Portfolio Rights

BusinessWeek just contacted me asking for pretty extensive rights to show my work in an article. Most of my portfolio is of professional work and real product. I don’t get my own professional photographs. I get permission to show my work for self-promo purposes and that’s it. Most people I know do the same.

How many designers here would give out full reproduction rights to images on their portfolio? What if a portfolio image is actually a photograph that was paid for by the company (corporate or design firm)? What if the image is a composite of images?


You, or they, would probably need to contact the “owner” of the image I would imagine.

Look at it this way. If you are simply using the images for your own use (i.e. employment potential, personal satisfaction, etc) and you have the right to do so, you’re fine. (Obviously you have the right to do so, otherwise you would be claiming someone elses work as yours) If you were the photographer of all of your folio images, as the magazine may think, then you could say “Go right ahead and publish me in this national magazine.” But, if the images aren’t technically yours you probably need to ask who’s ever they are.

Hope that helps. If not… its Friday. Have a drink.

I’ve already told them as much. What I found odd was that BW is asking for all those rights when so few designers actually have those rights to give.

Anyway, you won’t be seeing my designs in BW. haha