong or not correct (or just really mean), since I own the copyright I can take legal action against them. And you don’t have that responsibility – which is a good thing!

When it comes to YOU and you are looking to hire a photographer – this is the golden question you want to ask: 

“Do we get a print release with our pictures?”

   This is usually a digital or printed form that says “the person who owns the copyright has given you permission to reproduce these pictures” In fact, if you go to a photo lab and get your pictures printed – a lot of them will ask you if you have permission to print them from the photographer. 

   By having a print release form you can print your pictures however you like! I like to make my pictures high-resolution, so you can print them in any size. Just be sure to check any fine print if you are hiring someone – some photographers have different prices for different digital sizes.

   So it really is as simple as that! Instead of copyright what you really want is the reproduction right. Voila! So if someone tells you that you get the copyright with their photo package- now you know, that is impossible! Unless you clicked that camera or were contracted to take your own pictures from the photographer you hired (ummm, that would be super weird!) you were not the original creator and what you want to ask for is that print release form. 

Hope this helps you have a clear understanding of copyright and now you can make the best informed decision! 

If you have any questions or a funny story about copyright, feel free to reach out! I’d love to hear from you.

#mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;}
/* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block.
We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *