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A word of warning to all the brides out there who have been posting pictures from their professional photographer.

Please please *please* make sure you have written permission from your photographer saying it's ok to use the photos in the way you are using them. As soon as a professional photographer presses the shutter release on their camera, they own the copyright on the image created. More than likely, this copyright information is stated in your contract with the photographer. By using the images without permission, you may be breaking your contract. By breaking your contract, you leave the photographer open to keeping your deposit and not delivering any product included or not covering your event. Worse yet, you could be charged for your use of the images which can can run in the hundreds of dollars per image.

There are two major ways I've seen this happen in the community:

- Downloading and re-posting images to weddingplans or a personal journal
- Editing photos and using them for icons, banners, etc.

Please be careful about doing this, especially with engagement photos. I saw one bride re-post photos on here that she had not been able to download, so she made screen captures and cropped the screen capture. Not be be the bearer of bad news, but if the photographer doesn't make it easy for you, you can pretty much count on it not being ok. This also includes editing out a watermark or frame with the photographer's name on it.

If you do have permission, make sure that you post the images with the photographer's watermark or frame. This not only creates some advertising buzz for the photographer, it gives them a way to prove that the image is theirs if someone takes it and reuses it inappropriately.

The pictures are great, girls! Keep finding those good photographers out there.

ETA: Some of you are stating that you have purchased "rights" from your photographer. Please check the written release to make sure it says it is a "full-rights" release. If it does not, you may or may not have permission to do what you're doing. Many photographers only release images for printing, in which case distribution is still illegal.

Comments

( 56 raised glasses — toast the couple )
(Deleted comment)
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Well, there are some photographers who will allow you that option, but it's certainly not automatic. Every (good) wedding photographer contract I've seen includes a model release as part of it. Even if your friend does the photography for you, they still technically have to provide you with a written copyright release. Then again, if there's going to be no legal stuff involved with your friend, you should be ok, but IANAL.
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(no subject) - winter_in_asia - Jul. 6th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - winter_in_asia - Jul. 6th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
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roonilwazlib6
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Question, then: Once you've paid for them and the photographer delivers the pictures to you and they're yours, is this still the case? I realized that taking them from their website may be breaking some sort of contract, but I'm wondering if it's the same once they're yours.
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Unless the photographer gives you a piece of paper that states that you have a "full-rights" release or specifically authorizes you (in writing) to do something, they still own the copyright and you're still breaking the law. A disk of images does not constitute copyright release.

The other thing to consider is "fair use". If what you are doing is considered fair use, you're not breaking the law, but it doesn't mean that the photographer won't sue you because they disagree with your definition of fair use. The safest way to do it is to just make sure you have written permission.
(no subject) - kylecassidy - Jul. 6th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
ninaf
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Just cause this confuses a lot of people on the knot....

Copyright release is not the same as a print release. You might be able to print them from the CD your photographer provided. But unless specifically state in your contract, you do NOT have copyright release... you have a print release. Completely different things.

winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for pointing this out. I will add this as an addendum to my post.
(no subject) - ninaf - Jul. 6th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - winter_in_asia - Jul. 6th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
mellybrelly
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I would never get a photographer who wouldn't allow me to put my pictures online! hah!
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
There are a lot of photographers who are willing to allow it, myself included, you just need to ask.
(no subject) - mellybrelly - Jul. 6th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - mellybrelly - Jul. 6th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
kutie_kara
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
If my photographer told me that we'll have "shared ownership" of the photos (i.e., she can still use them for advertising, etc.), does that mean I'm allowed to post them in places? Sorry if this is a ridiculous question!
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
That's not at all ridiculous. Shared ownership can mean a lot of things. I would ask her for a specific release -- you'll need one to print the photos anyway -- with a list of what you can and cannot do with the photos.

Edited at 2009-07-06 05:37 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
lizzie
Jul. 6th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
I didn't see anyone point out you specifically, so I don't understand why you're taking this so personally. I don't think he was trying to insult you, or anyone else.
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(no subject) - lizzie - Jul. 6th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
marksbrides
Jul. 6th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
That WILD... Because I've been a wedding photographer for quite a few years and I've never known a photographer to give "FULL RIGHTS" .

I give a facebook ready DVD of images that include a very nice looking and discreet watermark. That DVD comes with online rights that allows my brides to use the images on social networking sites, blogs, twitter, or even flickr.

I sell a "HIGH RES" DVD that includes rights to print photographs for personal and non-commercial use.

I give publication rights to SELECTED photographs on a case by case basis. These are used for News Paper announcements or magazine features.

"FULL RIGHTS" would mean that you could sell the photographs for a profit, claim them as your own work, publish them in a book, sell them to an advertising agency, put up a wedding photography website and use them in a portfolio. "FULL RIGHTS" would mean that you could butcher the photographs in photoshop and publish them ruining my reputation as a photographer.

WIth all that said, if your photographer has not given you the specific rights that you need, talk with them about it. Every reasonable and prudent photographer that I know would be flattered if you wanted to use the photographs in a unique flattering way.
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm genuinely surprised at how many people on here claim that they are receiving "Full-Rights" releases from their photographers. Perhaps these people should start posting the text of their releases.
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(no subject) - winter_in_asia - Jul. 6th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
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levenah
Jul. 6th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
I think as long as their is credit/link to site/blog ect. I don't see a problem with it. I'm not "claiming" it to be my own work. I'm showing off the work of someone that I love and linking back to their site.

Most photographers don't have a problem with it. Anyone that does, is pretty uptight in my opinion. This is 2009 where people plan their weddings online and are part of social sites. It's common knowledge that people want to share their life through those outlets.
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Be that as it may, the legality of the issue remains: if you don't have written permission to do it, you can be held liable.
(no subject) - levenah - Jul. 6th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - winter_in_asia - Jul. 6th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
marksbrides
Jul. 6th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
I had a bride not long ago who had a wedding at a vineyard. I don't know exactly how the vineyard owner obtained one of my images to create the wine labels.... but he did. If he had asked permission, not only would I have helped him select the best image - but I would have also helped him by giving him an image that was of high enough resolution, had the correct color profile embedded - I might have even designed the whole label for him.

But he didn't. So the bride ended up with wine bottles that looked like crap and I was embarrassed that all of the guests saw one of my images in such poor light. Yes. I was pissed.
winter_in_asia
Jul. 6th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Sounds like grounds for a suit. I read an article from a wedding photographer who does a lot of commercial work and he had some very interesting things to say about this sort of thing. I'll see if I can dig up a link for you.

ETA: You could have just issued him an invoice for the image, which is probably what I would have done.

Edited at 2009-07-06 09:03 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - tamgerine - Jul. 7th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC) - Expand
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