December 17th, 2015
Do you think there would be any legal or copyright issues if we, as hired real estate photographers submitted any of our photos to stock photography sites for potential royalties? Do you think a property release would be required to sell photos of homes we have shot for our clients? Is this a worthwhile endeavor? Is there a site that would be better suited for this type of photography? Not sure how much stock sites sell these types of photos for.
First of all, I’m not a lawyer so I don’t give legal advice. If you are going to resell your real estate photos I would do the following:
- Make sure you have a signed licensing agreement with the agent you are shooting for so you are sure they understand that you own the copyright and intend to resell the photos. This can prevent surprises on their part.
- Register your copyright with the government copyright office.
- As to whether or not you need a property release follow the advice on the American Society of Media Photographers site regarding Property releases.
- Be aware that there are some homeowners are very sensitive about their private space (their home). This issue is reason enough to have them sign a property release so they know your intentions of selling photos of their home.
As to whether or not selling real estate photo through a stock photo site is worthwhile, I’ve never tried so I can only guess. I believe photographers that make money selling stock photos sell a wide range of photo types, not just a single type of photo. You don’t get much per photo for selling stock photos so you have to do a high volume business. I’m skeptical that selling just real estate photos to a stock agency would be worthwhile.
Anyone out there that has sold stock photography that can give Roy more insights?