The Do’s and Don’ts of Professional Photo Restrictions

Have you ever wondered why there are so many ‘rules’ photographers have when it comes to how the photos they’ve taken of your family are used? The short answer: the photos that a photographer hands over to you are part of their life’s work. It has their name and/or branding inherently attached, so there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images that you receive.

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The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright, which means the photographer has the option to use those photos to market their work and services anytime in the future. I am, however, also respectful of my clients, so if there are any images that you would prefer to keep private, it’s best to let me know about it ahead of time so that I can honor your wishes.


As an industry best practices standard, most photographers will not provide to you with the original files or raw images. That’s because raw images need special software and editing to be usable at all. Your photographer will cull your sessions, selecting the best images for post processing. Then all images that make the photographer’s cut will be fully edited before being given to the client.


While we appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of our photos on social media platforms, we ask that the images not be altered in any way as this is against our copyright policies.

What constitutes image altering?

  • Adding filters or editing photos in Photoshop
  • Removing our logo or studio name
  • Color correcting or including transitions from color to black and white
  • Clipping people or objects out of the original shot

So why is this a restriction? Our photos are a representation of our work, so when a customer alters an image, our original vision for the photo as been tainted. It directly impacts our name and brand in the industry. When we present you with final images, they have already been through our editing process and don’t require further alterations.  When images are altered, the results are not always reflective of our original work and can then be mistaken for ours. We greatly appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter.

If you want your images to be edited in a specific way, I am happy to give you a quote.

And that’s it. These rules in the photography industry protect our work and our reputation. After all, didn’t you choose your photographer because you valued their talent? Of course you did! And we take that as the highest compliment.

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About Suzanne Barnes

Suzanne is a professional photographer in The Woodlands, Texas, specializing in families, maternity, newborns, seniors.  She's a Christian, wife, a mom of two boys, and a self-diagnosed Pinterest addict who basically runs on caffeine.

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