Photographs and usage

Is usage something that keeps you up at nights, do you even know what usage is? What do people mean when they speak about using photographs, when I pay photographer for pictures, don’t I own them? In many ways this is a very complicated and difficult subject to handle. Try to imagine the following scenario. Photography is a business, which means that although we love what we do, we also need to make a living and provide enough financial throughput to retire one day, we have no big company supporting most of our expenses.

Black Widow, Romanov, costume, Sashi


Getting photos taken is like having a custom made car made just for you, in a way. That’s the standard business model. Make a product that you can sell millions of, that way it’s kinda affordable and you will make money for the business to pay employees and expand etc. We don’t and usually are not able to take the photos from an assignment and sell millions of copies and make money from them, especially for certain specialized jobs. So usage is kinda like renting a DVD, you pay for time that you are able to rent the movie and watch it and enjoy it. Or that is the principle.

But before I get things horribly wrong, please go have a look at this excellent article on the subject written by experts on the matter – A guide to photography usage terms