The Unspoken Truth About Your Wedding Photo Copyright
You may not realise it but just because you paid someone to take photos of your day doesn’t mean you own the photos. Here’s an overview of your wedding photo copyright
Your Wedding Photo Copyright
The first thing to touch on is copyright. We hear the term but don’t always understand it fully. Copyright is “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.” – Lexico.com
In the EU artwork is automatically copyrighted upon creation of the work. No registration is needed.
This means that because your wedding photographer pressed the button on the camera to take the photo, they automatically own the copyright to that picture.
What This Means For Your Wedding Photos
So what does this mean for you as the purchaser of a wedding photographer and your resulting photos?
This is down to the discretion of the photographer. A wedding photographer should have terms and conditions regarding what you as the buyer can do and not do with your own wedding photos.
The wedding photographer should grant you a license to use the images for certain things. For example using on social media, sharing with friends and family and printing. Really within reason you should be able to do whatever you want with them.
The only time a photographer would likely have a problem is if you edit and share them in a way that reflects their work in a negative way. Also most of the time the photographer won’t give you permission to sell on these photos for profit. If you did want to sell the photos then approach the photographer and I’m sure you’ll be able to broker a deal.
The wedding photographer is an artist you are commissioning to document your day. Photographs are creative works, and the copyright law exists to protect the artist.
Any wedding photographer worth their salt should let you essentially do what you want, within reason, with the photos though. It’s down to you to check what the photographer will licence you to do with your wedding photos and if you feel it’s not what you’re after, talk to them.
Check out my terms and conditions for copyright licensing and model release info. If you’re not happy with it, talk to me.