Photo Copyright Ownership

Do I own the copyright to the pictures that you took for us?

This is a very misunderstood aspect of the creative world, and one that plagues almost everyone who has ever contracted to have photographs taken. For photography, federal law states that the person who pushes the button on the camera instantly owns the copyright to that image.

It is possible to transfer that move that copyright to another individual through the copyright office, but cost can be a factor. Instead, we offer two different options for our clients:

1) We retain all rights and allow the client unlimited copy and usage rights, which means that all images may be copied, uploaded, transferred, printed, placed on a billboard, or whatever suits your fancy. We may, in turn use the images to help promote our business, use them in print collateral, etc.

2) You retain all rights and agree to pay for, not only our time to shoot the photos, but a rental fee for using our cameras, lights, lenses, tripods, cables, monitors, etc. This type of contract is called a “Work for hire” and equates to 1.5 times the initial price.


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