Is It Normal For The Photographer To Own The Photos They Take Of Your Wedding Day?

wedding photography, wedding photo onwership


In the highly digital world we live in, copyrights, image use rights, and other rules regarding the ownership and usability of digital media like your wedding photos, have become a highly talked about subject. In this brief blog post, I’ll answer that question, and explain how handle copyrights and image use rights here at Royal Photos!


Copyrights: the “exclusive rights to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work” – protects ownership and rights of author’s of original works.

Image Use Rights: specific permissions assigned by the copyright holder (your photographer) to the assignee (you) allowing the assignee to use the images for specific purposes

Is It Normal For The Photographer To Own The Photos They Take Of Your Wedding Day?

In most cases, yes! Your wedding photographer will own the copyrights to your wedding photos (as defined above). This really just means that your photographer is protected from you or anyone else reproducing, changing, or distributing their work without permission, especially in a manner that displays it as your own. It also means, in the case of my business at least, that I’m able to still use the images for marketing purposes, in my portfolio, and other aspects of the daily operation of my business.

What Rights Do You Have To Your Wedding Photos

The rights assigned to you in your wedding photography contract regarding image use rights will vary depending on who you decide to book with. At Royal Photos, our wedding photography clients as well as our sports and portrait clients, receive a non irrevocable license for personal use. This means you can get your high quality digitals printed on your own if our print items aren’t a good fit, and it means you’re able to use the images any way you want on your personal online channels. It basically gives you the right to use the images however you’d like with the exception of commercial marketing or resale, and that right can never be taken away. Easy enough, right?


Copyrights and image use rights are definitely not something to overlook when hiring your wedding photography. Carefully reading all paperwork and contracts before signing is key to ensuring your wedding photos are truly yours! Still have questions about your situation or the information above? Contact us today.

As always, thank you for reading, and don’t forget to follow along for more content like this!

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