Hello,

I am a just starting out freelance graphic designer. For the past 4 years I have been working full time at a photography studio. Besides my typical daily duties at the studio (photo retouching/wedding albums ect I am responsible for doing all of their design work including but not limited to marketing material for high school seniors and weddings. Recently (to make ends meet) I have been getting my portfolio together and have been working on my freelance graphic design portfolio which is still in the works but can be viewed at iCreative Design: Freelance Graphic Design in Shelby Twp, Michigan
My employer has recently brought it to my attention that they are not okay with me having anything on my website that I have designed while working for them and demand that I take it all down ASAP. I am not sure if this is relevant or not, but I have never signed any non disclosure or conflict of interest forms upon working there and for the record, I have given them full credit for everything in my portfolio!

For example- "I have designed this for www.###.com. Photos by www.###.com with a direct link to their website."

I feel that by NO means am I competing with them as they are a photography studio and I am promoting myself as a freelance graphic designer. I have always maintained a GREAT relationship my employers and their anger honestly came as a shock to me. Over the past week or so the situation has grown quite serious and on monday they are planning to slap all sorts of paperwork in my face which I am going to refuse to sign until I know more.

As a just starting out freelance designer my portfolio is pretty much my resume... it's all I have and what I need to establish myself as a designer.
I have been searching hi and low for an intellectual property or copyright lawyer to speak to, but I just don't know who I should be talking with for the correct information. Through all of my research I have not had any success while searching for the truth. Am I in the wrong? Any suggestions or advice you may have for me would be appreciated more than any words I could ever say.
So sorry to be bothering you with this type of question but I really just needed to ask a design professional and you definitely seemed like the best possible choice.
Thank for your time.

Mandi