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Basic Legal Knowledge That Every Photographer Should Know

By Hanssie on August 6th 2014

When I began my photography business, I didn’t really think about anything but how cool it would be to quit my day job and take pictures all day. I didn’t want to mar my daydreaming with pesky things like the ins and outs of actually running a business – like taxes or contracts or laws. That was the boring side of photography and I wanted nothing to do with that.

Now, years into being a business owner, looking back at my own naiveté and now knowing that running a photography business is about 90% business and 10% actually taking photos, I see the importance of educating yourself on “boring” stuff like contracts and copyright law – things that will help protect you and your business.

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The following webinar, hosted by SnapKnot and presented by Rachel Brenke, otherwise known as The Law Tog, is chock-full of great basic information for photographers about the legalities of running a business. Rachel is a photographer as well as a lawyer, so she knows firsthand the issues that photography business owners face.


The one hour webinar, which you can listen to below, is well worth your time as Rachel covers issues such as copyright, copyright vs. print release, how to protect yourself and what happens if someone infringes on your copyright, as well as contract issues and business protection issues. It may not be the most “fun” part of being a photography business owner, but you’d be wise to study up on the subject for the best interest of you and your business.

You can get more information on Rachel’s website, The Law Tog.

[Via SnapKnot on Vimeo]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Edward Stewart

    As a Photo Lab Tech, very interesting I’m going to be sure to point this resource out to budding photographers that send their clients to my lab with just a verbal release which is a no fly zone. Never fun explaining that to a customer.

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  2. Kurk Rouse

    The information in this video was , I’m now thinking of ways I can change up my packages and have the contracts to go along with it .

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  3. Mi Guel

    Keeping this bookmarked. Very useful advice.

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  4. Tom Bogan

    Great information that we all could use.

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  5. JJ Sereday

    Thanks for this article! Very valuable info especially for new photography businesses like Rafael said.

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    always love this articles

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  7. Luis Gonzalez

    Great information. I been looking for something like this for a while.

    Check out her workshop at

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  8. Rafael Steffen

    This is just the material that I am looking for. When you start a photography business there is a lot of business skills you need to develop to become successful in any sort of way. The legal part is even more important to play safe regrind the use of images of people. This video helps clear a lot of the legal aspect. Thanks for providing us with this great webinar.

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