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Shawna Taylor Photography » Shawna Taylor Photography | Wichita, Kansas Photographer

Helpful Information

Below you’ll find lots of great info about copyright laws, crop ratios and choosing the perfect outfits for your session :)


Copyright Info

What is copyright?

The U.S. Constitution and the Federal Copyright Act give “copyright” protection to “authors” for their “original works,” such as photographs.

What does that mean?

Simply that the law protects the original works and gives the exclusive rights to reproduce them to the author.  When the copyright has been violated, the author can pursue legal action and the offender can be held liable and fined.

So, what are the rules regarding the prints I purchased from my professional photographer?

Here are just a few examples of things that you may not do with your professional photos:

  • Scan them – for any reason
  • Copy them
  • Reprint them
  • Crop watermarks out of photos and repost them on the web
  • Edit them – in any way
  • Take pictures of your printed professional photos (especially with your cell phone) and post them on the web.
  • Throw darts at them.  Ok, fine.  Do it if you must! ;)

Well, why can’t I scan them?  The photos are of me and my family?

While the photos might be of you, they are not yours.  The images belong to your professional photographer; who owns the copyright.  Granted you may have purchased a print of the image, and you are encouraged to display that image and enjoy it.  However, it is not at your disposal to make copies of by scanning or any other means.  It’s actually against the law.

Also, most professional photographers like to maintain quality control over their work.  There is a large quality difference between a scanned photo and one that your photographer creates and sizes for use on the web.  We do not like to see our work all distorted and wonky because it has been scanned.

What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that your professional photographer works extremely hard at creating the beautiful images that you see.  Everything from lighting, posing and post-processing goes into one single image.  In that regard, your photographer will price their work to maintain a profitable business.  When clients start scanning images and reprinting at home or worse, local one-hour labs, they have basically stolen the ability for the photographer to make a profit from that image.  Since selling their artwork is how photographers earn a living, it tends to make us unhappy when clients steal images from us.

Aunt Susie saw my photo and just wants to have one little copy of it.  Now what?

Great!  Your photographer will be thrilled to help you get one little copy of that photo for Aunt Susie.  It’s always a great thing to hear that your family and friends love our work!

I bought the disc with the printing rights.  What can’t I do with these images?

On the print release form, there will be instructions on what you can and cannot do with the images contained on the disc.  However, just for the sake of education, I’ll give you a quickie list of those things.

Things you can do:

  • make prints for personal use
  • make greeting cards for personal use
  • make photo books or photo gifts for personal use
  • upload the images in the WEB folder onto the web to share with your family and friends (however, please do not remove the watermark)

Things you cannot do:

  • enter the photos into contests – nope, not even those “cute baby” contests
  • post full-size non-watermarked images on the web
  • alter the images – part of your photography experience with your professional photographer will include the photographer’s time and talent in editing/processing your images.  If you do not like the style in which your images were processed, it might be time to look for a different photographer.  I’m just sayin’.

What about the images on your blog and Facebook?

The images on my blog are meant to be enjoyed and viewed.  If you would like to share the images on my blog, please do so.  All you have to do is share the link (URL) with your family and friends.  Or,  you can simply find share buttons at the bottom of each post (titled “share the love”) and share them anywhere you’d like.

The images on Facebook are also meant to be enjoyed and viewed.  I welcome and encourage you to tag yourself in the images on Facebook or share the link to the images.  I also welcome and encourage you to use the images on Facebook as your profile photo as long as you do not remove the watermark in the cropping process.  To avoid removing the watermark, simply drag the cropping bars all the way to the edge of the photo.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

Okay, I get it.  I might have violated your copyright policy.  Now what?

Hey, don’t sweat it!  We all make mistakes and I’m sure that you did not intend to do so.  I simply ask you to make an attempt at rectifying the situation.  If you’ve scanned images and posted them on the web, please take them down.  If you need a watermarked copy of the images to use on the web, please contact me immediately and we can get that taken care of. And please, please, please… promise to never do it again!  xoxo

For more information on the issue of copyright, please take a moment to read through this article on photolaw.net: http://www.photolaw.net/faq.html

{ Article used with the permission of Indiana photographer Marinda Fowler }

Crop Ratios



You Are What You Wear

You are what you wear.

