As in other arts, the definitions of amateur and professional are not entirely categorical. A professional photographer is likely to take photographs to make money, by salary or through the display, sale or use of those photographs.
An amateur photographer may take photographs for pleasure and to record an event, emotion, place, as a person without a monetary motivation. A professional photographer may be an employee, for example of a newspaper, or may contract to cover a particular planned event such as a wedding or graduation, or to illustrate an advertisement.
The exclusive right of photographers to copy and use their products is protected by copyright. Countless industries purchase photographs for use in publications and on products.
The photographs seen on magazine covers, in television advertising, on greeting cards or calendars, on websites, or on products and packages, have generally been purchased for this use, either directly from the photographer or through an agency that represents the photographer.
A photographer uses a contract to sell the “license” or use of his or her photograph with exact controls regarding how often the photograph will be used, in what territory it will be used (for example U.S. or U.K. or other), and exactly for which products.
This is usually referred to as usage fee and is used to distinguish from production fees (payment for the actual creation of a photograph or photographs). An additional contract and royalty would apply for each additional use of the photograph.
Many people upload their photographs to social networking websites and other websites, in order to share them with a particular group or with the general public. Those interested in legal precision may explicitly release them to the public domain or under a free content license. Some sites, including Wikimedia Commons, are punctilious about licenses and only accept pictures with clear information about permitted use.
Image Credits: Pixabay