You’ve likely read advice in wedding magazines and on blogs, telling you to ask for a copyright release for your photos, but photographers immediately tell you no way.
Odds are, you’re feeling a little shocked and thinking “What the heck?!”.
So what’s the deal?
In short, the wedding sites have got it all wrong.
The photographer is exclusively the only individual permitted to edit, submit, and sell the images. A Copyright Release means the photographer is giving up their ability to even use the photos in their portfolio! Aside from that, it is crucial for quality control purposes that a photographer be the only one to edit his or her photos.
A Print Release allows you to make printed copies for your own personal use, which is likely all you’re really meaning to ask. While most photographers should probably understand that requesting a Copyright Release merely a misunderstanding, some do still forget.
Keep in mind, even when using the correct terminology, a photographer’s business model may be to only include tangible products and they may not provide a Print Release at all.