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How can i use a photo i bought from a agency?


If you have just purchased a photo from a stock photography agency, read their individual agency agreements before you use the image.  Royalty free copyright agreements are all pretty similar, but stock photography agency agreements can differ.  The differences generally are in the number of copies or impressions a royalty free stock photo can be used.

Check the type of license you purchased

When you buy a stock photo, most photos are Royalty Free photos.  In some cases the photographer only lists their photos with an extended or rights managed copyright agreement.  These agreements are very different to the royalty free rights and how they can be used needs to be checked on the stock photography agency site.

Basic uses of Royalty Free Photos

If the photo you purchased is a Royalty free image your basic uses/rights are the following

  • Print marketing campaigns where image is used on a poster, flyer, business card or any promotional print materials
  • Electronic marketing campaigns where an image is used on a website, landing page, electronic brochure
  • Any paper promotional merchandise that is given to customers for free ie. Greeting cards or bookmarks
  • Book covers including ebooks that have a print run under the specific copy amount determined by the agency
  • Digital media that is for promotional use only

This list is a guide and a review only.  The individual stock photography agency licensing agreement will provide you with a detailed list of appropriate and inappropriate uses.  Check the difference between the iStockphoto agreement and the Shutterstock agreement to understand the differences a stock photography agency can offer in their licensing agreements.

Image: Todd Arena – ArenaCreative


About the author

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus in providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography, like the PixelRockstar WordPress Plugin. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.



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