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Legal Considerations for Branding Shoots

Branding shoot photographyLegal Considerations for a Branding Shoot

Branding shoots are all the craze right now and if you think about it, why shouldn’t they be? Look at the benefits they can give, from instagram photos to website images and photos for marketing campaigns. The list of reasons goes on (for a deeper look at the benefits look at our previous blog post).  They provide so much benefit and the upfront cost is very minimal compared to the benefits.  Before you make the choice to offer personal branding shoots, you really need to consider a few legal matters.

*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, this is just my two cents based on experience*


As photographers, we live and die by our copyright. It is the piece of paper that allows us to advertise and protect our work. Usually for non-corporate photographers (such as wedding or family), they will keep the copyright and the client gets a print release so they can print photos without needing constant permission. In branding photography, it is a little different, the client usually will want a limited copyright or commercial use agreement. This allows the client to use images how they see fit on their website, marketing campaigns, and other business related advertising. Take a look at examples from Pinterest. The client can’t keep on coming back to the photographer to ask for permission to use their images, so they structure this agreement to give them more flexibility and latitude. Above all, as the photographer, you will still keep the copyright.

The Right to Manipulate

One of the hardest things to get use to is that for personal branding sessions, some clients will want or need the ability to manipulate their photos.  This is a hard thing to get over especially if you are in the non-corporate world. You cherish those images and the thought of someone messing with them or adding filters makes you feel queasy sometimes. In branding photography, you have to give this up. The client will have to manipulate their images to fit their marketing campaign or website format. It is unrealistic to ask them to come back to us every time.

Marketing for Business

You client is going to want to use the images to market and make money. Make sure to address any monetary considerations in your contract and ensure you know how the client will use your images. This is very important because you don’t want your images being used in something that could be considered morally or ethically wrong. To get a really good base contract online, we recommend Rachel Brenk at the Law Tog.

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