Stock photography agencies are a great way to get quality images fast and cheap, but there are some basic licensing matters that you need to understand, to ensure you use the photos you buy correctly.
If you are a new user of stock photography agencies –and stock photos–, these are the basic lessons to learn.
Royalty-free images are copyrighted, meaning the author of the image retains its ownership. When you buy a license from a stock photo agency, you get Royalty-free copyrights, that enable you as a buyer to use the photo but under certain conditions. These conditions can be viewed here or can be reviewed on each stock photography agency website.
Royalty free does not include using the image on items for resale, the freedom to share with multiple users once a premium stock photo is purchased, or on all editorial pieces. Some digital media uses are outlined, but not all. If you are unsure if you are using a stock photo correctly, get in touch with the stock agency where you purchased the photo and ask.
If you use a Google Image search to find photos, be aware that these photos do not transfer any copyrights to you. Google is not a stock photo agency, and you can not purchase the rights of these photos unless
- You find the photographer and ask for permission or
- Purchase from the stock photography agency that holds the photo.
A watermarked logo on a photo indicates that the photo can be purchased from a stock photography agency.
For a direct and easy search for copyrighted photos, check out Dreamstime and search their image and photo database of over 11,000,000 photos to find a photo you need.
Image © Norebbo / iStockphoto.com