Understanding Photo Restrictions & Copyrights
Copyright, image type, altering images, all terms that can be confusing. Let’s go over what they mean both to you the consumer/client and to the photographer.
The photos that a photographer hands over to you are part of their creative work. It is produced in their style, etc. as part of their life’s work.
Images generally have a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional images that you receive.
1) Model Release. A model release is standard fare for photographers. This allows us to use your images in displays, contests, and on our website and in social media. If no clients signed these than you would have no idea what the photographer’s work looks like. Some clients need an extra layer of privacy (FBI agents, etc.) and you would just need to discuss your privacy concerns with the photographer prior to the session.
2) Copyright. The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright. For family sessions, this means, by court of law, the photographs taken are owned by the photographer. You are generally purchasing a print or digital with the ability to use them for your own personal use. Otherwise, you can’t sell them or enter them into contests without the consent of the photographer.
3) Image type. Digital negatives/digitals are generally delivered as jpeg files. This is a common file type and is easily opened on computers, phones and tablets.
Sometimes, people request “raw files”. But most don’t understand exactly what a raw file is. These are the file types that come straight from the camera, these are NOT jpegs. Most people have no idea or way to open them. For photographers they are a file that allows more editing possibilities for correcting white balance issues (when you shoot indoors and it looks too yellow, that’s white balance), lighting, cropping, rotating, etc. We do NOT provide raw files to our clients.
All of our files are fully edited when delivered. If there is an issue with the file, contact your photographer to discuss what else may need to be done. Some studios may charge extra for this. Our sessions are generally full service and most edits are covered as part of our service.
4) Image altering. There are so many apps now a days that can edit your images, smooth the skin more, make your eyes bigger, put color effects, etc. While we appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of our photos on social media platforms, we ask that the images not be altered in any way as this is against our copyright policies. This is generally a standard rule for all photography studios.
What constitutes image altering?
·Adding filters or editing photos in Photoshop or other editing program
·Removing our logo or studio name
·Changing the color or including transitions from color to black and white
·Clipping people or objects out of the original image
So why do photographers restrict this kind of editing? Our photographs are a representation of our work so when a customer alters an image it directly impacts our name and brand.
When we present you with final images, they have already been through our editing process and don’t require further alterations. When clients alter their images themselves, the results are not always reflective of our original work or quality. Friends and family may assume that the edited image is the way we shoot/edit whether that’s good or bad. They may choose not to book us because they don’t like the edit. Or they may book us thinking we do a specific type of editing that we do not.
Hopefully, this information is helpful to you!
Location: Jacksonville, Florida.