How to Obtain an Image License (It’s Easier Than You’d Think!)

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0833599: Learning the alphabet at a school in Lambeth – 1931

Did you know that three days after reading something people can generally only recall 10 percent of the content, but adding a photo improves recall to 65 percent? By adding images to your content you are making it more engaging and memorable, which will drive more people to your content.

Keep reading to see how easy it is to obtain an image license.

Why Image Licensing Is Important

An image is the creators’ intellectual property. Image licensing exists to protect the image creators’ property as well as provide them with an income. When you buy a licensed image you are buying the right to use the image

How To Source Licensed Images

There are various sites such as TopFoto where you can find photos and images that are available for license. Depending on the site you are using you will either pay for each image you want to use individually or you’ll pay a subscription fee that allows you to download a set number of images to use. Each site has its own terms and conditions so make sure you read them properly.

If you find an image that you absolutely love that isn’t available on an image licensing site then you will need to work a bit harder to obtain a license. If you can find information on the creator then you can contact them directly to find out if they are willing to license the image you want. If the creator’s information isn’t easy to find, you can always try viewing the image’s metadata to find the creator.

What License Do I Need?

Unfortunately, just having a license isn’t enough, you need the right license. If you buy a stock image and use it in the incorrect context you could be forced to pay a hefty fine.

When it comes to stock images there are three main types of licenses: Royalty Free, Rights Managed, and Extended.

A Royalty Free license gives you non-exclusive rights to use the image repeatedly. Because they are non-exclusive, these images are usually sold at a lower rate since they can be sold to multiple people. Quality can be an issue, and there is a higher risk of the image you want for your campaign also being used by similar businesses or products to yours.

A Rights Managed license allows you to use the image for a single project, if you want to reuse the image later you will need to buy a second license or arrange an uplift fee to add rights to your original license. These images can be non-exclusive or exclusive based on the specific license.

An Extended license refers to your end product. If the final product (after you’ve used the licensed image) is being sold, or will directly make you money then you need an extended license.

Licensing Isn’t So Bad

Using licensed stock images is easier than it initially seems, as long as you are choosing the right license for your needs you don’t need to worry. By buying image licenses you are not only covering all your bases, but you are also contributing to the image creator’s income.

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