Can i use a photo i bought for me also for my clients website?
Any stock photo, no matter what license it holds, cannot be used for two competing projects. Royalty free stock photo agreements state very clearly that a stock photo can be used in multiple formats in one project, but the same photo cannot be use for multiple projects owned by different people.
How to legally use the same stock photo for a client
If you are unable to convince the client to use another photo, you can buy the photo again and use it for the client’s website. It is recommended that the client purchase the photo under their stock agency membership to ensure that you are protected.
Photographers who sell stock photos will have a portfolio on the stock agency website. If your client and you really like the image, search through the stock photographer’s portfolio and purchase another one of their photos.
Over 25,000,000 stock photos exist
It is a great compliment to have a client like the work that you have done and if the choice of a particular stock photo has won their confidence in your ability, that stock photo has now become more valuable to you. There are millions of stock photos and though a client may like a photo you have used, it is possible to find a similar themed stock photo that could be used on a client’s website that would not duplicate your work and provide a unique image for the client
Royalty free non exclusive stock photos
When you purchase a Royalty free stock photo, you also purchase the non exclusive use of the photo. Anyone who searches the same stock agency can also download, pay for and use the same photo. This has caused marketing issues for some companies where a competitor has used the same image in their marketing materials. There are a few tips to try and avoid this embarrassment, use Royalty Free stock photos in your designs and decrease the chance for others using the same photos:
- Conduct a deeper stock photo search with additional key words. Many people put in one word to conduct their search and use a photo that is found on the first two pages. If 100,000 people use the keyword ‘boat’ to find a stock photo, the likelihood of people using the same photo is quite high. If you search using ‘big, blue, motorized, lake boat’ the search result in less popular photos but photos that are still of great quality and fit your needs.
- Purchase a Rights Managed or royalty free exclusive license to ensure that you are the only one who has the right to use that photo. This may be outside of the budget for a design, but a serious client may decide that exclusivity is what they would prefer. Ask the question and see what they decide.
- Conduct a google image search to see if the photo comes up on the internet. If the image you want to buy comes up on google, look for an additional photo.