How to License Your Photos


Authored by Michelle Fairbrother in Photography
Published on 01-05-2010

Photography has become a love of many. There are some who prefer to keep it as a hobby while others choose to pursue it professionally. For photographers who show their photos online, it’s important to understand how to properly license photos. This is the only way to ensure that others cannot take these images and use them without first getting permission.

There are a few important steps involved in licensing photos. Stock photography is the supply of photographs that are licensed. To get photographs licensed the first step is deciding which agency to go through. Getty Images and Corbis are two of the largest licensing agencies up and running today.

Some of the best and most well known photography experts in the world have their images licensed through Getty Images and that includes the photographers for the Victoria Secret catalogs. There are also many alternative agencies that amateur and professional photographers to license their photos. Signing an individual licensing agreement and stocking the photos with the better known agencies will typically be more expensive. However it will be more worth it because a larger number of people will view the images. In turn this means more money for the photographer.

Each individual must come to their own personal agreement with an agency. The royalty-free stock photography option is one of the most commonly chosen. This means that a photo buyer would be able to pay a one-time fee and would then have the rights to use the image whenever they wanted. This benefits both parties involved. The prospective photo buyers are more eager because they only have to pay a single license fee and the photographer is getting more business as a result.

Some clients decide to have exclusive rights when they go through to license their photos. In these cases the customers would have certain specifications put upon them at time of purchase. The client may decide they only want customers to have access to an image for a certain period of time. Or they may prevent other customers from having the same image to use during a given period of time.

When photography images are rights-managed this means that there are already terms set which client and customer must follow. There are typically no extra details that a client can add in so customers know what they are getting each and every time. A lot of photo buyers prefer the rights-managed images or licensed images because they provide assurance that no one else will be using the same image.

For anyone in photography getting their photos licensed is vital. It ensures the photographer is properly credited for their photo and not getting the credit they deserve for their photography skills.


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