Stock Photography Licenses

Stock Photography Licenses

Stock photography licenses are simple agreements. They list the fees and the usage rights for an image.

There are three types of licenses that you want to learn right away.

Royalty Free Stock Photography Licenses

A customer pays a one time fee to use an image. Free of any future payments and royalties. Royalty free! The customer gets unlimited use of the photo.

Royalty free licenses are the most common type of agreement. Most likely this is the license you will start using from the beginning.

It’s important to point out that some photographers work their entire career using only royalty free licenses.

Rights Managed Stock Photography Licenses

A stock photography license where every use of a photo is negotiated is called rights managed.

A royalty to the photographer is possible.

A Rights Managed Example

To illustrate this, a record label may use a rights managed stock photography license. Record labels pay for album artwork all the time.

Lets say they print 20,000 copies of an album. If the label agrees to pay the photographer one cent for every printing, the photographer will earn $200. One cent per copy.

Rights managed licenses often have include royalties:

If an additional 20,000 copies are printed, the photographer earns another $200 in royalties.

An Editorial License

A newsworthy image. The image needs to show a given scene, at a given place at a given time.

A Editorial Example: A Basketball Game Photograph

Lets say you take a photo of a basketball player dunking during an NBA game. You can use an editorial agreement to license your image.

What You CAN Do With This Image:

You CAN submit this image using an editorial license. It’s sporting news.

A website or newspaper will use the photo along with their story about the basketball game. They don’t need permission from the player.

What You CAN NOT Do With The Image:

You CAN NOT submit this image using anything other than an editorial license.

The player would have a problem with anyone using the image on a poster and selling it. This would be commercial use of their likeness without a release.