Do You Send Your Clients a Print Release Form? Here's Why You Should!


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.

Do You Send Your Clients a Print Release Form? As photographers, it's important to protect yourself... and your clients.  A print release form is different than copyright, click on in to read more and learn all about why you should be sending your clients on of these after every single photo shoot!  #tipsforphotographers #photographytips #printrelease

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!

Emma Rose Company, Squarespace Website Designer and Fine Art Photographer, offers website services and photography services, photographers in Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma, specialize in portrait, engagement and wedding photography in Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma Washington.


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