Christy Whitehead Photography » North Florida photographer and graphic designer

A Brief Guide to Professional Photography Laws

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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