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Editing Without Photographer Permission

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  • Editing Without Photographer Permission

    Hi Everyone, I have a quick question. I have a friend who recently got married. She recently received her wedding photos back and to be honest they look horrible. I really feel bad talking like this about a photographer, but I'm trying to give you an honest picture. It looks to me like the photographer did 0 editing to the images, besides turning a couple to a horrible looking sepia. She was under the impression that he would edit them, when she asked him if he had, he told her there was an additional charge for even basic editing. Having shot weddings myself, I know this is not the norm. Most wedding photographers provide basic editing. She asked me how much I would charge to edit the pictures for her. I would love to do it for her because right now she doesn't even want to get any printed or show anyone them, which is a shame. Normally I don't retouch images without the photographer's permission, but this is a different case since it's a friend. My question is, could I get sued for this? Since it is an additional charge, does she have the right to go elsewhere for this service? She says in the contract it states that she has full rights to the images. I could ask to see a copy of the contract. Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

    They're her photographs now so you can edit them with her permission.


    • #3
      Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

      You really need to see a copy of the contract. Contrary to popular belief they are not her images unless explicitly stated in the contract - this may vary between countries

      It is in my opinion highly unlikely that your friend owns either the copyright or editing rights to her wedding images.

      Payment and Possesion is not the right to do as you wish with images. Full rights ownership must not be automatically assumed just because you have paid for you images.

      It is normal practice and under the copyright laws of many countries that the original owner of a created work is actually the creator, in this case the photographer!

      So in this case while the couple have the images and access they may never actually own the results or the rights to change them by editing.

      So if the contract does actually state full rights and these rights extend to editing then you should be good to go - just seems a little odd that a photographer supplied sooc images and then an additional charge for editing, therefore there may be limitations e.g. print and enlarge as many as you want but no editing without the consent of the photographer which may in any case be chargeable whoever does the work


      • #4
        Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

        Thank you for your help! Yes I'd rather be safe. I should ask to see a copy of the contract rather than getting the information second hand?


        • #5
          Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

          My experience says that a lot of photographers that do family portraits and wedding shoots, once they receive the price asked for ownership of images (to sell the rights in effect), they are happy to relinquish rights and therefore retouching.

          Tony is spot on though, a look at the contract and some knowledge of the laws in your location is essential.

          Let us know


          • #6
            Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

            I would be interested to see if the contract promises any retouching in the first place, aside from the ownership aspect. "She was under the impression" this was so for some reason.

            And since the photos were terrible (the photography or just the post-procesing?), maybe she has some rights there.


            • #7
              Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

              It all depends on the agreement but normally there is, at least in the Netherlands, some basic retouching on proofs so the client can see what to expect when buying prints or files


              • #8
                Re: Editing Without Photographer Permission

                Maybe brides should look for photographers willing to part with the raw images (if such photographers exist, and surely there are enough around to make this a probability)?

                I know as a Photoshop/plug-in/action user I would not like to be stuck with someone else's idea of "arty" on my event images.


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