Should We Own the Copyright to Our Wedding Photos?

I don't want my face to end up on a billboard without my consent. Is that an unfair request?

Two Cents: Is Copyright Included In A Normal Wedding Photography Contract?

Q: Dear APW,

After striking out twice with wedding photographers we really liked (but were already booked over a year in advance), my partner and I found a wedding photographer we liked and was available. She was actually a little over the budget, but the photography is important to us.

At the end of a Skype call where we all agreed her approach sounded great, my guy asked about whether or not we would have the copyright to pictures. We have a friend whose wife had some photos taken of her which were then sold to a national nonprofit for use in their publications without her knowledge. We’d just rather that we controlled what was going to happen to the photos the photographer takes of us on our wedding day. The photographer told us it would be $2000 more to own the copyright to the photos.

After looking over the wedding photography contract, we let her know that we were happy to have her actually own the photos as long as we changed the model release so that she would have to ask us before using the photos in other places. She came back and said it was still $2000 dollars.

Is this a common practice in wedding photography? For most people does the photographer retain the rights to resell the pictures of your wedding to other clients?

OKAY APW (And APW photographers), what’s standard here? Do you own your wedding photos? Were you sent hi-res or low-res or physical images? what’s the best way to solve this problem?

If you want the APW community’s two cents, send it to QUESTIONS AT APRACTICALWEDDING DOT COM, and we’ll do our best to crowdsource you some answers!

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