A Brief Guide to Professional Photo Restrictions

March 1, 2019

This is one of the things I discuss with my clients often. Photo restrictions does not have to be taboo topic and as long as both client and photographer are aware of expectations, this conversation can only solidify professional relationship.

The photos that a photographer hands over to you are part of their life’s work. It has their name or branding so there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images that you receive.


1) Copyright.

The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright, which means the photographer has the option to use those photos to market their work and services anytime in the future. I am however also respectful of our clients so if there are any images that you would prefer to keep private, it’s best to let me know about it ahead of time so that I can honor your wishes. Basically, even if you as a client hire me and pay me for your images, you will receive license for your personal or business use – but you can not resell them or claim them as your property.

This is an excellent article from Copyright.gov   that shares a bit more about it.


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2) Image type.

All images that come out of my camera are RAW. A RAW image file is a file from the image sensor of a camera that contains minimally processed data; in other words, what a raw file captures is exactly what the sensor on the camera sees, no compression applied which is why raw files are so much larger than JPEG files. They don’t look nothing like what you see on back of the camera (if I show them to you throughout the photoshoot) and you basically wouldn’t be able to use them for anything. That is why I am not able to provide you with the original files or raw images. All images given to the client have been cropped and have been edited and delivered in JPG. If you do require further touch ups I would need to provide you with a quote. Raw files could be released only with copyright release which is priced accordingly.


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3) Image altering.

While I appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of my photos on social media platforms, I ask that the images not be altered in any way as this is against  DSP copyright policies. Basically, you hire me for my artistic vision. If you re-edit the images I gave you, they no longer represent me or my work.


What constitutes image altering?

  • Adding filters or editing photos in Photoshop
  • Removing our logo or studio name
  • Color correcting or including transitions from color to black and white
  • Clipping people or objects out of the original shot

So why do I have this as a restriction? My photos are a representation of my work so when a customer alters an image it directly impacts my name and brand in the industry. When I present you with final images, they have already been through my editing process and don’t require further alterations.  When images are altered, the results are not always reflective of my original work and can then be mistaken for mine. I greatly appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter.

I am happy to give a quote if you want images to be edited in a specific way or if you want further alterations made.


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What do you think of these restrictions?


Thanks for stopping by!