If you are new to being a stock photographer and just starting out in your newfound career, or a company that is just recently discovering the huge savings in using stock photos in your print or online publications, there are quite possibly many things that you are yet to learn about, and some of them concerns legal issues. One of the unknown issues that you can get involved in when taking pictures for a stock photo collection is about architecture. You may have taken a picture of a building or landmark and not know that it is being protected by copyright or trademark, and this could get you in a lawsuit that will cost you a great deal of money.
There are many structures that are under copyrights that may catch you unaware. Technically, it’s the architectural designs of the buildings that are protected and not the buildings themselves. If you took a picture of such a building and sell it as a stock photograph, the holder of the trademark has every right to sue you so you should always double check if taking a picture of a certain building can get you into trouble or not, and the internet could be a great advisor.
Not only are the photographers the ones on the line, because the same applies to businesses that unknowingly uses images that violate copyrights in their own projects like for advertising and marketing. It doesn’t matter if you paid highly for the material, or where you got it; if the stock photographer who took the picture did not get a property release, then the photos that you have are illegal and a complaint may be filed against you. Buildings are not the only ones that can be copyrighted too, because in many cities around the world, there are a great many statues, monuments and other public artwork displays that are under trademark. Since they are mostly government commissioned displays, they can be considered public domain but in some other cases, the copyrights are still held by the original artist regardless of who was the one to commission it.
Fortunately for everyone, stock photo agencies do their best to filter the photos that are being submitted to them and reject the ones that are in violation of copyrights, but probably due to the sheer volume of files that they are getting, some still manage to slip through. There are many websites in the internet that are kind enough to put up lists of copyrighted buildings for everyone, so the people who are involved in stock photography does not have to deal with so much hassle with settling cases in court.
A few examples of copyrighted buildings are: the night time light display of the Eiffel Tower, although daytime photos of the landmark are still allowed to be sold. The Hollywood sign is also under copyright protection. The Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building in New York City are also trademarked locations.
Be sure to check out a building or landmark online before taking a picture to avoid troubles later!
Whether you are a buyer or a contributor of stock photos, or just someone who likes viewing pictures, you might not know it but you are a part of the World’s largest stock photography agency, an agency that is far more popular than any other that just one mention could already flick up a mental picture for the one you are talking to.
There are many stock photo agencies that provide services for photographers to host their work and make them accessible to the buyers, and this makes life much more convenient for people who are searching for generic images or just looking for standard pictures that they can use for their projects. But when someone is searching for a picture that is rather different from the common searches, or an image that depicts a specific action or location that the individual is looking for, sites like Getty or Corbis might not be the best place to search for. Luckily, there is one “agency” that is always available and ready to help you out, and you already know what it is. The largest agency is composed of the whole internet, where the pictures can be organised into a list by search engines, and of course the most important is you, the user.
While the familiar stock photography agencies are good enough for standardized pictures, and while their content is easily accessible based on generalised keywords, they can, in no way, be as precise as how individual photographers use keywords to label their own works. While they are fairly large websites in their own right, they are no match for the service that the internet in its entirety can provide. The Google Experience is probably the most helpful and can give people exactly what they want. Even whole sentences can be used to label an image, and Google can help you look for an image that matches that sentence.
You have probably felt the Google Experience before. Maybe you needed to know the distance between the Earth and the Moon for an assignment, or there is specific news that you missed and would like to visit. Simply type in your queries in the Google search bar and press enter, and the answer that you are looking for will be served to you within milliseconds. The same principle applies when searching for photos. If you are looking to buy a picture of a vintage car and want it in an aerial view, you can search in Google Images and you will instantly be provided with thousands of images that are available in the internet, and you can click on the photos to be brought to the site where the picture is being hosted so you can easily transact with the photographer who uploaded it.
Take note that photobuyers won’t rely on Google for products that they will be using for professional projects though, since most searches could lead to subpar images or those with watermarks. The stock photo sites like Getty and Jupiter are more appropriate websites to look into if you are looking for quality images.
Photographers need an outlet to display their products so potential buyers can see them. There are many ways to market stock photos online and there are websites whose services are focused entirely on selling them. There are many stock photography websites that sell photos without royalty, which is the preferred method for many picture-takers as well as the companies or individuals that would be buying them. Royalty free photos are cost effective for the buyers because they are much cheaper and they can choose to pay different rates for a photo for different qualities, and also beneficial for the photographer himself because you can sell the pictures again and again.
You will earn a lot by selling stock photos but it is more of a sideline than a main job. Still, the residual income that you will get is definitely not something to ignore, plus if photography is already your hobby, then you can also turn it into a successful career. Of course, there are many factors that will affect your sales and you must take note of them and improve upon your previous works to increase the money that you are earning with this kind of job. You have to know what pictures other people would want to buy. Personal pictures of you and your family are great for capturing moments and reminiscing at a later date but they may not fare well if you are going to sell them online. Stock photos tend to have niche like sports, animals, nature, and more, and you should label your pictures and add tags that could increase the chances of it being found in search engines. If you want to know what kind of pictures are in demand at the moment, you can visit stock photography websites and see which ones are downloaded the most.
There are many websites available where you can sign up and work as a contributor where you can upload the images for other people to view. Be sure to read the guidelines to know the rules for having your photos accepted in their sites. You might first be asked to submit sample images before you are accepted as a contributor so you might want to submit your photos with the best quality in highest resolution. A contract is formed when you are already working for a stock photography website so you have to be aware of who own the copyrights to the pictures. You still own your photos even after you sell them but sometimes, the pictures that you have already submitted to a site cannot be used in another. Also, be in the know of how long the pictures stay in the website before they are taken away, and how much will you get paid for each photo that is bought. Earnings for a picture could range from a few cents to a few dollars depending on the numbers sold and the image sizes acquired by the buyer. While these numbers may sound small, be reminded that you can resell your photos over and over again so over time, you are sure to get a appreciable amount.
You can’t be sure that your photos are going to be accepted though because there is chance for rejection. Your photo may not be accepted for reasons like; bad quality, too many similar images that are already available on the website, and many other factors. But don’t worry because as you progress with your photography skills, websites will be more accepting of your work. To make your pictures more accessible, you can also add keywords into your photos so they will turn up in the search results but you have to keep them broad and definitive as well as related to the picture or moderators might just remove them later.