Usually, no. The term "copyright" is often misunderstood and confused with "usage rights". Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976 and Copyright Law of the US Title 17 Chapter 2
, when the shutter is released, the photographer who pressed the button owns the copyright
. It gives the photographer the ownership rights to display, reproduce, and distribute the photos. An exception is when the image falls into the “work for hire" category, i.e. when the photographer is an employee hired to take photographs for the employer—an example would be a photojournalist who is an employee of a newspaper but not a portrait or wedding photographer who is hired for one event (Carolyn E. Wright of PhotoAttorney.com
Now, the copyright may be temporarily licensed or permanently transferred for a fee
and this is the case with our higher-paying commercial clients. A portraiture session fee or a wedding package, however high it may seem to you, covers time and talent but not such transfer of copyright
; you may purchase it separately.
So what are you left with, then? Usage rights. As our contract stipulates, we grant you the right to use the photos for any personal, non-commercial purpose
, including personal printing and displaying on social media and personal websites. You may not sell the images for profit or publish them in non-personal media without the written consent of Zorz Studios. If you use them for any commercial purpose, we'll just need to discuss the fair profit distribution in form of royalty. :)