A little cliché? Perhaps. But when it comes to portrait photography, this photographer believes firmly that clothing plays a huge role in the success of the finished product.

Before I go all Stacy and Clinton on you – let’s be clear what your clothing does NOT need to be:

  1. Brand New I’m down with your favorite ripped jeans, retro band T’s, and worn Converse – as long as you know how to rock them in your own fabulous style.
  2. Fancy-Schmancy and Uber-Expensive Unless it’s your thing (If it’s really your thing, then by all means baby, bring on the bling). If you’re not normally a dress-up kind of person, don’t feel like you have to be one for your session.
  3. Matching No need to focus on matching everything from the color of your fuchsia headbands to the stripes in your socks. In fact, I beg of you, please, please don’t. If you’re heart is set on everyone in white button downs and khaki pants, I’m probably not your girl.
  4. Stressful No need to worry about each and every item, or fret about the suitability of each accessory. This is supposed to be fun. If you’re unsure – call me, and together, we’ll make sure you look fabulous.  I promise.

I want you to be happy, thrilled, over the moon about your images, and I know that this is much more likely if we take the time and work together to help you choose clothing that fits these few simple rules:

Feels Good.

During your shoot you could be sitting in a pile on the grass having a tickle battle, rolling down a hill with your fiancé, throwing your kiddos in the air or climbing a tree. Wear clothing that lets you do all that (and more) comfortably.

As for the kids? Well…uncomfortable kids have a tendency to look…uncomfortable, and are often cranky to boot. Happy kids make for happy pictures.

Bottom Line: Don’t choose outfits that make any of you feel constrained, stiff, itchy, scratchy, like you’re dressed up for Halloween, or that leave you with a nagging worry that a button might pop if you bend the wrong way. Trust me.

Looks Good.

This can be tricky, looking good is totally subjective – right? If you’re not a Carrie Bradshaw fashionista in real life, you might want to pull in some extra help from a straight-talking friend or your trusty photographer (that would be me) who knows about such things and has plans in place to help.

Sometimes last year’s of-the-moment dress has already become hopelessly untrendy. Sometimes the current fashions just don’t look or feel like you. Sometimes outfits that look good in the mirror might not be ideally suited for photography. If you’re really looking for extra help, I can put you in touch with some incredible folks who make people look good for a living.

Bottom Line: If you don’t feel fabulous-fierce-take-on-the-world gorgeous in your outfit, you’re not going to love, love, love the end result – and I’m all about you love, love, loving the end result.

Makes Sense.

Here’s where we pull it all together. It’s not just enough that everyone look good and feel good – you’ve gotta look and feel good together AND the outfits should fit with your location and the desired mood for your portraits.

Gulp. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? (quick – revisit #4 in the top list, and remember, don’t stress).

Before you even begin figuring out your wardrobe, we’ll have an in depth consultation to narrow down what you really want for your pictures, choose the perfect location and make sure you have an understanding about how that all comes together in the finished photograph.   I’m with you every step of the way.

Bottom Line: It’s easier than it seems.Think twice about having Emma in a lace prom dress if you can’t get Tommy out of his spider man cape and favorite Star Wars pajama top. If we’re going to be running around in a park, you’ll likely not decide to wear your starched Sunday best. Hate the way stripes and plaids look together but Dad has his favorite stripped polo ready to go? Best steer mom away from her beloved family tartan. Easy-Peasy. [unless Mom is really attached to that tartan, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it).

If you’re still not certain, and you can’t decide between the yellow wrap dress with your red heels or your dark skinny jeans and purple  belted shirt – I’ve got good news.  You don’t have to decide.   Bring lots of options.  Heck – throw your whole wardrobe into the back of the car.  When we get to the session we’ll wing it all with fabulous results.  Trust me.

I can’t wait for your session.

{ Article used with the permission of Phoenix photographer Jeanette LeBlanc }