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Ellen, Lawyer, Consultant
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I hired a photographer to photograph our wedding this past

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I hired a photographer to photograph our wedding this past July. At the end of August, I received 100 photos, seven of them being duplicates, so a mere 93 photos to remember our wedding by. I have contacted the photographer on several occasions and practically begged for the rest of our photos, edited or unedited. Her response was to post 190 photos of our wedding on her website and she told me that I had to purchase these if I wanted anymore pictures from her. Nowhere in the negotiations to hire this photographer did it state a numerical amount of photos we would be entitled to. Further, we did not sign a release for her to post pictures of our wedding on any public forum as she has done. There was never a written contract, only a verbal contract and several emails regarding the photos. What can I do to obtain my photographs?
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*


Good morning. My name is Ellen. I will do whatever I can to answer your questions!

The photographer has breached the implied covenant of good faith and best efforts inherent in every contract. The photographer has also breached your right of privacy by publishing the photographs on the website for commercial purposes without your consent.

You can send a certified letter demanding:
1. that the photographer immediately cease-and-desist using your images on his website;
2. that the photographer deliver all photographs to you within 10 days or you will file suit for breach of contract;and
3. if the photographer does not immediately cease and desist using your images on his website and deliver all of the photographs to you, you will seek legal action for damages(money compensation).

I would be glad to continue our conversation and respond to any follow-up questions that you may have.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've told her numerous times that she does not have our permission to have those photos on any public forum and her response to that was that she legally owns the copyright to the photographs and "may do as she wishes" with them. According to the copyright laws that I have found, since we did not agree or sign a written instrument, we own all or the rights comprise in the copyright. Is that correct?

You are correct that you own the copyright to the photos. Absent a written agreement to the contrary, intellectual property created by an employee in the scope of his employment is the property of the employer. This is called the "work for hire" doctrine.

Additionally, even if she did own the copyright, it would not give her the right to publish your photo to advertise her business.

Even though you have told her numerous times, it is best to put your demands in writing and send the demands certified mail. If she does not comply the letter will have laid the basis of your lawsuit
Ellen and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you very much for the "excellent service" rating and the bonus!

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Best Regards,