Hot Topic Tuesday I Copyright

The discussion of copyright versus printing rights is difficult for many clients to understand, yet comes from a place of passion for photographers. I hope this blog can clear up a few questions of exactly what copyright is in reference to photographs and why it is so important to photographers.

What is digital copyright? Merriam-Webster defines copyright as the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell digital content. Only the photographer that takes the photograph retains the digital copyright to the images. 

Why is it important to photographers? It is very expensive and time consuming to purchase equipment, capture images and process all of our digital files. If copyright didn't exist to protect the images that we produce, clients could take our images without compensating us. Therefore, professional photographers would cease to exist. 

What is the difference between printing rights and joint copyright? Most clients just need printing rights which is the ability to take the digital files and have them printed at your vendor of choice. (Although we prefer that you print anything larger than gift prints through us so we can maintain boutique quality images). Clients are also allowed to post images onto their personal social media pages, tagging Head Over Heels Photography's page for credit. On the other hand, joint copyright only exists in very particular situations where a photographer works closely with an assistant or designer. The Copyright Act of 1976 states that a joint work is "a work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into separable or inter-dependent parts of a unitary whole." Meaning, clients will never own a joint or shared copyright to their images.

What does all this really mean? At Head Over Heels Wedding Photography we LOVE what we do, a lot! & we want to continue to do it, forever!! So in order to continue to profit as a small business, clients must purchase the printing rights to their images before they are able to post online or print. Images, usually in the form a sneak peek, may be posted by the studio and can be tagged by the clients. These images cannot be saved and uploaded to the clients page, cropping out the studio watermark or without crediting the studio. 

Shaina & Jason I Anniversary

Every year my family vacations at Myrtle Beach for the 4th of July. (#merica) We camp out in my parents RV at Lakewood Campground. If you ever have a chance to go, do it! I get to travel quite a bit through out the year for my 'job' and this is still one of my favorite spots.

I had the great opportunity to travel to Ohio right before my Myrtle Beach trip last year to photograph Jason & Shaina's Findlay wedding. Not only was Shaina absolutely stunning as a bride but, Jason was a calm and collected groom. He even wanted to steal me away to the local creamery  after doing groomsman photos. 


The ceremony was held in Shaina's childhood church, the same church her parents were married in many years before. The service was absolutely beautiful. 

One thing that stood out to me about this wedding is that both Jason and Shaina's parents are still very happily married. I love to see that! Their families were both so welcoming and inviting. I met every single guest that night. And in true Latina style, we...I mean they...partied hard until the wee hours of the morning. 


I left the reception around 11, headed for the hotel near the airport where I slept maybe a total of 2 hours then promptly flew to Myrtle Beach in the morning to meet my family. It was a brief but fabulous trip to Ohio and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

Happy first anniversary Jason & Shaina! I am so happy for the life you have built together over the past year. I can't wait to see what the world has in store for you. Make sure to take some time today to celebrate your life together. 



Head Over Heels Wedding Photography