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Why will our wedding photographer copyright the pictures he takes at our wedding?

In the field of wedding photography, copyright is a form of legal protection that wedding photographers have on their images, layouts, designs and other artistic works.  This protection grants them the exclusive right to reproduce or display their images, or authorize others to do so. A photographer is granted copyright at the time the product is created.  Copyright does not need to be claimed or registered to belong to the photographer, nor does a notice of copyright need to be present for copyright to be in effect.  Copyright is in effect for 70 years after the life of the author (in this case, the photographer).  It‘s illegal to violate any of the rights held by the owner of the copyright.  It‘s not necessary to obtain a transfer of the copyright to reproduce the images; a reproduction release will serve this purpose.  Transfer and reproduction releases need to be put in writing and signed by the photographer. For more information on copyright, visit

It is most important that you discuss photo reproduction policies with your wedding photographer before signing a contract, as they differ widely.


Contributed by AC Ellis Photography


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