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The Do’s and Don’t of stealing Images from Your Photographer

All images by Angie Svoboda Photography have a copyright release that allows images to be printed at Good Life Photo.

I work hard to create timeless images for my clients and hope that they will respect the time it took to create the image.  I include in all of my client  orders, an important notice about copyright protection. It says, “The Copyright Act protects photographers by giving the author (creator) of the photograph the exclusive right to copy, edit, and distribute image by sale or transfer. These exclusive rights make it illegal to copy, scan, or edit, or share photographic prints and digital media without the photographer’s permission. Violators of this Federal Law will be subject to its civil and criminal penalties.”

If I keep going, I will probably mess up the total intent of this post, so below is great verbiage from the fabulous Drew B of the Momtog Blog. Drew is an awesome wedding photographer down in Orange County and also started the Momtog blog for Mom’s who want to learn more about getting great images of their kiddos.

“I get asked a lot by both photographers and clients what my policy is on letting my clients post their images to their blogs and facebook account. I personally love it when my clients post their family pictures on their blogs, facebook, etc. It shows me that they truly love their images! I encourage my clients to “steal” their pictures from my blog to use on the internet. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that you should think about when reposting your images:

1) DO ask your photographer what their specific policy is on taking pictures off of their blogs. Some photographers encourage it and some don’t allow it. If this is important to you this is something you should ask BEFORE you hire your photographer!

2) DO include your photographer’s name and website under the images (a link would be super nice!). That’s just the polite thing to do:)

3) DON’T crop out their logo. Unless you have paid for the digital negatives don’t alter the files in anyway. Most photographers use their blogs to advertise their work and do so as a courtesy to give their clients a sneak peek. If a client crops out the logo then how will other people know who took the picture?

4) DON’T edit the picture in any way. Taking the pictures is only half of a photographer’s job. The other half is editing. If you think you can do a better job or want to edit out some of your wrinkles or use selective coloring please don’t show and/or tell your photographer. That is super insulting. If you don’t like your photographers editing enough to want to edit it yourself than maybe you need to find another photographer next year.

5) DON’T try to print from the files on the blog. For me specifically I know that the files I upload to my blog are too small to be printed in a 4×6 size. It’s not cool to invest in a family session and then print the images off of the blog and not pay for prints. Make sure you know how much the prints cost before the session to avoid sticker shock. Same goes for scanning prints that you already bought. Not cool! Some of my family members are guilty of printing images off of my blog. It makes me cringe when I see them FRAMED in their homes with my logo still on there!”

kristin - I am facing this situation right now; a client who I have been told printed her save-the-date cards with an image she stole off of my facebook page. i am so disappointed. Where is the decency?

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