Under US and International Copyright Law, the ownership and copyright, and therefore all publication and reproduction rights to a photograph, belongs to the creator of the work (the photographer) and not the subject.
You must have a Work for Hire release or a Copyright Transfer, Copyright Release, or Printing Release from the creator of the photos for any commercial use or in many photo labs just to have them printed.
This is not just for us… this is ANY and ALL photographers, whether professional or amateur. Without a copyright release or transfer the subject does not own the photos or the rights to modify or change them in any way.
Copyright Ownership is needed when: the client/subject requires, or wants to have complete ownership of the copyright to the images with the complete and total control of the use of any images. It is usually for some kind of commercial use, or special privacy and or confidentiality reasons. If you do not own the copyright you do not own the photos.
We allow all clients printing rights to use the photos for their personal use and self-promotion include displaying the images on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Dating and Matchmaking Services, personally owned websites, etc.
However if you want to sell photos that we produce as a poster, or to advertise a product, or to give or sell to a 3rd party you will need to purchase the specific rights to use it(them) for that purpose or purchase the full copyright to the shoot.
In the case of Work for Hire, we produce the photos to the clients specifications and usually for commercial use and provide the client with DVD data discs of the final images in full high resolution format. The client has full ownership of the copyright and is free to do with the photos as they please. They can make all their own prints and reproduce or do with the photos as they please. We always reserve the right to use a few photos from the shoot, for our portfolios and in our advertising and marketing.