I bought some photos from a photographer. Can I legally retouch them further or apply a filter for example on Instagram? Would this be a copyright infringement?

Hi guys, I needed some photos for myself so I hired a photographer for a quick photoshoot.

Can I legally retouch them further or apply a filter for example on Instagram?
Would this be a copyright infringement?

I really do not know.

Thanks,
Antonio.

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4 Comments

Shaun Maluga's picture

What’s does the contract say? Did you sign anything with the photographer? Normally if you pay someone to take photos and don’t sign/agree to anything, you own the photos (at least in Australia). Because of this, most professional photographers will make you sign a release either at time of booking or time of handing over photos.

thanks, we didn't sign anything at the end I decided to avoid problem and just didn't retouch or change anything.

Chris Jackson's picture

It's going to depend on where you are, and the law in your country. In the UK copyright lies with the photographer and in paying for the pictures you would just be getting license to use them as they are for certain things, depending on the wording of the contract. Unless it specifically says otherwise you wouldn't be allowed to edit or alter them in any way.
However Shaun is saying that things in Australia are very different, which just goes to show how where you live makes a big difference.
I would suggest that you speak to the photographer to see what they are happy with or if you have a written contract get qualified legal advice from a legal professional in your country.

Eric Mazzone's picture

It depends on where the PHOTOGRAPHER who created the images is, if some joker in a nation that doesn't recognize copyright grabs one of my images, that he doesn't live in a country that recognizes MY copyrights doesn't give him the right to adjust my images then post elsewhere, especially to networks that operate or have assets in my country, because I can and WILL get the infringing works removed and demand his account be removed entirely.