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Commissioning a Photographer

Always enter into photo agreements in writing. The contract should contain clear provisions on your rights and obligations as the buyer of the photos.

Our Recommendation

  • Clarify in advance what you wish the photos to convey, and then choose the image subjects.
  • Before any photo production, inform the persons who are to be depicted (see personal rights). Where applicable, obtain a written statement of consent, and in any event definitely obtain parental consent if minors are to be depicted.
  • All rights of use (if possible, exclusive ones) should rest with Freie Universität Berlin without any limitations in terms of time or physical area. In general, it is a good idea to secure the right to use the materials in connection with reporting on Freie Universität (print and online) as well. This allows you to provide the photos to third parties (media) even years later – citing the appropriate source, of course.

  • Those who acquire exclusive rights of use generally pay a little more, but save time, money, and effort in the long run. In the case of a non-exclusive right of use, you may have to pay again for an image that you had made for a certain brochure, or you may be barred from using it online and have to have new pictures taken.

Agreeing on Rights of Use

Arrange in advance with the photographer the desired credit line (copyright) and the rights of use (factual rights and those related to time and territory).


  • Am I permitted to use the photograph one time or multiple times?
  • For which areas is the use of the photos permitted – only in print products, or also in online media?
  • Am I permitted to store them in online archives?


  • For what geographic area are the rights of use being granted (throughout Germany or Europe, worldwide)? In the case of print products, the price is generally affected not only by the size of the print run, but also by the area where the publication is distributed.


  • Is there a time limit on the use of the materials?