Throughout my career as an architectural photographer the copyright of my photographs has always been an issue of concern for my clients. I provide my commissioning clients with unrestricted usage rights to the images I create for them for their own self promotion. I restrict only third party use in the manner espoused by Julius Shulman in his book “The Photography of Architecture and Design”
“There are some photographers who penalize their clients by introducing additional charges for each and every use of the photographs for which they have already paid a substantial fee! Although the photographer must retain rights and controls of his work, the structure of a rights system need not involve such unfair practices. It is possible from the very onset of a client-photographer relationship to clarify work and fee procedure to cover all possible contingencies. Why should a client have to pay for every use of he wishes to make of his own photographs?"
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I emulate Mr. Shulman by granting my clients whatever rights they need for the use of my photographs for an unrestricted period of time.
Mr. Shulman goes on to say:
“Good photography includes a package of goodwill and charges for this need not be penalizing...”
Granting extensive and uncontrolled usage rights to my clients is predicated upon mutual respect, integrity and trust between both parties.
I register my images with the US Copyright office because once images are delivered to a client and “published” in a blog, on a website or in social media the client no longer controls how, when, where or by whom an image is used, nor is it their responsibility to do so.
Copyright gives me the ability to control how and by whom my images are used and maintains the value of my work to my clients, the publications and myself. My copyright is a tool used to ensure the value and integrity of my work without placing the burden of controlling the use of my images on my client.