June 8, 2019
The two components to image ownership and usage are Copyright and Print Release.
Copyright– This is the legal ownership of the images. The moment the camera shutter clicks the photographer possesses the copyright to the images. This is an industry standard. It doesn’t mean you can’t use your wedding images for your own personal use. It just means your photographer maintains ownership and can showcase them on advertising and marketing materials. Typically you will not need a copyright release of your images. You will want, need, and receive the next portion: Print Release.
Print Release– This is permission to use your photos for personal use however you’d like! Want to print a couple for your home, go ahead! Want to post on social media, yes please (please tag your vendors, we love that!) The print release does not allow editing the images, submitting to contests/publication, adding a social media filter, or sending to vendors without the photographer’s permission. Even if a vendor has it in their contract that you send them the images you technically don’t have the release to do so. If your photographer is like me I have already contacted and spoken to your vendors about your wedding gallery.
It is industry standard and listed in photographers contracts that the photographer maintains copyright but gives a Print Release to their clients.