Who owns the copyright to your wedding photographs?

Who owns the copyright to your wedding photographs?

Planning your wedding without the help of others is an incredible feat; there’s so much to do, think about, and learn! Most of us haven’t planned an event as big (nor as important) as this before which adds to the undeniable amount of stress that comes with it. From managing multiple vendors and booking different services, it’s impossible to know it all, but there are a few things it’s a good idea to get clued up about!

Within wedding photography, copyright can be a topic that is met with confusion but is a very important part of hiring a photographer that you need to understand. Here, we’ll explain the difference between copyright and usage rights and what that means for couple’s booking a wedding photographer.

Copyrights and Wedding Photography

In short, the copyright of photographs taken on your wedding day is owned by the photographer. As the creator of the images, the photographer automatically owns the copyright and only they can grant permissions to other people to use these images. It’s the right of the wedding photographer to protect their creative work and stop others from using it without their consent. Often, you’ll notice many wedding photographers place watermarks on their images on both their websites and social media accounts to protect their integrity. However, that doesn’t mean that you just paid for a service where the photos aren’t “yours”. Enter the concept of “Usage Rights”.

What are Usage Rights in Photography?

When you purchase your photos from your wedding photographer (whether as prints or digital files), most of them will give you the usage rights to those pictures. This usually includes the right to print and share the images with your family and friends, but not use them for commercial use or sell them to others. “Usage rights” can also be known as a license and they can differ from photographer to photographer. Best practice suggests that you should always check to see if the license is included in your package or if it requires an extra fee. To best mitigate this risk, you should always read your contract to learn about the services offered and what you can and cannot do with your photos.

If you are interested in owning the copyright to your photos then you can expect to pay much more for these rights, but in most cases the usage rights should be more than sufficient for your needs.

Hopefully this eases a lot of potential confusion and unnecessary stress during your wedding planning,  while giving you a starting point to discuss with your wedding photographer.

Mae Photography is a well-established wedding photography company working in Colchester and Ipswich in Essex and Suffolk. Their style is light, natural and relaxed, putting you in control of your photography package. Are you planning your wedding in Colchester or Ipswich? Check out these wonderful wedding photographers.

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