Real Estate Photography image rights

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 15,656
Re: In exchange for...

ampimagedotcom wrote:

Generally, it would be called the "contract" between the two parties.

Okay, so a "Work Made for Hire" agreement that isn't actually one because it does not fall into the “Work Made for Hire” category, is called a "contract" between the two parties... in the USA.

I would say it was a sort of 'Work Made for Hire' agreement, rather than actually call it a "Work Made for Hire" agreement... like I did here: - just so you know.

For instance is a sample contract where the client pays for the photographer to take the images, the only deliverable is a "look book of proofs" or sample files. If the client actually wants any images, that's an extra cost.

I would say this is where the photographer asks the client to pay them for their time to do the work in exchange for "proofs and/or a lookbook” only. is a contract where the photographer is paid for hourly services, and transfers the image copyright to the client.

I would say this is where the photographer asks the client to pay them for their time to do the work in exchange for All Rights. specifies that the photographer retains copyright, grants the client a non-exclusive limited license for non-commercial use, and even requires a photo credit for any publication. Furthermore, the contract contains a model release from the client to the photographer allowing him to use their likeness in a an unrestricted commercial fashion. Furthermore it contains a contractual prohibition on the client even selling a print without the photographer's permission. The client is not allowed to alter any of the images, although the photographer can alter the images.

I’m not actually sure what the photographer is asking the client to pay them for here - besides "to provide the following services:” and for "expenses incurred while performing such services:”... in exchange for the Rights to use their images… for 'personal use only'.

In a traditional commercial photography setting, it is not unusual for a photographer to bill for "creative services".  This would be a fee that the photographer charges for creating the images.  Licensing for the client to actually use the images would be a separate fee, and would vary with the scope of the intended use.  Geographic area, media, and time would all be factors in the scope of the usage.

While you may think this is a crazy arrangement, this used to be a very common arrangement.

Times are changing.  It is becoming more common for photographers to sell unlimited usage rights, or even sell the copyright.

As to what business model a photographer should pick, that's a business and marketing decision.


Obviously, there have always been situations where there is no expectation that an entity will have access to the photos, even though they provided the photographer with goods and/or services in order to entice them to take photos.

For instance, a venue may provide a photographer with free entry into an event, so that the photographer can take photos.  They may do this without any expectation that they will even have access to the photos.  They may simply hope that the photographer might get the event publicity.

If there is a lot of demand to cover the event, the organizers may limit such gifts to those that they believe are most likely to get them publicity.  They may even demand a right of image approval in exchange for special access to the event.

I've worked events where many photographers were given limited access in the hopes that they would publicize the event.  Some photographers were given better access, but the organizers had the right to approve/reject images.  The organizers were not entitled to any of these images.  There was a third group of photographers.  These were employees of the event, and they had full access to shoot whatever they wanted.  However, the organizers got the copyright to these images, and could do whatever they wanted with them.

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