Christy Whitehead Photography » North Florida photographer and graphic designer

When a photographer takes your photo, who owns the photo? Can you do anything you want with it? I have put together this helpful article as a brief guide to professional photography laws. This will help guide you through the process, no matter who you hire!

A Brief Guide to Professional Photography Laws

1) Copyright. Typically, when you purchase digitals, you are purchasing “Personal printing rights.” Which means you may print from the digitals for your own personal use, but may not alter or sell them and they can’t be used for your own advertising and you can’t sell them.

2) Image type. We aren’t able to provide you with the original files or raw images. Raw images are a special file type that most computers can’t handle without Photoshop. Photographers edit that files and then create a jpeg. Professional photographers typically will not sell the raw files, nor will they provide unedited images.

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. While you may think that yellow coloring might be awesome, it usually makes photographers cringe and we don’t want future clients to see that and think that’s they type of work we provide. We want them to always see the best.

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. We greatly appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter.

We are happy to give a quote if you want images to be edited in a specific way or if you want further alterations made.

An before an after photo of a bride with a filter applied as an example of Professional Photography LawsPINIMAGE


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About a month ago I posted about my trip to the hospital to photograph Jessica’s silhouette baby bump, well here is her precious little boy! He came nearly 3 weeks early weighing in at 3.5 lbs! He made his way out of the hospital and into the studio 3 weeks later, weighing just under 5 lbs, probably the smallest baby I’ve ever photographed!

Jessica’s little Rainbow Miracle Baby – Jacksonville Newborn Photographer

Here’s a photo Jessica posted on her Facebook page right after he was born:


And here he is in studio, that 1.5 pounds really made a difference!


Jessica’s dad runs the Scottish Highland games and they are very big into their roots. So she brought his kilt. She also brought her dad’s do-rag/head scarf. I used it to wrap up the little guy.

I asked Jessica what her nicknames were for him and she said “Sweet Pea” and “monkey”.


Jessica has wanted to be a mother for a long time. She had lost 5 previous pregnancies, so we def. wanted to include something to do with that. And since there were 5 losses, I did 5 colors in Lelon’s rainbow to represent each baby.


Isn’t that just the sweetest smile?! PINIMAGE


I like to take an image or two from each session and add a art effect, leaving the skin of the baby untouched. It makes it look sooo dreamy, which seams perfect for a sleeping baby portrait. PINIMAGE PINIMAGE

I saw this doll house at the flea market awhile back and picked it up and then painted it the night before the shoot to look like the house from Disney’s Up. I want to eventually play with this image more and add more balloons.


With every newborn session I try to do at least one fun or different than requested setup. I’ve had this little Eeyore outfit for awhile. I think it ended up being one of Jessica’s favorites. PINIMAGE

Congrats Jessica on little Lelon, he sure is cute!

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My kids are out of school for the summer and my grandmother hasn’t been doing well, so I’m hitting the road for Oklahoma to see family. But while I’m gone, I figured I’d feature a newer wedding planner in the area, Tatum Pettrey, (who is also from Oklahoma) owner of Make My Day Wedding & Event Planning. We recently did lunch over at Hawkers in Five Points (YUM!) and I took a couple of fun photos of her just talking and being goofy.


How long have you been in Business?

I started my business in March of 2016

Did you do this in Oklahoma?

Not as a business. It wasn’t until I moved to Jacksonville that I took a wedding planning certification course and started my business.

Howdid you get interested in Wedding planning?

I have always been a really creative person, I did apparel and interior design and loved it, I got a degree in Journalism and love writing, but I was that person who loved a lot of creative things but couldn’t figure out what I had enough passion for to do as a career. I got married and it was when we decided to move to Jacksonville that I decided I wanted to take a wedding planning certification course and I absolutely fell in love with the entire process and knew that I found a way to utilize all of my creative and organizational skills.

What brought you to Jacksonville of all places?

My husband and I knew we wanted to live on the beach after we got married – we talked about moving and I had been to Jacksonville once before and loved that it was a big city, like our hometown, Tulsa, but had a beach. So, I told Luke about it and he applied for an internship and spent the summer before our wedding here, he loved it and so he accepted a job and after we got married and he finished his Master’s we moved!

What is the biggest different between here and there?

The beach, obviously. The opportunities my husband and I have been given here I think are far greater than we would have had there. I say that because we were forced to put ourselves out there more coming to a city where we didn’t know anyone and had just got married. I took a leap of faith and started a business and I have learned and grown so much and have made some wonderful friends because of that, people who share common interests and Luke worked for a company that he adored and led to really amazing opportunities. We did something out of our comfort zone and we are extremely happy with the group of friends we have and the success we have had since moving here. BUT Oklahoma has our families and we are super attached to our families and because of that Oklahoma will always have a huge part of our hearts, we miss our family everyday!

What’s your favorite part of Jacksonville?

It is hard to nail down one thing that is our favorite. We love the beach, we love how friendly everyone is, we love that there are so many new things – we are always encountering new experiences. I love how it is growing, I am always in the St. Johns Town Center for meetings, lunches, shopping or whatever I can think of and it is crazy how much it is growing. I love having a professional football team. I don’t know what my favorite part is, I feel comfortable and at home here.

