Do You Send Your Clients a Print Release Form? Here's Why You Should! | Free download of my print release template!
As photographers, it’s our job to educate our clients on their rights when they receive digital files. What restrictions will you place on them and what privileges are you going to give? Majority of clients want an unlimited print release but are often confused with calling it a copyright. The most important thing you can do is first understand the difference between a copyright and print release and then be able to properly educate your clients in return.
So what is a copyright?
A copyright is just that… it gives the rights from the photographer to the client. Once this transfer of copyright is in place, the photographer no longer owns the said photographs. Even further, the photographer would now be unable to ever use the photograph again without permission from the client!
I would NEVER give up a copyright to any of my work, unless I was getting paid a significant amount of money for those images. Once you give away your rights, you can no longer use it.
So for clients, there’s a level of respect that kicks in at this time when you receive your final gallery from your photographer. You would never ask a musician for all rights to his/her song would you? I didn’t think so. Respecting the photography industry is so important.
What is a print release?
Is what is says, a release to print your images - with guidelines. It allows the client to print for PERSONAL use at home while maintaining the rights of the photographer. Even though a client paid for a photo session and received digital copies does NOT mean they own the images. The photographer is the copyright owner, always, unless the copyright has been released.
With a print release the client can
Print unlimited prints from their session
Post the images on social media
Can use in Christmas Card
Keep the files forever
As the photographer you benefit from a print release by:
Clients cannot violate your copyright by editing/transforming your images in any capacity.
Prevents commercial use without your permission
Preserves the integrity of your art, and the industry.
You still own your images but give the client what they really want, the ability to print.
Something I love to do for my clients is send them a physical copy of my own print release before they even leave their session so that when I do deliver their final online gallery, they are ready to go with the release and it saves me that correspondence down the road. If you aren’t sure where to start with your own print release, I’m sharing mine with you below! All you have to do is sign up with your email for instant access to mine! I also share a few ideas with you to enhance your client experience as well as where I love to do my printing!
Communication with clients is so important and I’m very clear with my expectations surrounding my work. I have had zero issues with a print release. Okay, I take that back… there HAVE been a few times when I’ve seen a horrid filter on my images and in that situation depending how awful it is, I will DM the client and remind them that they can’t put filters on my photos as it totally misrepresents my brand and who I am as an artist. I pick and choose my battles here. Then I make sure to post THAT image or one similar from the session with my actual edits so there’s no confusion if someone happens to click over to my company website or social media pages. Please don’t put filters on your final images.
So all in all, make sure you have a print release! Talk to your clients and be sure they understand how it works and what it means.
Grab a free copy of my print release by signing up with your email below!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: EMMA ROSE
Emma Rose is a Squarespace website designer and photographer based out of the Pacific Northwest. She helps photographers not only stand out online, but dig deep to find the why in what they do. She strives to work with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to grow an audience, start and thrive their online business and change the freakin' world. She aims to help people create not only meaningful businesses but lives. For more about Emma, click here!
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