Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

PSA: Copyright Releases & Photo Quality

Ladies, I have not personally had this issue - however, I work in a photo lab and we are having many (many) Brides come in with the same problem... when it was one, it could have been an accident but in a month we've had about 10 Brides or families of a wedding party and the weddings are varying in location and state so it isn't an isolated problem.

When you sign your photography contract, you need to have a clause about the mega-pixels and size of your photos if you are planning to buy the rights to your images.
When we have had these brides come in, they have their CD of images that they have the C.R. release to reproduce except we cannot produce the images in any size larger than about a wallet because the photos are so zipped and compressed that they can't be enlarged successfully.

Basically the photographers are manipulating these ladies to believe that by buying their rights they can actually produce the images but in reality the photographers are expecting them to come back and be forced to print through their (expensive) services.
I know that in at least one case this is exactly what the photographer did, she specifically told the bride, that yes she had the right to the "images" (as stated in the contract) but she hadn't released the right to "enlarge or alter" and had prohibited her from doing this in the saving of the file.

A good rule of thumb (but isn't cut and dry, each situation is different), if you're picking up your pictures and you have over 100 images on a disk, they may not be large enough files to produce enlargements. And a huge red flag should be if you have several hundred on a disk - no possible way will you be able to do much with that!

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that all photographers are doing this!! I just want everyone to be aware that this happens and to go in with their eyes wide open! If you don't cover this in your contract, the photographer is well within their rights to do this, after all - they are retaining the rights to their work.
Beka Lou

Re: PSA: Copyright Releases & Photo Quality

  • GolfChick78GolfChick78 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href=" Topic Wedding BoardsForum:30Discussion:6c4c09b9-edd6-44a3-a1c7-5cebc70a65aaPost:1cb90c0f-6253-4632-9478-c850418f3fb6">PSA: Copyright Releases & Photo Quality</a>:
    [QUOTE]if you're picking up your pictures and you have over 100 images on a disk, they may not be large enough files to produce enlargements. And a huge red flag should be if you have several hundred on a disk - no possible way will you be able to do much with that!
    Posted by bekahjane89[/QUOTE]

    While I think you're right about sounding the alarm, I'm very certain that this statement is grossly incorrect.  A DVD disc holds more than 4gb of data. For only 100 images to fill that disc, each jpg would have to be more than 40mb.  I've produced wonderful enlargements with files that are only 2mb. 

    I don't fully understand the math behind it, but it's not about file size as much as resolution and the number of pixels.  All I know is a friend of mine had all 700 images from her wedding delivered on DVD and she's printed two beautul 16x20 enlargements from this disc so I know it's not just about file size and havinng 40+mb images.
  • fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    A DVD is different from a CD, like the OP states.  Wedding photos should be contained on a DVD.
  • bekahjane89bekahjane89 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Yes, there isn't an exact science to the size the photo should be or how many photos may go on a disc... but dvd's and cd's can be purchased in various sizes they aren't all the same size either. Usually (not always but usually...) if the mp or mb are smaller the file size is too. And depending on your software, the more you edit and alter the image, the bigger it gets to contain all those changes etc.

    In no way am I suggesting that brides throw a hissey fit if their wonderful, professional, and honest photographer hands them 1 disk containing all of their photos. I just want them to be aware of the various angles and sides to contract law and that just because you get a disc doesn't mean you have the ability or right to reproduce the images on that disc.
    Beka Lou
  • lorifrank2003lorifrank2003 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I can offer a bit of insite on this topic as I researched it a ton before I booked my photographer.  

    A pro wedding photographer should be shooting with a 16 to 21 mega pixel camera. If that is the case they will be able to fit around 350 photographs on a normal DVD.

    In my case I ended up with around 2000 high resolution photographs with the copy rights to each and every one of them.  

    I wanted the rights because it was important to me to be able to make my own prints.  My photographer (Christopher Brock) was fantastic!   Hope this helps!
  • woodfrogswoodfrogs member
    First Comment First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    A pro can deliver beautiful images with a camera utilizing less than 16-21 mega-pixels. It's not about the camera, it's about the photographer, the camera is only the tool(like a paint brush).
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