26 Aug Best Practices for Using Stock Photography

If you use stock photography for your clients – including websites, brochures and more – you know that stock photography vendors are getting stricter with enforcing policies and tracking down usage violations.

If you don’t know the policies and legalities around the image you purchased, it can potentially cost you thousands of dollars in fines for a violation of usage, even if it wasn’t intentional.

What is the best way to avoid any costly copyright or term infringements?

Firstly, if you are unsure about the rules and regulations on using images correctly, most, if not all, stock photography agencies have information on their websites concerning proper usage.

Remember to read user agreements carefully! When you buy a stock photo, do you just check the “agree” box without reading it? It is the buyer’s responsibility to adhere to license requirements so make sure you take time to read the specific do’s and don’ts associated with each site.

Don’t “cheat”.  Understand the difference between “rights managed” and “royalty free” Don’t use photos without payment and DEFINITELY don’t have someone in your creative department edit out the watermark of a stock photo because you don’t want to purchase it! Companies have new technology for copyright owners to track down their photos on the Internet. It’s just not worth the risk.

If you want to steer clear of possible violation altogether, consider hiring a photographer to shoot all original photos for your company. It’s a more costly option but how much is peace of mind that you have rights to use your images in whatever capacity and however many times necessary worth to you?

Sibet B Freides