How Do I Get a Photography License?

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A license to being a professional photographer is simply a business license, which can be obtained through each city and state. Obtain a business license to open up a photogrpahy studio with helpful tips from a professional freelance photographer in this free video on the photography industry.

Part of the Video Series: Studio Photography
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Video Transcript

Hello I'm Alex Compton with Luminescence Photography in Pahrump, Nevada. I have been asked how can I obtain a photography license? Well you know what, to my knowledge there is no such thing as a true photographer's license. What there is, however, is business license for your studio or different contractual license depending on the type of work that you're going to be doing. For instance in your studio you're going to need a business license if you are wanting to make it official with the cost of the license is going to depend entirely on how many employees you have, whether you have your own studio or if you are traveling on location. It is going to vary from town to town and quite often they are going to require that you go through the state and get a state licensing as well. You may also need multiple licensing for different counties and states depending on how much traveling you are planning on doing with your business. The other aspect of licensing is what your work is going to be doing, how you are going to sell it. Are you going to be selling it to magazines and newspapers and these types of issues? You may need a media pass if you are going into various functions and concerns or buildings, you'll need to have permission from those people and get the licensing and the permits through those particular places. If you are going to be selling your work you have to consider are you selling copyrights and you have to be very careful, some places if you're going to be doing selling to say magazines and what have you they are going to have their own list of what they're going to pay and what type of licensing they will accept giving them either exclusive rights or first time use rights. Be very wary of exclusive rights because that will quite often say that you can't resell your own work later on and that they have the rights to make money off of that particular item. One time use licensings are very good in general if you are taking pictures of somebody's wedding or something you may or may not want to be able to give them the whole list so they can go and make additional copies for all their family and friends typically they're not going to sell it anywhere else so it all varies on what it is that you're going to want to do, but realize if you are going to do one time use licensing that quite often people will go and make copies whether or not they have the copyright permission so if it's something that you know they're going to want to have multiple copies if you want to make the money you want to make sure that that's included in there somewhere that there is not a breech of copyright law. Copyright laws in most places can go up to a $10,000 fine for infringement but of course trying to get that protected is another thing entirely.


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