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Understanding Wedding Photography Copyright

8 July 2013 14,030 views

 

Copyright – the right to produce copies – sounds straight forward and it sort of it is, but nevertheless it is also a bit mis-understood by couples and photographers.

 

So, here’s the simple version:

 

COPYRIGHT ALWAYS BELONGS TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Except under special circumstances, when the photographer takes a photograph the copyright automatically belongs to him or her.  No ifs, buts.

 

This means you cannot make any copies of any photographs you receive without their permission.   This includes prints, but also computer copies, facebook profiles, anything.  You cannot reproduce any image without permission.

 

It also means that the photography CAN.  They can do what they like with them.   Sell them to Hello magazine, publish them on the web, use them for advertising whatever.

 

BUT I’VE GOT A CD OF IMAGES?

 

And with that CD you will have a “licence to reproduce”.  This does not mean you own them, but you will have some rights to do some things with the CD.   In our case, the CD comes with rights to copy them either as prints or electronically for non-commercial purposes.    What you can’t do is sell them, you can’t give them to the wedding dress shop to use for their adverts and so on.

 

What you can do is make prints for your mum and dad and put your pictures up on facebook that’s fine – we will give you that right.     In our case you can print as many as you like as often as you like – a complete whole album if you want – that’s absolutely fine.  You can fiddle with them, photoshop them, make them into keyrings – all of that is fine with us.

 

WHAT ABOUT PROOF BOOKS, PRINTS AND ALBUMS?

 

Normally no photographer gives you the rights to make copies of any of those.  If it’s a finished product – even a proof book – you would not normally be allowed to make any copies.   That includes scanning it to your computer, facebook, duplicate prints and photocopying.

 

It’s partly old-fashioned, when it was the norm to sell additional prints at a wedding it was a way of protecting the photographers income.  For me it is about preventing inferior quality copies of my work being circulated.

 

SO WHAT ARE YOUR “EMAIL” and “PRINT YOUR OWN” CDs?

 

Depending which package and options you go for you will have one or both of these CD’s from FilmPhoto.co.uk

 

The “Email” CD has low resolution images that you can share on facebook, email to your friends, put up on your wedding website and general email/web circulation.   They are not suitable for printing.

 

The “Print Your Own” CD has high-resolution images that can be printed at least up to A4 size.   You can print as many and as often as you like.   You can print them on your ink-jet – but i really don’t like you to do that – ‘cos inkjets look horrible – take them to Boots, Tesco’s or an online printer for proper quality prints.

 

In both cases you will have a lot of images on the CD.   Usually several hundred from an all-day wedding, and the pictures often capture people and events that you don’t want in your album, but that are great reminders of the day or terrific pictures of your friends and family.

 

We don’t mind you sharing those pictures, that’s what the disks are for.

 

SO DO YOU SELL PRINTS?

 

We do, your guests can buy various sized prints from us for a small fee (currently £20).   We don’t push it, we’re not there to make money out of your guests, it’s really more part of the service.  If you have a print CD, then we’re very happy for you to provide them prints.

Cheltenham Wedding Photographer FilmPhoto.co.uk.

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