Who owns my photographs? - Radian Photography

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Who owns my photographs?

For Radian Couples, Radian Photography

January 22, 2017

When discussing the ins and outs of working with Radian Photography, many clients who are excited and ready to work with us only have one question: “Can I do whatever I want with these photographs?”

What’s our answer?

Yes. With limits.

According to the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, once a photograph is created, the copyright belongs to the artist — in this case, the photographer. This allows the photograph to be edited, published, printed, used for marketing or portfolio purposes, and, in some circumstances, sold. (We don’t sell photos of our couples, but you can buy fine art prints from our travels here!)

So what’s the point of a photo session if you don’t even get to use your photographs? You do!

Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill engagement, wedding, lifestyle photographer | Radian Photography | Copyright vs. Print Release | www.radianphotography.com

Our sessions come with a print release!

Because you receive digital files after your session, this means that if you want to put your photos on a mug or in a calendar or in your scrapbook, you can do that! We do ask when our couples post in public spaces, like social media,  they tag us when posting. But other than that, printing their photos on paper, canvases, or products, is encouraged — it’s such a great way to enjoy them! However, we strongly advise that our couples use the professional print lab that we partner with to print photos that hold special meaning for them. We think this is so important that we wrote an entire post about it: you can read it here!

The last thing we would want is for you to not have protected your photographic investment and find the colors of your photos looking strange, or several years from now, find that the photos are faded! This is why we also love creating albums for our clients. We know the importance of having the most important days of your lives preserved in a format that will last longer than any megabyte of data stored on the cloud or a USB drive.

Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill engagement, wedding, lifestyle photographer | Radian Photography | Copyright vs. Print Release | www.radianphotography.com

What would Beyonce do?

You should always check with photographers about what their contract allows for in terms of the photographs provided to you. For example, because we retain the copyright to the images produced, we do not allow editing or selling of our photographs. This makes sense: when you buy Beyonce’s new album on iTunes, she is not allowing you to then sell it yourself, or edit the song files and use them for other purposes! (Could you even imagine doing that to Queen Bey?!) This is the industry standard: we know of absolutely no professional photographers who regularly release the copyright upon delivery of photographs — when done, it is only for very specific reasons.

When you choose to work with us, we put a lot of heart into the products that we create, and we view them as artwork: we strive to make sure that the photographs given to you are both high quality now and will stand the test of time. We want these to be memories that you look back on and cherish 5, 10, and 50 years from now! These are your heirlooms, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly!

Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill engagement, wedding, lifestyle photographer | Radian Photography | Copyright vs. Print Release | www.radianphotography.com

When choosing a photographer to trust with capturing your story and your memories, we urge you to choose carefully. Do they create work that you love, that you can see yourself in? Will they invest in you as much as you are investing in your photographs? How do you want to enjoy your photographs each day after you receive them? You’re not planning on looking at a USB or Facebook album every day, after all. We hope that the couples that we work with are able to answer yes to these questions when they think of our work, and we make sure to give them plenty of options for how to enjoy their memories each day!

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