I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo

When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style

When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies

Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

A Quick Explanation of Copyright

I get this question a lot from clients, other photographers, friends, parents, etc. Who owns the copyright?

And it’s a very touchy subject–because a lot of times, clients think that it’s a studio’s policy to not release a copyright or to retain it. In actuality–it’s not our choice. It’s the law…it’s just the way it is.

My understanding of the laws (which I’ll admit, even for ALL the research I’ve done, I still learn something new everyday) is that the person who creates the art, be it painter, sketch artist or photographer, owns the copyright. In copyright terms, it doesn’t matter that the photograph is of you–it matters that I am the one who took the photograph.

And it doesn’t quite work as easy as “releasing the copyright” to another person. The only time I’ve ever heard of that is in a work for hire situation in which case the pay is very, very high. However, there is an option to allow printing rights on images–this is what most photographers do. But it’s still not the same as releasing a copyright. With this license, you have the ability to print your own images, however you could not turn around and sell that image to Coca-Cola and make a profit off of the photographer’s work.

For this reason, be cautious of the photographer who is easily willing to “release the copyright” of all their images to you. It’s likely that if they’re doing this for little or no money, they probably don’t understand the business that they’re in very well. When I just began my business, I did allow printing rights for all the images, but I’ve quickly learned that you can’t earn a living that way. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for years and there’s still a lot that I don’t understand. I even WORKED in a licensing department at both a publishing house and a television studio and I still don’t have as firm a grasp as I’d like on copyright. It’s such a complicated system.

So, to sum up:

1) Copyright belongs to the photographer. The “release” of said copyright is not a single studio’s or photographer’s choice–it’s simply the law.

2) This copyright allows the photographer to use any and all images taken to be used on their websites and in advertising (but not necessarily sold, ie to stock agencies)

If I’m incorrect on any of these points, let me know! I’m constantly trying to learn and hopefully this helps us all have a clearer idea of the laws.