What does "Work for Hire" mean?
When hiring a photographer, you need to know before agreeing to their services, just what rights you have to the final images. Basically there are two choices when hiring photographers, "First Time Rights" and "Work for Hire". First time rights means that you, the client, are paying the photographer for the entire expense of the assignment. In return you receive the privilege of using the images for the very first time before anyone else. After a predetermined period of time or number of uses, the images even though you paid for the shooting session, belong to the photographer, who has the right to resell them to whoever he pleases, possibly even your competitor. Work for hire is altogether different. You are simply hiring a professional to provide you with a service that fulfills a job requirement in the area of photography. After the job is complete and all requirements of the job description were met, the images shot on that project become the property of the client. These images cannot be resold without permission of the client.
In starting my business nineteen years ago, I have chosen to be "Work for Hire". I have a good working relationship with my clients with the mutual understanding that we desire to work together for an extended period of time. Because of this desire, the need to try and make all the money I can from one photo assignment by reselling the images is not as profitable as serving my clients photographic needs for years to come.
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