What’s the best part about being a business owner?

The best part of being a business owner is that I wake up and get to do something that I love to do everyday and that I am challenged to constantly learn, grow and be creative. Owning a business is hard, but I love being able to have an idea and implement it the way I want to.

Who are your ideal brides?

My ideal bride is someone who truly values my work and my expertise. I don’t have a specific style, because it is my job as a wedding planner to bring my bride’s vision to life, no matter what style they want, but it is important for my brides to have trust in me and give me creative freedom and trust my recommendations. I love getting to know my couples and often times I stay in touch with them after their wedding so I really love when my brides are eager to form a deeper relationship than just professional and client. It is because of that connection that I often find myself emotional at their weddings listening to toasts and watching the father, daughter dances. I also love couples who like to try new ideas and aren’t just mimicking what they find on Pinterest.

What are your favorite kind of weddings to plan?

I love all weddings for different reasons. I really love to plan small, intimate weddings because you know that everyone invited is extra extra special to the bride and groom and those weddings are always so touching. I love planning weddings for the larger crowds who stay out on the dance floor all night and the bride and groom are really intentional on making sure their guests have fun, and I love planning weddings for detail oriented brides, because the beauty is in the details and the details are what can truly differentiate one wedding from another.


What’s the worst part of a wedding?

The way my feet feel the next day. I have so much adrenaline on the day of a wedding and I am always running around doing everything that I don’t realize how badly my feet hurt until I sit in my car to go home afterward.

Have you ever had anything crazy happen on a wedding day?

I haven’t had anything too too crazy. Weather has caused some stress and craziness, but always turn out so beautiful. I have had a caterer show up a little late and I had to switch the timeline up and stall, but no one noticed and it was perfect. Recently had the son of the groom decide to jump in the pool in his attire after the wedding, that was pretty crazy I suppose, but it gave everyone a good laugh!

Anything ever make you cry?

I have been teary eyed during more than one toast and during father daughter dances before. I am so sensitive so I try to keep it together.

You and me both sister, you and me both!


So, I didn’t want to just take a head shot of Tatum. Especially since the whole thing was sooo informal. But she was a fantastic sport and we had a ton of fun getting these personality photos. Thank you Tatum for rolling with the flow, don’t know if I would have been soo nice about it! LOL.

These are kind of like the bloopers, but I love them!


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Last year I decided to take my kids to pick blueberries and found Blu By U Farm down Normandy Blvd. in Jacksonville. We happened to get there the last day of the season and while the bushes were pretty much picked over, we had a blast picking and eating. Everyone who worked there was super friendly and the didn’t even get mad when I told them that my son may have eaten half of his pickings (I offered to pay double!!!).

So this year I decided to take a couple of families out there for a private portrait session. Figured it would be fun for the whole family and we might get some cute photos out of it. I made my husband bring my kids too.



That’s my daughter above, she’s quite the little poser.

PINIMAGE photos at a Blueberry Picking Farm In Jacksonville PINIMAGE  PINIMAGE PINIMAGE


My sister managed to grab a shot of my husband and I. PINIMAGE PINIMAGE

Little Eddie below didn’t like actually eating blueberries, but he didn’t mind picking them! PINIMAGE

And as a mom of a little boy, you have NO idea how much I love the below photos of my son. He NEVER sits still for a decent portrait. He is always on the go!


With the drought, the blueberries have not been ripening as fast as they should, so Blu By U has been having to close down on some days because of it.

If you want to go out and pick, check out their Faceboook page for hours and updates.

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Jessica and Jimmy tied the knot at The Keeler Property in Jacksonville earlier this spring. They did a rustic look with lights blue and creams. Jessica says they wanted a “rustic appeal with a big family feel.” Their first dance was to “Deeper than the Holler”.

“The Keeler Property was the perfect spot for our special day!” says Jessica.



How did you two meet?

We met through mutual friends our freshman year of college at his Fraternities Florida Georgia tailgate.

When did you know they were THE ONE?

We started off as good friends but instantly fell for each other one night when our friends convinced us to go ice skating with them. We’ve been inseparable ever since.


How did the proposal happen?

On a random Sunday in January, Jimmy had this crazy idea to climb to the top of the lighthouse in St. Augustine. He made this date plan a week early (which he never does) so I knew something was up. He raced up the stairs while I huffed and puffed behind him. Once at the top he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I instantly said yes. A few hours later we headed to the Colombia for a dinner reservation. The hostess led us to our table where I found our parents waiting. It was such a sweet surprise.




First look with dad usually brings tears. PINIMAGE



What was the best part of your wedding day?

The best part of our wedding day was saying our vows. It was the first time we saw each other all day and the moment when everything calmed and started to feel real.






Anything particularly crazy or funny happen?

My father and I choose to do a funny break out dance that no one was expecting because of his bad knees.







The shoe game is always good for a laugh! PINIMAGE PINIMAGE

Jessica brought a photo of her mother on her wedding day. It’s def. a sweet touch.


Was there anything you wish you would have done different?

If we were to change anything we would have planned our honeymoon for the Monday after instead of the next day. Waking up at 3:30 a.m. to head to the airport the next morning was far from enjoyable.  (They went to the Sandals resort in St. Lucia.)



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