it happens all the time...

Over the years, I have come to realize just how much the general public doesn't know about what is "allowed" and what isn't when it comes to photography. I think, because I grew up in a sport where I was photographed often, it wasn't until I was asked again and again about things that I thought everybody knew, that I realized that most people aren't exposed to this medium in the way I always have been and therefore, are clueless about the do's and don'ts.

So I'm here to help you all out!

taking photos- what is off limits?

LOCATION: When it comes to taking photos, whether you are professional or not, the most important thing to look out for are restrictions at your location. Many popular locations offer a professional photographer service themselves, so they absolutely are NOT ok with you planning your family session there with another photographer. Whoever you hire SHOULD do the research and find out what is allowed at each location and pass the information down to you. The last thing you want is to show up at a location for your photos only to be told by an employee that you need to cease and desist. Places that are known to do this are most tourist attractions such as theme parks and famous landmarks, as well as some small local farms or historical buildings. It doesn't take long to do a little research and find out whether or not it is allowed.

CHARACTERS: Also, it is very important that you remember not to replicate any characters that are not owned by you, whether from a movie, tv show, or book. There are usually ways around these kinds of things but, if you don't want to get slapped with a lawsuit by a large corporation, make sure you check and recheck copyrights! For example, I could never advertise "Captain America" sessions or "Superman" sessions- BUT I do offer superhero sessions. The super hero costumes we have do not indicate any particular character that you may have seen in comic books or movies, but they are unmistakably super heroes. Unfortunately, I have seen this happen again and again to photographers and the fine of a lawsuit can be high enough to put some photographers out of business!

what about the finished photos you are given by your photographer?

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.

1) Copyright. The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright, which means the photographer has the option to use those photos to market their work and services anytime in the future. We are, however, also respectful of our clients so if there are any images that you would prefer to keep private, it’s best to let us know about it ahead of time so that we can honor your wishes.  

2) Image type. We aren’t able to provide you with the original files or raw images as they are not a representation of our brand and business. All images given to the client have been cropped and have been edited in the style you hired us to do. If you do require further touch ups we would need to provide you with a quote.  

3) Image altering. While we appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of our photos on social media platforms, we ask that the images not be altered in any way as this is against our copyright policies. 

What constitutes image altering? 

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

So why do we have this as a restriction? Our photos are a representation of our work so when a customer alters an image, it directly impacts our name and brand in the industry. When we present you with final images, they have already been through our editing process and don’t require further alterations.  When images are altered, the results are not always reflective of our original work and can then be mistaken for ours.

4) Printing. If you are not given a print release from your photographer, you absolutely should NEVER attempt to print the image yourself- whether at home, or through a photo center such as Walgreens, Costco, or Shutterfly. As a fine art editor, each image that I create goes through a whole process to prepare it for printing. The image needs to be resized, calibrated, rendered, saved in the correct format with the correct pixels and color mode, and then shipped to a professional print lab that focuses on quality rather than quantity. Much like the restriction above preventing you from altering any images you are given, sending your images to a low quality photo printer will reflect very poorly on your photographer's business that they have worked so hard to build. In all cases, your photographer will either provide you with a print release (seen often with low-end photographers who just take the photos, slap on a filter or preset, then give you all the digitals), or your photographer will be able to assist you in purchasing whatever you needed printed.

We GREATLY appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter. 

wrap up

So basically, there are a lot of do's and don'ts of photography. A simple, honest mistake could end up costing you thousands.

Your best bet is to do some research, and/or give me a call and I'd be happy to look it up for you or answer any questions! 407-984-5376

And as always, when in doubt, hire a professional!!!!

Have a GREAT Day!