in the Stock Photography Business
you are a small business person or web designer and you want to
purchase some stock photography for your website. Great. Photography
is a wonderful way to improve the emotional impact of your site.
But there are a few terms unique to the stock photography business
that you should know.
Free - you’ll see this term often. What it means is that you
pay a one time fee for an image and you can use it for as many times
as you want for as long as you wish. It is a great way to get inexpensive
photos. Now if you are concerned that your competitor would or could
use the same image as you, photographers and agencies can continue
to sell the image after you purchase it, then you need:
Managed - this one is next term you’ll see. This means that
you pay a fee for the image based on how, where, how long, and how
many people will see the image. This one will cost you a lot more
in most cases. This is worth it if you do not want your competitor
using the same image for the same purpose. Usually the stock agency
or photographer also agree not to sell the image to others in your
field for the time that you are using the image. So you can see
why this option protects your use of the image but you’ll
also pay much more for this protection. Remember too that, at some
point, you decided to discontinue using/paying for the image the
agency or photographer can then sell the image to someone else,
even someone in your field.
Rate - this term isn’t quite at common but it is similar to
royalty free. Usually this means that you pay a one time fee for
an image, but it can only be used for one purpose by one person.
Pricing will be higher than royalty free but less than rights managed.
- even with royalty free you are still only purchasing the right
to use an image not the image itself. All images are property of
the agency or photographer who owns them. How do you know who owns
them, there is usually a © symbol with date and name of the
person or agency who owns the image. No matter what you paid for
the image you are NOT the owner of the image. This means you cannot
remove the copyright information, alter the photo, use it as part
of a logo that you own a copyright, or resale the image as your
terms will get you started but remember there can be differences
in these definitions from agency to agency and photographer to photographer.
Every agency and photographer selling stock images should have a
legal or license page to explain these terms and any others that
they use, if they don’t you may want to move onto another
site. Be aware, read all the information, and know what you are
you have some specific questions please visit my Photography Forum
and post your question there.
Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal. Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and
Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally.
Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com).
She has an educational background in photography, business, and
commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography
principles to her web design.