When you commission a photographer for a project the resulting images are owned by the photographer and controlled by copyright laws.
That is, unless by agreement, the licence to use the images that you purchase (usually as part of the overall fee) is for exclusive rights with the copyright being transferred. This doesn’t happen very often as in most cases it is unnecessary for you (the customer) to own the copyright to use the image(s) for the purpose intended.
Should you wish to own the copyright, then additional fees will be incurred as doing so will render the photographer unable to use his own work without permission.
When working with our customers we always ensure they have the correct usage agreement. In most cases there is no reason to put many clauses or restrictions on, other than the resale of the images for commercial use.
We are always happy to discuss copyright in more detail to ensure it is fully understood.
However, if you want to understand more about copyright from an independent source, please read this useful article on the British Library’s website. Link https://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre/articles/what-is-copyright.