Understanding your photo license and rights

Copyright, Use Rights, and Licensing can all be confusing. Here’s a breakdown of how Dana Trilk Photography grants rights for photography.


  • Copyright is ownership. Whoever holds copyright is the owner of those images, and would then grant rights to other people to be able to use those images in specific ways.

  • Use Rights are the rights that the copyright holder grants. So the copyright holder (owner) of the images would grant Use Rights to their client or other parties, as specified in the contract.

  • Licensing is the act of granting Use Rights. When someone gets rights to use an image, they just purchased Licensing, or Licensing Rights. Think of it as getting your “license” to use the photos!


Dana Trilk Photography grants the client Use Rights for purchased photos. The Use Rights granted, unless otherwise stated in your signed contract, allow the client to use the photos in perpetuity for any marketing purposes of the client business.

What does this all mean?

It means that:

  • You, the client, do not own the photos. I, Dana Trilk, maintain ownership of all images, and do grant permission to you for the use of final purchased photos.

  • Rights are granted to you, the client, only. You may not sell, distribute, or license the photos to anyone for any purpose.

  • You do have these Use Rights in perpetuity. This means there is no expiration to these rights.

  • You, the client, have permission to use these photos on any media that you wish for the purpose of marketing your business.

So what if…?

…the homeowner wants copies of the photos:

Dana Trilk Photography does allow the final purchased photos to be given at no charge to the homeowners of the photo shoot location, as long as the photos will not be used for any commercial purposes. Photos may not be used for marketing the property itself, either by the homeowner or an agent. This can apply to sales listings, AirBnB listings, rental listings, venue marketing, etc.

If a homeowner or an agent wants to use the photos for any marketing purposes, they need to contact me ([email protected]) to purchase Use Rights to those images.

…the GC, tile company, floor installers, appliance manufacturers, etc. want to use the photos:

Any third party that wants access to the photos needs to contact me ([email protected]) to purchase Use Rights to those images. You, the client, are not permitted to share the photos to any third parties other than the homeowners, as stated above.

Third parties need permission for ANY type of commercial use, including social media posts. This means that if an appliance manufacturer wants to repost a photo on Instagram, they need to reach out to me for permission first.

…a publication wants to see or use photos for an article:

Your contact at the publication must contact me ([email protected]) to purchase rights to use the photos in their publication. You, the client, do not have permission to send photos to a publication without my consent.

…I have questions that aren’t answered here?

I’m here to clarify! If a situation has come up or if you’re unclear on something, please reach out to me ([email protected]) and I’m happy to clear things up.