Print Release vs. Copyright Release

JPB Photography by Jessica P. Banks

Print Release – allows you, the client, to print for personal use while preserving the rights of the Photographer (me!).

Copyright Release – releases the copyright from me, the photographer, to you, the client.  I do not do this.  Once that transfer happens, I no longer own the photograph and can technically never use the photos without consent.

Copyright – is a legal concept that grants the creator of an original work, like photographs, exclusive rights to its use and distribution.  As soon as I push the shutter the image is copyrighted – it doesn’t matter who designs the set or styles the session.  This gives me, the photographer, the sole right to copy, edit, distribute, etc. by sale or transfer. This is a Federal Law. Breach of copyright by editing, printing, distributing, etc. without permission is serious and is stealing.

Why do I offer a Print Release and not a Copyright Release?

Great question.  I offer the print release to you so that you can enjoy the photographs and make unlimited prints and products from the digital file.  That means you can turn those files into prints or cards or mugs or whatever your heart desires.

By maintaining the copyright to the photos I can use them in my portfolio, marketing and advertising.  I can use them on my Blog or Facebook or enter the photos in a competition.  It also means that I can submit the photographs for publication (online blogs, online/print magazines, etc) and sell them as stock photography (although, I would not do this without your consent).  It also means that you do not have the rights or permissions to edit, enhance or manipulate the photo in any way.

Who can print from the Print Release?

The print release is intended for the person who purchases the digital files.  That means if you share a digital file with your mom or mother-in-law, they technically do not have the right to print that photo.  Only you, as the purchaser, do.  But that is an easy fix – if you contact me and request permission to share the digital files and the print release I {almost always} have no problem with that.  You just need to ask and get the consent.  All I ask in return is that you respect me, the photographer, and request consent.


This is a huge part of providing print releases to clients.  I value photography and the moments captured within the frame and I want my clients to be able to enjoy those memories.

I respect you enough to know that you want the freedom to print the photographs of you and your loved ones as often as you would like and wherever you would like.  In return I request that you respect me and not abuse the print release.

How can you do that?  Don’t edit, enhance or manipulate the photo in any way, and don’t post the photos to the internet or social networking sites without my watermark.

Have an image that you love and want to share?  Let me know!  I’m happy to provide a watermarked image for social networking sharing.  :) You are welcome to share any watermarked image I post to my blog or other social networking pages without consent.  I also encourage you to tag yourself in those posts!

I hope this blog post has helped answer any questions you have about a print release vs. a copyright release.  If you still have questions please feel free to email me (!  I’m happy to answer your questions!!



One thought on “Print Release vs. Copyright Release

  1. Pingback: Print Release vs. Copyright Release // Jessica Patricia Photography // Norfolk VA Photographer |

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