Do You Own Your Wedding Photos?

Updated: May 9


When looking for a Wedding Photographer, it is really important to understand what rights you own and what rights are retained by the Photographer. These should be clearly outlined in your wedding photography contract.


These are 3 types of Rights/ Licenses you might encounter:


1. Full Copyright:

In this scenario, the photographer has given you full copyrights, and will usually give you the Full Resolution files. This means that you can technically resell the photos for commercial use to your florist, caterers, musicians with the limitation that you will still have to abide by GDPR and data protection laws. Now, of course you will not need to use your photos in such case, and the benefit of such rights are that you can print and share at will. This is probably the rarest, as photographers tend to prefer to retain full copyright, due to complications when it comes to GDPR and Data Protection, especially when it comes to images of your guests.


2. Sharing and Printing Rights for Personal Use:

This is one of the most common form of rights you will get with your wedding package, and will usually include Full Resolution images. This can be of very good value if you where unsure if you wanted any prints in the immediate future, but might consider prints later on, as it gives you full resolution file for you to later on print from your selected printers. If not included in your package, ask your photographer if they sell full resolution images and printing rights at a separate cost. The key element here is for 'Personal Use', which means that your photos will only be shared with your friends and family. This excludes 'Commercial rights' which would have allowed you to use the images in advertising. So technically, if your florist wishes to get some photos from the wedding, chances are they will use them for advertising purposes, and so it is best you ask them to get in touch with the photographer.


3. Sharing Rights, with the ability to print through the Photographer:

This is the most common form of license, and usually comes only with images optimised for social sharing at 72dpi. Whilst, these are great for using on social media platforms, they will not produce good prints. The only way to get a good print, would be to order prints through your photographer. This is convenient for both parties, as the photographer will be able to source good quality printers, some of which not accessible on the high street, and all you would have to do is select your favourites to print. Technology has advanced so much that in some cases, your photographer can offer this all on automation through an online album where you would be able to order prints a the click of a button.


If you get the last two forms of license, chances are you have not been given the right to edit or manipulate your photo. Therefore, using filters before posting on social media, is not advisable. In your contract check if you have any clause which states you will need to credit your photographer. If you have been given a discount on your photos, chances are that the photos will be watermarked, or you will be obliged to credit the photographer. Whilst crediting your photographer, is just simply polite, do read what is stipulated in your contract.

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