Welcome to the very first episode of “The Business of Stock” series on the Afrofeaturism PICHA podcast! In this episode we chat with Guya, our resident legal guru and contributor relations manager about fine print and the dreaded red tape stock photographers have to deal with.
Why do stock photographers need legal advice and how does this affect their bottom line?
One of the first things you want to avoid is liability – always exercise due diligence and get the correct releases and permissions for every photo taken and uploaded to a stock site. If you do not have the correct releases for a stock photo, you won’t be able to get compensation for your work.
A product, i.e. your photo, is only saleable if you have all the permissions and releases to legally sell that product.
When and how do you talk to models and property owners about release forms?
Try to broach the topic as early and as casually as possible. Be clear about what stock photography is while still keeping the back and forth as conversational as possible to avoid being overcharged as a photographer. By opening up this line of communication sooner rather than later you quickly learn which models and locations are open to working with stock photographers at affordable rates.
Can model and property releases be digitally signed?
Yes. Many platforms will accept a digitally signed release form. However, it is good to try and have a hardcopy on file as well but this is just personal preference.
How do you deal with a model who has seen their image being used for a big campaign and demands more money?
Always be as honest and transparent as possible. The model is usually under the impression that the photographer made a lot more money than they actually did as a result of the campaign. Talk to them and, if possible, even take them through the stock photo site and show them how much a licence actually costs.
What do the different licences mean in stock photography?
A licence is basically just permission and this permission is based off of use. What do you want to do with the image? Every platform will break down each type of licence they have on offer and what they each may be used for.
“Don’t be afraid of the fine print. It’s there to help.”– Guya Obunga
What does royalty-free mean?
Royalty breaks down to accrual. Accrual means that every month there is “something” coming in. “Royalty-free” means that you only pay for the licence once-off and then you may freely use the image without having to pay any additional fees/royalties.
If you have legal questions around stock photography, feel free to comment below or get in touch with Guya directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.