Selling images online is a very profitable endeavour for photographers, in addition to their usual other ways of generating income. Digital sales in particular offer a quick and practical way to gain some extra profit, but there are a few things to consider while making that jump.
Digital sales involve understanding how to sell the rights to your photography from baby photography and how to license it without losing profit. This involves being aware of the different types of licensing and what they include. Here’s a look at some of the various types of licenses you will be dealing with when selling images:
A commonly misunderstood term, this covers the permission of someone using an image for a continued period without having to pay for it past the initial purchase of the license. Royalty free terms and conditions can vary, so make sure to specify exactly what is entailed in this purchase, especially how often the image can be reproduced, in what sizes it can printed, and if it can be edited.
This license usually covers one client using and owning the image(s) for a specific amount of time. It can include further restrictions, such as particular criteria on how to deal with the image and the length of time that the license covers, as well as the amount of participants that can use the image without requiring the purchase of another license.
Creative Commons licenses vary in number, but the unifying factor is that they allow your images to reach the most viewers without restricting access. These licenses give you many options to play around with, and you can apply whichever one best suits you to your own images. The most known license that can be used for baby photography under this heading is the popular ‘Public Domain’ one, which usually gives unrestricted access, but there are some other types:
‘Non-Commercial, No Derivatives:’ sharing but no commercial use.
‘Non-Commercial, Share Alike:’ credited altering.
‘No Derivatives:’ no changes.
‘Share Alike:’ edits allowed, derived images carry the same license.
A rather abstract license, this allows the circulation of images as long as there is absolutely no commercial use made out of them. This can be a bit of a grey area, so when licensing your images make sure that you are very much aware of where your images will be used and in what way. For example, a charity can use the images to advertise an event, but not as part of a money-making fundraiser.
This license is specific to dealing with serial items, such as magazines and newspapers. It grants exclusivity to a particular serial and only they can use that image. It also means that you as the photographer can’t use the image with anyone else either, so make sure that you know what is involved before licensing.
Selling the rights to your images can seem like a huge challenge, but an awareness of different types of licenses can uses will help make the journey an easy one. It will also ensure that you make an added profit from your work with the added bonus of reaching more viewers.
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