One of the most common things brides look for when looking for a photographer is “rights.” Most don’t realize that there are two very different kind of rights when it comes to artwork, especially photography. I think one of the most common questions I have asked when I’m talking with a client for the first time is “What about the rights?” Here’s a little breakdown of the two different kind of rights and what we give and why.
Copyright vs Printing Rights
Copyrights: Copyrights and Print rights are usually used synonymously. However, they couldn’t be more different. Copyright is actual ownership of the photos. That means that I can’t use them in publications, on the blog or even my website without your permission. It also means that they cost a ton of money and most of the time copyrights aren’t actually what the typical bride needs.
Example of copyrights: A great example of “copyrights” is typically in commercial work. I was hired to shoot models for a clothing boutique for their spring line. They purchased the copyrights so that they own the images and can do whatever they want to them. They have their very own unique editing style — due to the fact that I also knew they weren’t going to turn it black and white but make some girl’s eyes crazy blue and add in lightening bolts — we agreed on a price and they were allowed to purchase them.
Another example of copyrights: In the wedding industry, it’s rare that the Arkansas photographer come across anyone truly needing the copyrights of their images but in large cities, it can be quite common. Especially if that bride and groom are celebrities. They want to make sure their photographer isn’t going to run off with them and sell them to the tabloids. They may have an exclusive deal with People magazine or another publication who has been granted a first release. Copyrights are pricy, but in some circumstances, totally understandable.
Print Release: A print release is a release in which my brides and grooms are able to print the images from their wedding. I give them edited digital files compressed in a certain size (4800 on the long side which is a perfectly acceptable resolution for printing a very large print.) In our print release, we also have a social media clause stating that they may share their album on social media such as facebook and instagram. We LOVE it when our couples share their photos and enjoy them. All we ask, is that they don’t edit them. (Which I typically get the response, “No worries! That’s what we’re paying you for!”) With their print release, my clients can go anywhere to print their images at cost. They also have access to our professional print lab straight through their gallery and can order at cost from there as well. So our brides still have the opportunity to purchase professional quality prints. (Which we highly recommend). Walmart, Costco and Walgreens can seem really tempting with their 1 hour turn around but the truth is, they typically don’t turn out all that great with their high gloss paper and non-color collaborated machines. Our professional printers color correct and produce prints that are on a beautiful matte finish paper.
Print release example: Cassie Jones just delivered my wedding images and I want to print ALL OF THEM. That’s easy. Because you have a print release. You download your album, upload them where you want to print, and boom. They print them. And then you hang them on your walls. Or you can even save yourself a step and place an order directly through your gallery and have them delivered to your door THEN hang them on your walls. Save steps and all that.
I hope this post better explains the difference between copyrights and printing rights! Because every post is better with an image, here’s a little Italy for you. Happy Thursday!