Is it worth getting copyright on my photographs?

I have found a photographer I like and she had sent me her contract which says she gets the copyright. I don't really like the idea of her having the copyright for our wedding pics. I don't know what to do or am I just worrying about nothing?! I don't fancy seeing my wedding pics used however she likes (even if this is unlikely). Any advice would really be appreciated!


  • lozzyuk1lozzyuk1 Posts: 1,910
    they usually have copyright not so much as to use your pics but so that if you or family want copies of pics you have to go through them and they can then charge you for each photo you want so they make money off can buy copyright so you can print off as many pics as you want but may be expensive.maybe ask for copyright but she gets to use pics with your permission as this may be slightly cheaper than full copyright.xx
  • KeepingMumKeepingMum Posts: 566
    most photogrpahers do retain copyright as it then means you have to pay them for any copies (rather than being able to just scan in your photos). you can usually sign something which says they cannot use it without your permission but usually it is extra to buy copyright (although a lot of photog.s do a DVD only package with no prints and you can print as many as you like yourself)

    hopew this helps

    KM x
  • moh89moh89 Posts: 2,883
    Hi Oswed,

    I have to be honest I'm a little bit apprehensive about posting on the subject of copyright as I had my head bitten off the last time. There is a difference between Copyright and "permissions". What the ladies are talking about are actually permissions to use her (the photographers) photos. Copyright law dictates that the photographer will always own the copyright as they are the author. I would be apprehensive of any photographer who claims to sell/ have sold you the copyright to their work. The thing is, that realistically what is she going to use your wedding photos for? Promoting her business, increasing her portfolio? Maybe entering her work to gain a qualification? Have a wee read at this thread.....

    I don't know if this helps you at all? But I personally wouldn't worry too much, it's perfectly normal for the photographer to hold the copyright for their work!image
  • tuppenceuktuppenceuk Posts: 5,346
    what leggylady said - in the UK copyright remains with the person or company that creates the copyrighted work.

    it can't be legally bought sold, or transferred in any way (except if it's still in copyright at the death of the originator, when it switches to their estate).

    so the patent office (as was) informed me.
  • jopoplijopopli Posts: 131
    I think there's some confusion in these posts, but Lozzy is directly on point. The legal position is as follows:

    - Copyright arises automatically on creation by the author. If you do not own copyright in images, you cannot post them on a website or copy them for personal or public use. Instead, you can buy printed images from the photographer.

    - The author can "assign" copyright to whoever s/he chooses which means that person (i.e. the assignee - you) owns copyright in the work and can reproduce it however they wish. The assignor (i.e. the photographer) then has limited rights.

    Generally, the photographer will require copyright. The key reason for this, as KeepingMum said, is often so that they can charge you and your family for photographs (see my first point above about the restrictions on you if you don't own the copyright in them) and therefore s/he will often put a high price on copyright assignment to you (to account for all the estimated loss in per photo charges). If the photographer does not own the copyright, there is no reason for which s/e can charge you for individual photos.

    However, if you do not want the photographer to use your photographs, instead you can bind him/her under obligations of confidentiality (i.e. stating that, notwithstanding ownership of copyright in the works, the photographs are personal to you and can only be used with your prior written consent). This is an effective way to stop him/her from using your photographs for their use, but gives the photographer the right to charge you for any photographs you require. There should be confidentiality obligations in your contract. If so, I would make them two way and check they meet your needs. If not, I would request them and double-check any suggested wording.

    If you need any more help, let me know. Good luck!
  • jopoplijopopli Posts: 131
    As an afterthought, I am of course not ruling out the possibility of a photographer licensing you to use his/her copyright (which is of course possible) - this would allow you to use digital images as set out in the licence - but this doesn't address your concern of how the photographer would use your photos.

    As tuppence says, the Intellectual Property Office ( will help if you're confused by the conflicting posts.
  • lozzyuk1lozzyuk1 Posts: 1,910
    my brother`s photographer did him 250 photos printed out without an album plus 2 discs of every single pic so he could print them off himself.he charged a bit extra (total 900) but it meant we could all have mum had the whole set of photos done plus some in to black and white for about 25 quid from boots.maybe ask if you can have the pics on a disc and make own album but they still retain copyright x
  • el_missael_missa Posts: 26
    Ladies, thank you for all your responses which have really helped to clarify things for me. Not so worried about it now. Thanks! x
  • moh89moh89 Posts: 2,883
    Bumped for CarrieM2B
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