Fun Family Photography in Kansas City by Denise Williams Photography » Kansas City's Family Photographer

A Brief Guide to Professional Photo Restrictions

The photos that a photographer hands over to you are part of their life’s work. It has their name or branding so there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images that you receive. Below is a brief guide to professional photo restrictions.

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A Brief Guide to Professional Photo Restrictions

1) Copyright. The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright, which means the photographer has ownership over the images.  As part of the contract you may sign, you may also sign a model release so the photographer can use those photos to market their work and services in the future. However, most photographers are also respectful of their clients, so if there are any images that you would prefer to keep private, it’s best to let you photographer know ahead of time so your wishes can be honored.

2) Image type. Most photographers aren’t willing to provide you with the original raw images. The jpg files you receive have usually been cropped and edited to the photographers brand and style. If you do require further touch ups there is usually an additional charge.

3) Image altering. While photographers appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of photos on social media platforms, most contracts will establish that the images not be altered in any way. This is against copyright policies. A photographer works hard to develop their style and brand an the minute someone alters the photos, it is not in alignment with that style/brand anymore.

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What constitutes image altering?

• Adding filters or editing photos in Photoshop
• Removing a logo or studio name
• Color correcting or including transitions from color to black and white 
• Clipping people or objects out of the original shot by cropping.

Why do photographers restrict? The images a photographer creates are a representation of their work, so when a customer alters an image it directly impacts the business name and brand in the industry. The results are not always reflective of the original work. When final images are presented, they have already been through a unique editing process and don’t require further alterations.

Any photographer would greatly appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter. Usually most photographers are happy to give a quote if you want images to be edited in a specific way or if you want further alterations made.

Tip: Before hiring a photographer, take a good look at their portfolio and make sure their style is in alignment with yours. This way, you won’t have to worry about wanting to change anything.

I hope a brief guide to professional photo restrictions has been helpful!

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