Hello friends! Today we're talking about stock photos, etiquette, and copyrights. If you are using stock photos, signed up to receive free stock photos, or have hired someone to create brand or product photos for you, then I hope this will be helpful to you in navigating stock photo etiquette.
LET'S TALK COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE
With intellectual property you often run into two types of licenses, exclusive or non-exclusive. In both cases, the creator of the property retains the copyright of their intellectual property, but can choose to license their property for compensation. With an exclusive license, the copyright holder is licensing their intellectual property "stock photos" to one exclusive individual. With a non-exclusive license, the copyright holder can license their stock photos to multiple individuals.
The Elah Tree Stock Collection has a non-exclusive license agreement and it's super simple. The Purchaser (that's you) may use the image for personal or professional use in the normal course of your business. You may crop the image and overlay the image with text or pdfs that fit your needs. You may even paint out certain props within the image. There are two major things to know about the Elah Tree non-exclusive license. One, I, remain the sole and exclusive owner and holder of the copyright of the image, and in turn, you may not alter, edit, manipulate the images, or sell, lease or loan the images. Two, the non-exclusive license means images within the shop can be purchased by multiple buyers. But we do put a cap on them. ;)
One of the most heart breaking things that happens to stock photographers are when their images are stolen and used without their permission. I think people forget that when they take someone's photos without compensation they are stealing from them. They forget that the images that photographers create are supporting their livelihood, it's how they pay their bills, it's how they take care of their family.
Not lets talk etiquette... ;)
IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED STOCK PHOTOS FROM A SHOP
I think something that most people wonder about when purchasing stock photos is how to properly credit a photographer or whether they need to credit that photographer at all. Here is the great thing about purchasing stock photos, you do not have to credit the photographer, anytime or anywhere. When you purchase your photos, those photos come with a non-exclusive license. You have purchased that license as a part of the image and you are able to use the image for personal or professional use as you see fit.
If you love the photographer and want give them a shout out on social media, I'm sure they will love it, but in regards to etiquette, you do not have to.
IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED FREE STOCK PHOTOS
What about if you are receiving free stock photos from a photographer? I personally see this as a grey area. The photographer is releasing their photos to you for free for you to use in a personal or professional manner. Etiquette in this case will be on a case by case bases based on the photographer. Some photographers will ask that when you use their free stock photos that the user use the photographers hashtag to help spread the word about their work and shop. It would be rather difficult for the photographer to force everyone to do this, but in regards to stock photo etiquette this may be one you want to follow.
When I send out free stock photos a part of my email says, "Share the love and tag #elahtreestockcollection." This isn't a requirement when using Elah Tree Free stock, but it sure does make my heart happy when you do. :)
DO YOU WANT FREE STOCK PHOTOS RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX? SIGN UP BELOW!
IF YOU HAVE HIRED A PHOTOGRAPHER TO CREATE CUSTOM BRAND PHOTOS
If you have hired a photographer to create custom brand photos the etiquette is basically the same as when purchasing stock photos from the shop. You have hired them to perform a service and with your images you also receive that non-exclusive license, you do not have to credit the photographer, anytime or anywhere. All Elah Tree clients agree to a non-exclusive license instead of an exclusive license, because I use the created images within my portfolio, website and social media. When I create custom photos for clients, their images are only available to them. Do I love it if they give me a shout out on social media, absolutely? Do they have to? Not at tall.
Photography, copyright, license, and etiquette can sometimes be confusing. When in doubt, I say ask the photographer. Do you have questions about photography, stock photos, or etiquette? Send them my way! xoxo. Samantha