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photography copyright

Hi - I'm having trouble finding a photographer who is willing to assign their copyright of our wedding photos to me and my fiance. I understand this is not the norm in the wedding industry as copyright law states that the creator of the work is the owner (but that right can be assigned to someone else). I work in music intellectual property rights so I deal with this on a daily basis, just in protecting songwriter's copyrights and not in wedding photography. 

Has anyone successfully negotiated with a photographer to assign their copyright of your wedding photos to you? 

Since I work in this area exhaustively, I can understand both the artist's (photog) point of view and from my perspective but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around someone else technically owning our wedding photos! We are private people and I know we can ask the photog to not use any of our photos as promotional material and for other accommodations to protect our privacy but... on principle it feels weird. And yes, I know this may come at a premium $$, which is fine (within reason). 

Thx! 

Re: photography copyright

  • Hi - I'm having trouble finding a photographer who is willing to assign their copyright of our wedding photos to me and my fiance. I understand this is not the norm in the wedding industry as copyright law states that the creator of the work is the owner (but that right can be assigned to someone else). I work in music intellectual property rights so I deal with this on a daily basis, just in protecting songwriter's copyrights and not in wedding photography. 

    Has anyone successfully negotiated with a photographer to assign their copyright of your wedding photos to you? 

    Since I work in this area exhaustively, I can understand both the artist's (photog) point of view and from my perspective but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around someone else technically owning our wedding photos! We are private people and I know we can ask the photog to not use any of our photos as promotional material and for other accommodations to protect our privacy but... on principle it feels weird. And yes, I know this may come at a premium $$, which is fine (within reason). 

    Thx! 
    I do have a friend who successfully did this; her husband is an attorney and he did the negotiations. Essentially they had to pay the photographer a premium because none of the photos could be used in the photographers portfolio. I don’t know all the details but I think the photographer named a price and they paid, but they are an extremely private couple (neither has Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, etc) so it was worth it to them. 

    A more common agreement is a shared copyright where both you and the photographer has rights to the images so you can use them however they want, but so can the photographer. 

    You can always ask vendors for what you want (exclusively copyright, no use of images in any marketing/social media) and they may, or may not agree. My sense is this is a case by case thing depending on the person you’re working with and how much they value the copyright. 
  • justsiejustsie
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    edited June 2018
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