Legalities of Stock Photography.
Stock photos can get super expensive to use in your online marketing pursuits and
the legalities of using them are sometimes confusing. And, some marketers use
inappropriate photos or don’t know how to use them, causing you to shake your
head when you see them embedded in a blog or website.
Stock photos can add interest and definition to your content. It’s said that a picture
is worth a thousand words and for your clients it means that learning time is
lessened if you can see a visual image rather than a wordy explanation.
There are also free stock photography sites which offer various images that they’ve
contracted for with the photographer. This helps the photographer because they
have a central place to show their creations.
Online photography sites also help marketers because they can choose from a wide
variety of photos and not have to bother with copyright forms and the legal issues of
using photos for online content.
Before you decide on which stock photography you will use in your online content,
there are some legalities you should know about. These legal matters might affect
both the expense of the photo(s) and how you may use them.
One of the most asked questions by Internet marketers is, “How do I get copyright
permission to use a photo?” Most sites make it easy for you, but there are legal
issues you should know about before using a photo in your content.
How to Get Permission to Use a Stock Photo
Expert photos are a great way to make your content stand out and to make a point
that only a picture can accomplish. Creators of photographs retain the copyright to a
photo – but you can ask for a release unless the person who owns the photo wants
to use it for certain products. Then, you must ask for copyright permission.
Using a search engine such as “Google Images” can show you various shots of
anything you can imagine, but if you use one, it may violate a copyright.
Photographers do have ways and tools to find out if photo copyrights have been
violated – such as TinEye.
If you use copyrighted photos without permission, it could become very expensive,
not to mention embarrassing. When you see a photo you want to use, you should
first get in touch with the studio or photographer who created the photo and ask for
copyright permission. If agreement is reached, follow these instructions:
● Pay for the copyright release – Images of portrait work could cost $25 per image
and images for marketing or business applications could cost over $100 per image.
● Obtain an original copy of permission form – Also, be sure the form has an
original (ink) signature.
● Purchase a print copy of the photo – You’ll use the print to list the items on the
Many copyright release forms are very complicated in nature and can include
specifics that may be difficult to understand for the layperson.
Remember that a copyright isn’t meant for you use the image in any way you want.
Read the release form carefully before you use the image you retained a copyright