Protecting a Photographer’s Art: Necessary Releases & Contract Provisions

Protecting a Photographer’s Art: Necessary Releases & Contract Provisions

Photographers are special, the whole nature of their industry is not only taking photos, but selling their services and ultimately photos. In short, they sell their art. Sometimes, on rare occasions, they will consent to share their art for no monetary compensation, but for promotion and brand awareness.

At the end of the day, no matter how, whether they sell or share their photographs, they should remember that photo consent and release is an important aspect of their day-to-day. Every agreement for services should contain a photo release clause that gives them the right to use photographs taken of clients for their personal or commercial use. Indeed the photographer owns the copyright on the photograph they took throughout their life and for a period of 70 years afterwards, but that does not give photographers the right to use the likeness of the person in the photograph without their consent, especially for promotional purposes. A photo release clause will help protect a photographer as they distribute their photos for use.

Another clause photographers might find advantageous to include in their agreements is a non-resale clause. For a period of time the purchasing party, or client, may be prohibited from reselling the photograph(s). This could be especially helpful for photographers that focus on abstracts or still lifes. If there becomes a sudden trend in one style or piece, they can rest assured the party to whom they sold it won’t turn around and sell it for a greater sticker price.

For more practical tips, check out editorial page 6 of our Business Build-up, available by clicking here: 

A personalized assessment of your business will help you garner a clearer understanding of what you are doing right and/or what you could be doing better. As with any new business, there are learning curves. The key is to not let them have a negative impact on your greatest asset — you, your business, and your brand.