Help centre: The basics

Help centre

The Basics


Using images for free

In most cases, you will need to buy a licence to use images found on gettyimages.com, including for websites, social media, advertisements, marketing campaigns, corporate presentations, newspapers, magazines, books, web and mobile applications, product packaging and personal use.

You can use an image without paying for a licence with our Embed feature, which lets you use over 70 million photos on any non-commercial website (if you’re using it to sell a product, raise money or promote or endorse something, Embed isn’t for you).

Learn how to embed Getty Images photos

Buying images for personal or home use

Looking for photos for your home, office or as a gift? Visit Photos.com, where you can find a large selection of stunning, expertly framed photography from Getty Images, shipped and ready to hang.

If the image you’re looking for isn’t available from Photos.com, you can get a creative one-time use licence for personal use for things like home décor or a card for an invitation to a private event.

Editorial images can’t be used for personal or home use.

Contact us to get set up with a creative use licence

Licensing photos, illustrations, video and music clips

Every file you download from Getty Images comes with a licence, which allows you to use your image, illustration or video for specific uses over a certain amount of time, depending on the type of licence.

Royalty-free licences allow you to use a file for advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, video productions, podcasts and more, as many times as you want, worldwide. The licence terms and price of our creative rights-managed, rights-ready, and editorial files, on the other hand, are based on how, where and for how long you will use the content.

Depending on who you identify as the “licensee”, either you (the purchaser) or someone else (3rd party individual or company, such as a client) will own the right to use the file as outlined in the licence agreement. Read the full Getty Images content licence agreement.

Pricing photos, illustrations, video and music clips

When you download a photo, illustration, vector, video or music clip on Getty Images, you’re actually buying a licence that gives you rights to use it in your projects.

Royalty-free (RF) licences are generally priced by file size. Rights-managed (RM) and rights-ready (RR) licences, are priced by usage.

In addition to the licence type, the price of the licence is influenced by how you’re paying for that licence — you can buy them one at a time as you go, stock up and save with prepaid download packs (rights-managed images not included), or commit to a larger number of downloads a year through a Premium Access annual plan.

Learn more about plans and pricing

Pay by file size

  • Creative RF photos, illustrations and vectors
  • Creative RF video clips
  • Standard editorial rights photos
Your price is based strictly on the file size you’ve selected and whether you’re buying just that licence, using a prepaid download pack or downloading with Premium Access.

Pay by usage

  • Creative RM photos, illustrations and vectors
  • Creative RR video clips
  • Custom editorial rights photos
  • Editorial video clips
Your price is based on how you intend to use it (factors include media, size, duration, placement, geographic distribution and exclusivity) and can be calculated on the file’s detailed information page or from the basket. You can save your most frequent calculations to make it easier.

Royalty-free music

We offer thousands of royalty-free music tracks and sound effects for the same price, no matter the length and size of the file.

Learn more about Getty Images Music

Using creative images and video clips

Our creative stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips are intended for use in commercial projects like advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, video productions, as well as virtually any other project you can imagine, within the terms of our content licence agreement.

Informed by our unparalleled creative research team, these stunning, art-directed images and video come with our promise that we have all of the necessary model and property releases that let you use the content in a wide variety of uses (in some cases additional clearances may be required).

The licence type your file is offered under has an impact on how you can use it. There are two main types of licences: royalty-free (which comes with our broadest usage rights) and rights-managed (which comes with rights based on your specified use).

Using royalty-free images and video clips
Every image or video clip downloaded with a royalty-free licence provides you with broad usage rights that let you use it for advertising, websites, blogs, presentations, video productions, podcasts and more, as many times as you want, worldwide.

Using rights-managed images and rights-ready video clips
Rights-managed images and rights-ready video clips give you distinctive images and customized rights control for a fraction of the cost of a custom shoot, with full exclusivity also available. But, unlike royalty-free licences, the licence terms of our creative rights-managed images and rights-ready video clips are based on how, where and for how long you intend to use the content. Since you’re paying only for that specific use, you can’t use the image or video in additional projects without purchasing additional licences.

Using editorial photos and video clips

Our editorial stock photos and video clips are, as the name suggests, intended for use in editorial projects.

Shot by some of the leading news, entertainment and sports photographers in the business, our editorial photos and video clips show real-world people, places, events and things and are intended to be used only in connection with events that are newsworthy or of general interest.

Unlike creative stock images, editorial images have restrictions on their usage. They can only be used for newspapers, magazines, editorial broadcasts, non-commercial websites, blogs and social media posts illustrating matters of public interest. Editorial images don’t have model or property releases, so you won’t be able to use these images for commercial, promotional, advertorial or endorsement purposes. Additional restrictions may apply (for more information, refer to the “Restrictions” information on your file’s detailed information page and the content licence agreement).

Search Editorial photos…

Every file you download from Getty Images comes with a licence, which allows you to use your image, illustration, video and music clips for specific uses over a certain amount of time, depending on the type of licence.You do not own the file, but you have the right to use it.

If you use a file in a project without licensing it, you are infringing on the copyright and can be held liable.

Learn more about how copyright applies to you

What royalty-free licences are and why they’re not free of charge

Most of our images and video clips are licensed on a royalty-free basis. This doesn’t mean that they’re free to use - it means that after you pay once for a licence, you can use the file in almost any way you want, as often as you want, forever, under the content licence agreement, without paying the copyright holder a royalty each time you use it.

Purchasing a licence gives you the legal right to use the file, plus it ensures our contributors get paid for the great work they do.

Have other questions? Contact us

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