Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Licensing Photos

Now, you already know that you can't use images you find online unless you have been given specific permission to do so. Those pictures belong to someone else and you need to keep your grubby little mouse pointer to yourself. Don't copy, use, or duplicate those images as they aren't yours.

And if there's someone in the picture, you need to make sure the photographer has permission from the models so you can use their image in your project.

But pictures of yourself?

Knock yourself out. If you want to be crazy and post pictures, go for it. Though, you may want to be careful. And if a family member decides to take a sweet picture of you, you can probably post that too without too much concern.

My Family Hiking

But here's the kicker: Your Senior Picture, family portrait, wedding photos... nope.

You are not allowed to post those online. You don't own them.

Crazy! I know. They're of me, for crying out loud! I hear ya. I paid them hundreds--if not thousands--of dollars! You're right. I bought these pictures, so they're mine!

When you pay a professional photographer to take pictures for you, you are paying for their time, their work, and a license of the images. That license may include web distribution, reproduction, and extra printing... but probably not.

Why is this important?

Well, it means you can't legally take a picture of, say, your firm's president from a recent family portrait session and use that image on your firm's advertising materials.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

First, you need to purchase all the rights to the image for a few hundred bucks, and then you're good to go.

So, remember: Just because the image is of you, you may not have the right to reproduce it or share it. You may only have the right to look at it--courtesy of the wonderful thing called "licensing" within media law.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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