Tag Archives: stock agency

Checklist for using Pictures, Images or Clipart you found online. What is royalty free?

Checklist Tick boxes in black with pencil and drop shadow

Photo Checklist

The checklist of considerations and questions below are important to think about when you found an image online and want to use it for whatever creative or editorial reason. Here is a checklist of things to ask yourself when licensing and using an image:

Ask yourself, how am I using the image exactly?

If the image is going to be used on a t-shirt design, within a mobile app, on a road-side billboard, for an e-device, on your client’s homepage or within a college textbook just to name a few, you will want to make sure that the license covers your particular usage. If you don’t know if you are covered, then don’t assume. You can always call up the photographer or stock photo agency to ask if your specific usage is covered by the license they offer. Better to be safe then to assume.

I need to be able to use an image forever. Will the license I buy ever expire?

This is very important. Start by asking yourself, “how long do I want to use a particular image for any project?” Check if the photo license expires in the future or grants you rights to use the image ‘in perpetuity’, which is just legal jargon that means the license doesn’t expire. Always check to make sure there isn’t a time restriction on your usage. Royalty free licenses are almost always ‘in perpetuity’ and won’t expire. Rights managed licenses have restrictions and limitations on how long you can use an image. Make sure you record if the license expires on a certain date and save that information along with the image. If someone created a website for you make sure that the images they selected for you don’t expire. The last thing you want is an unexpected bill or an email from an angry photographer or agency questioning why you are still using an image, whose license has expired.

Does the amount of times I print the image matter?

This is a good time to double-check how many times you want to print, reproduce or otherwise use an image. This is sometimes called “print run.” For example if you are going to print an image 10,000 times on a poster or use the image for a book cover that will be printed over 250,000 times, you want to make sure that the license doesn’t have a “print run restriction” that might require you to pay extra for any excess prints you make over the allotted amount. If you know your usage will exceed the number of times you can print it according to the license, you can purchase an additional license exemption in some cases called an extended license so you increase your print run to unlimited.

Am I licensing Royalty Free images or Rights Managed images?

Knowing the difference between these two license types is extremely important and will affect how your able to use the image. Clicking the checkout button and paying for the image doesn’t mean that you can use it anyway you like. You need to know the rights you are obtaining through the license.

If I use a subscription service to license images am I still allowed to use the images I downloaded after my subscription ends?

No, unless you used a specific image for a project during the time of your subscription. In that case, you can re-use the image but if you do not use the image during the time of your subscription and then use it after your subscription ends you are in violation of your licensing agreement and subscription sites will send a team of lawyers after you. You have to be very careful of subscription sites and their license. A person who cancels their stock subscription can not stockpile, download, or otherwise store images not used within a few months of the expiration of their subscription. This means you can not use any image which was downloaded but not used in a personal project or clients project during the time of your subscription. All subscription sites have a provision that limits how you can use images you downloaded during the subscription period that have not been used in a project. This is called image warehousing.

Ask yourself, Are there recognizable people, famous landmarks or artistic works (such as paintings or sculptures) in the image?

For commercial use, you need to double-check that your supplier holds the appropriate model or property release for that image. A simple email asking the photographer or agency for confirmation that they hold the releases is a good start.

Does the photographer or stock agency offer legal protection with the image license?

You will want to find out who assumes the liability and costs if a claim arises and you have to go to court. Does the license that you are considering buying cover you from these types of claims? Ask yourself and check the license to determine what kinds of claims are covered by the legal protection.

Where is a good place to ask for advice if you are not sure?

Stock Photo License is a good place to start for information and you should bookmark the resource and link to it from your site to help others. You can email them at team@stockphotolicense.com or ask them a question on Twitter by using @stockphotousage. Next, you could contact the photographer or stock agency. However, the best advice is to contact your legal counsel if you have specific questions.

What is royalty free?

If you are looking for amazing royalty free photos and vectors please visit Cutcaster.com.

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How to upload your stock photos and vectors via FTP?

Some of you have asked how to use an FTP client to upload pictures and vectors to Cutcaster. The below video shows you how to use the FTP client, Filezilla, which is open source (aka. It’s free) for both Mac and Windows, to upload multiple image files to our server and then how to process your files by clicking the “Process my FTP Uploads” button from your upload page.

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16 Things Picture Buyers dislike about their Stock Agencies

In a continuing effort to release as much information as we can concerning picture buyers and their habits in today’s stock industry, we will look at what things image buyers disliked that their image agency did or wasn’t doing. This question was one part of a two part question relating to what picture buyers liked and didn’t like about the stock agencies they work with. Below is a collection of their responses in no order of importance but cover the range of dislikes that image buyers had.

1. Prefer stock sites that have a current selection images of people using media (my firm sells advertising in magazines, online and mobile devices.) The laptops, computer screens, and mobile devices should be current. People using the devices need to look realistic. They should look somewhat affluent or have some purchasing power.

2. Few images of “ordinary” people of many backgrounds, skin colors or multi-national origins. Few images of disabled individuals or groups doing ordinary (non-medical) activities, bland generic office pictures.

3. Keywords need to be accurately curated, correct caption information, no time to sift through keywording spam. Keyword spam makes me not want to visit a site.

4. Same images on every site and smaller agencies that are different get subsumed by the larger ones

5. Dropping or losing photographer/images and then being unable to re-license them for p/up imagery

6. Caps to RF imagery or microstock imagery

7. Everyone uses the same great images. Should be a system for professional level and entry level buyers so everyone isn’t using the same images/vector files…

8. It’s difficult to find great deals or new imagery since they are all concentrated under Getty and Corbis again…There is very little good, new material.

9. Discontinuing of RF CDs

10. Photos that SCREAM “I’m a stock photo.” More quality stock illustration at lower costs – less computer generated in feel.

11. It’s not very fun and takes a ling time to search for images.

12. Credits packages that do not expire.

13. Sites that don’t allow for repeat download of photos purchased.

14. Overly complex search engines

15. The search engines for iStock and Corbis aren’t very intuitive, or aren’t as intuitive as they could be. Getty has better search filters. The quality of the photos are sometimes hit and miss. I understand that to be acceptable for lower priced images like iStock but some of the other larger ones still have that same issue.

16. I think just having better search and/or search and filtering methods, would save us tremendous amounts of time and get better results. Perhaps better tagging, or more accurate tagging of the images. Many times I will get provocative images when I’m not searching for them.

What do you dislike about the stock agency you choose to work with? Is there anything you hate which they do? What would you change?

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