Frequently Asked Questions
Images - Style and Composition
Image Technical Requirements
Model/Property Releases, Copyright
Commission on Photo Sales
Sales and Image Usage
What are the advantages of registering an account?
Creating an account with PhotoAbility offers you several advantages:
- It gives access to our subscription and credit packages which offer both discounts and ease of checkout for frequent images purchasers.
- All image purchases are preserved in your account which offers both a purchase history and the ability to re-download purchased files in the future.
- Account holders also have access to private collections and galleries and regular updates of new additions to our collection.
How can I pay for my images?
We use PayPal as our primary payment gateway. We offer both the regular checkout and PayPal express.
You may also pay with credit card from the PayPal gateway without creating an account with either PayPal or PhotoAbility. The pay by credit card option is on the lower half of the PayPal payment screen. Do not tick the create PayPal account option.
I can't seem to find what I am looking for, can you assist in selection or sourcing?
We have over 7000 images in our collection and are continually adding new series. If you can't seem to find what you are looking for please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to help you find an image to meet your needs. We can also arrange client specific photoshoots.
I require an image in a different size or DPI than the ones offered, are they available?
We offer a variety of images sizes for our collection. We do retain on file the original supplied files for all of our images. We can supply any size and resolution up to the maximum size of the original image. We can also interpolate files to larger sizes to meet you needs (subject to the quality of original file and the final size and quality required)
How do I download my purchases?
If you a registered account holder you will have an option to "return to merchant" from the PayPal purchase screen. You will be redirected back to your "My Account" screen. Refresh the page to bring up the latest purchase and select the download button against the order. For orders containing multiple images, all of the images are contained within the single download file.
All of your purchases are retained on your "My Account" for future re-downloads.
For "Guest" purchases, on completion of payment an invoice will automatically be emailed to you containing the download link for your purchase. For purchases containing multiple images a single download zip file is supplied.
Images - Style and Composition
What kind of pictures are you seeking to add to the library?
All contributions should represent real life situations and represent models in a setting where they are enjoying lifestyle, travel or leisure activities. Pictures should be taken with quality photographic equipment and have good composition and clarity. All images should showcase the activity or setting, and not just the subject. This site is dedicated to the authentic promotion of people with a disability and all models used must be a model with the actual disability depicted. We have developed a Photo Composition Guide that not only shows the type of image we are after but also includes some helpful composition tips.
If you are unsure if a photo is a good fit for our site, the best thing to do is to just submit it and we will review and give feedback. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Even if the photo is not the quality we require for sales, you may be a good model prospect for a future campaign.
Why does my disability or mobility device need to be visible in photo?
If not, then it will be like every other model used primarily by advertisers and media. We are about inclusivity and we need to portray that in the photos.
Image Technical Requirements
What file size do you need the images to be and should they be water marked?
Full sized images are the images in their original size from the camera or scanner. Size determines what the image can be used for and ultimately the price the image can command. As a general rule images used in print media ie: magazines, brochures or advertisements need to be 8 mega pixels or above. Images used for web or thumbnail images on brochures can be less. Images less than 3 mega pixel are generally not usable. The smallest size of image we will accept is an image of 1024 pixels on its longest side. In addition to image size there is also image quality. Compressed formats such as jpeg lose quality with higher compression settings. The best images are those that are taken with the highest quality setting. Jpeg images lose quality with every edit so original images, as saved from the camera are the best to submit to us.
Images that have been saved to libraries like facebook are not suitable as they have been processed for web optimization and minimum file size and no longer have the quality required for commercial sale.
Because the high resolution images will be used for commercial purposes the images supplied to us should not be watermarked. We will add a watermark to the display image.
I sent my pic and you replied it was too small. What can I do?
Image size is the physical dimensions of a digital picture. It is measured in pixels in width and height, for example, 2048 by 1536. Often size is referred to in mega pixels (million pixels) which is obtained by multiplying the length by the width and dividing by 1 million. In our example the image would be 3.15 mega pixels.
