copyright-free images.

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved to teach people.  And as the popularity of my blog grows (yay!!), I thought I would share something that has been coming up a lot between me and my photog friends.  And that is the topic of copyright-free images ;-) 

Does everyone know what a Copyright Free image is?  I fee like there might be some people out there that aren't sure.  And I feel like it's really important that you know what it is and why you might want to invest your money in purchasing the rights to an image.

In the good old days of film, it was very clear that the person who took the picture, developed the film and printed the photo was the owner of those images.  The client bought the prints and products and the photographer kept the negative. 

In today's world of all digital (most photographer's don't even know how to load a roll of film), it's not as clear to most people who owns the rights, or 'negatives', to the images. Same as film, the person that took the image, owns the rights to the image; plain and simple.  And if you, the client, would like to have a print or digital negative, you must purchase it; either the print or the digital negative.

Over the past few years, I've heard a lot of people say that they feel that since the photographer is taking photos of 'them', that the images are 'theirs' and therefore they shouldn't have to pay for anything more than the photographers time.  As nice as this theory is, there is more to it than the photographer's time.  What about skill?  What about the time and effort the photographer took to hone that skill?  What about the equipment that they have to purchase and maintain?  What about the editing that is done to each image?  All of the above is very time-consuming and the photographer has to be compensated for the expense associated with all of that!!  If all we did was charge a session fee and give away all of the images, we would be out of business real fast!

When you purchase the 'rights' to an image, you are purchasing the rights to make as many prints and copies that you'd like.  AT COST.  There are many high-quality consumer labs out there that offer exceptional quality at very low rates.  So, if you want to give prints to everyone you know and you'd like to scrapbook or display a million prints, purchasing the 'rights' to your favorite images is probably the way you should go!  However, if you don't look forward to finding a lab, ordering your prints, and sending your mother a million emails with all the photos, it might just be easier to order your favorites from your photographer.