top of page



The Basics

Many people who don’t work in creative fields don’t understand the concept of copyright and licensing, we're here to help you understand, here are some basics. In the most minimal sense, copyright does the job of protecting the work of artists/musicians, journalists and photographers.

The work produced by creatives is valuable even many years after it was produced and, the more work is used the more costly it becomes.

This is the way creative people make an income, so if their work is used without their permission or knowledge then they will not get fairly compensated for the work.

So what does Copyright really entail?

From plagiarism today; Copyright is the law that gives a person ownership over the things they create. It could be a painting, a photograph, a poem or a novel. The person who creates such work, owns it. This ownership comes with some rights that the owner of the work have exclusively. Those rights include:

  • The right to reproduce the work

  • To prepare derivative works

  • To distribute copies

  • To perform the work

  • To display the work publicly

If you don’t own the work then you don’t have the right to distribute or use the work.

Really what this means, is that it is against the law to use the photos on my site without my written consent.

Who owns the photos if I hire a Photographer?

According to the Copyright Act, photos belong to the photographer from the moment they are taken. You can’t use the photos unless you are given permission in writing by the photographer.

If I hire you to take images of my house or a House I am listing, don't I own the photos?

Unfortunately no, they don’t belong to you, you are granted specific use rights depending on your agreement with the Photographer. Keep in mind the photos are intellectual property of the photographer so you need permission to use them because they are protected by the copyright act.

How can I legally use  the images as a Real Estate Agent?

Number one, you need to get permission from the photographer. The photographer will transfer limited rights to you by giving you a license to use the photos. Remember all the photos that are taken are the photographer’s intellectual property.

What is a photo License?

A license is a legal document that the photographer gives (agreement, invoice, or estimate can contain the terms of the license) allowing you to use their photos for benefit of your business. This license doesn’t allow you to pass the photos to your customers unless you get permission from the photographer, but it does allow you to use the photos in the marketing of that property (this is specific to Real Estate licenses only). There are many types of licenses, and pricing depends on your needs as a client, the duration of your use, and use type.

How much does each license cost?

There is no set amount for the license, since the price depends on the type of photos you need, when you need them, where you are going to use them and for how long you need to use them.

What license is given for Residential Real Estate Properties?

The residential Real Estate license I grant will allow you to use the photos in all Marketing needs for the given property to be photographed for a term of one year. This license allows you to create and use for all of your Marketing materials including print and online. This license covers the entire batch of images for any given property instead of the license per image for all other types of Photography.

What license is given for COMMERCIAL Real Estate Properties?

A commercial photography license is more expensive than a Residential Real Estate license as you are paying for a greater scope of use, project budget, and typically a longer lifespan is given. You will also be able to choose from a variety of bulk purchase options to add greater savings.

Quick List of Do's and Dont's



  • Post to Facebook, Instagram, Social Media to market your property

  • Use in a magazine or editorial to Market your property (make sure to include photo credit: Leila Seppa Photography)

  • Create fliers, print brochures, and other print media to Market your property

  • Use the image on a single property website, through your broker site or any other online media source to Market your property

  • Re-use the images 3 years from now when you re-list the property again. Discounts are given to return clients for images previously used.

  • Use the images to market yourself after the use period and marketing of the home is over. A new agreement can be reached for using the images for a reduced fee or free with permission.

  • Give the images to anyone else to use.

  • Use the images in any Editorial without giving photo credit.

  • Use the images to advertise anything other than the sale of the house during the license period.

bottom of page