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Sonya Baldwin
Director of Design

Purchasing and using images for commercial work for our clients is a big part of what we do. This means we have a lot of experience with stock photo licensing, which we get asked about a ton. Our clients often want to know if they can reuse images we have used in pieces for them in their own designs.

The Basics

The basics of stock photo licenses are pretty straightforward. You are not allowed to give permission, lend, share, or resell your royalty stock photos that you have paid for and downloaded. If someone else wants to use it, they have to buy it, too.

For agencies like us, this means we are allowed to purchase images and use them for our clients, but if our clients want to create their own collateral using the same image, they need to create a separate account and pay for the stock photo to download it and use it themselves.

Types of Licenses

Now, licenses change depending on the stock website, designer or photographer that the stock image is coming from. Some licenses are more strict and others are more relaxed. Most stock photo agencies have pretty much the same standard license. However, each license agreement will have its own limitations and restrictions.

What Does This Mean For You

Extended stock image licenses, for example, are required for stock photos that are being used commercially. Extended licenses are required on larger projects that are being sold to clients or customers from someone like an agency.

The important thing to keep in mind is that whoever is the license holder is the only one who is allowed to use the image, and images purchased under stock image licenses are always non-transferable.

If a client owns a stock image, a design company will still need to purchase their own rights to the stock image to use it for a separate project, and vice versa.

For us, as a branding agency, this means that we cannot legally share stock photos with our clients, even if we have used them previously in work for you. We buy them for you during your project, so they are billed as part of your design costs and completely fair-game for us to use in your design. However, we are still the owners of those images and therefore we cannot share the rights.

To create similar graphics with the same images without us, you will need to purchase the image and its license through a stock image agency.

Looking for a graphic design company in Franklin that can handle stock image licenses for you? Give us a call. We would love to help you navigate your brand and all of the ins and outs of posting on social.



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