Photo Engrave Permission?

Hello all,

I have been really loving my GF since I got it almost a year ago!!! I have finally run across a scenario that I don’t quite know what to do with.

I have been commissioned by a local school to do some photo engraving for their library. They would like some 11x14s of a dozen or so authors. During our conversation, I was thinking of authors like Dickens, Shakespeare, etc. They sent me a link to an image of one of the authors, turns out the link is from an online blog.

My question is, is it legal to just go ahead and produce a product from the school provided link? Do I assume permission has been given from the blog? or the author? or the photographer who took the photo? Do I ask for proof of written permission from the school for all the images they are supplying? Do I, personally, get permission for all the images?

The only images I have done photo engraves for are for customers that have been obviously personally taken photos, not from a professional photographer.

Any ideas?


They would need the author’s permission, definitely. (Or whomever owns the rights to the photo.)


I agree with @geek2nurse. I work at a school, and we have to be very careful about copyright issues.

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Ask for permission. It should be easy to email the author if they have a blog. I imagine most authors should be pretty ok with being featured at a library, as should their publishers. But always ask; you don’t want to get yourself or the school/library into any trouble.


Thank you for the input. I assumed permission would have to be given. I will leave it up to the school to obtain the permission. I will also request that they send the proof of permission along with the images when they send them over.


David, The previous responses are correct. I’m a professional photographer that has worked across a broad spectrum of clients from notable pro athletes to celebrities to the president. You always should get or confirm permission first. Typically for a project like the one you’ve described, it should be quite easy and only take a couple emails or calls.



the bonus of asking the author is that they may send you a better resolution image.


That’s a really good point. I will let them know.

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As an example, I wanted to make “Bernie Mitten” buttons and magnets and sell them. I anticipated making abou $100 total off of them. I asked the artist if I could use his drawing and he said yes. But, I also knew that I needed to ask the photographer who took the original photo the drawing was based on. I asked and he referred me to Getty Images, who was the rightsholder. I went to them, and they wanted hundreds of dollars for a limited run of a certain size for a year. I sent them a personal email asking if they had any other packages available, because I would never make that much in total, and they told me that I first had to actually get Bernie Sanders’ permission to use his likeness in the first place, and if I did that, then they would discuss pricing with me.
So, I now have about 80 Bernie lapel pins that I can’t really do anything with. Live and learn.

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I’m not sure that’s the case. He’s a public figure in a public place. There’s a different requirement for that. Otherwise Getty needs to have his permission to sell the photo (as would the original photographer). It’s different than typical scenarios where you need a Model Release.

Might be fun to ask Getty for a copy of their permission from Bernie to be selling his likeness :grin:


hahaha snort cry.


they sell his likeness under very specific license. in particular, editorial license. as a public figure, that’s allowable. but selling objects with bernie’s image on them as opposed to using the image for editorial purposes requires a different kind of permission.


This. Commercial use is way different than running the photo in a newspaper story.


and using an editorial license image is way more expensive than using a commercial license image. like 5X more expensive and up.

Dealing with Getty is never fun.unfortunately, they’re verging on monopoly.

This is one case where it is better to get permission than forgiveness. What if the author has some kind of gripe with the school? Oops.

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