The minimum size for PhotoAbility is 1024 by 768 or .8 megapixels.
Image size is determined by the camera settings. You should always have you camera set to the highest image quality or largest file size. These settings vary by camera make and model but are often referred to as SHQ (Super High Quality) SF (Super Fine) or as a number with an “M” after it. (You should select the highest number “M”)
Once an image is taken its size cannot be increased as the number of pixels is the limiting factor. If we reject an image because it is too small check to see if the original image is the same size.
What about file formats?
Our preferred file format is jpeg at the highest quality setting possible. We can also accept png files and uncompressed TIFF files. Most camera RAW files are also acceptable. Files we would prefer not to have are GIF files as they can be over processed and of web quality only and windows BMP files.
Color Space should be set to Adobe (1998).
Illustrations should be forwarded as a vector file either adobe Illustrator, Quark or pdf. If illustrations have been rasterized the file should be no less than 3200 pixels on the shortest side.
Can I submit images from an iPhone?
In certain circumstances images from mobile devices can yield images of commercial quality. The minimum requirement is from mobile devices that have an 8 megapixel camera or greater. Due to the small sensor size low light performance of most of these devices is not satisfactory for commercial use. Images taken outside during daylight will produce the best images for commercial use.
When downloading images connect the device to your computer and use the file transfer or download software native to your mobile device. Images submitted to the cloud, social media, or emailed are compressed to a too higher level to be used commercially. Please always submit the native file size directly from the device.
How do I upload my images for consideration?
We have two ways to upload images:
The Photographers Dashboard
From your account select "Media Manager" and then select "Upload New Display or Download Files"
The upload screen will then be available with the step by step guide to uploading your images. Please be aware that the system does support multiple file selections from your computer using either the cntl or shift keys. Please also be aware of the 64MB file upload limit.
Depending on your system, ISP and file size the upload can take considerable time, the "status line" will show the progress and please stay on the page until the completed indicator appears.
Our YouSendit Dropbox has been provided to allow for a rapid upload of multiple large files.
Model/Property Releases, Copyright
How does PhotoAbility obtain the photos in the library?
All photos uploaded are done by the owner of the copyright, be it the photographer who has a model release, or the model who has a photographer release. We are not uploading images on our own, and all images have the expressed consent of the copyright owner.
Do I need to have model releases for all images?
As a general rule copyright of all photographic images rest with the person who took the image. Releases can apply in 3 ways.
- If you are the photographer you have copyright over the image. If a person in that image is recognizable then they have to agree to their image being used in the public domain and for the image to be sold. This is done through a model release, normally done at the time of the photo shoot. The release(s) applies to all people who are recognized in the photograph including crowd members in the background. It is good practice when shooting commercial photographs to ensure your backgrounds are clear of people.
Use our standard release if you do not have you own. Please scan the signed release and upload it with you image files.
- If you are the model and wish to sell that image there should be a formal assignment of copyright to you from the photographer.
- A final release concerns the property on which the photograph is taken. Most private and some government owned properties, including National Parks, require formal approval for commercial photography.
- If in doubt or if the property is clearly indentifiable then a property release should be sought.
- If you are unsure on release needs, send the photo and we may be able to assist in getting needed releases.
Remember also that the essence of a commercial photograph is its salablility. Having a property clearly identified in a picture or, for that matter, any brand name or logo on bags apparel or wheelchairs, limits the size of the market for the photo.
What about copyright and usage info in the metadata?
Every image has electronically stored data within the file called IPTC Metadata. That data records the file number, camera, make and model, exposure settings, description, author details etc. Some of data is automatically recorded by the camera and some can be added by image processing software. You can place any data into the metadata fields but you should be aware that keywords, description and the copyright string will be published in the image page. In the absence of your own data we will add keywords, a copyright string and description to the images before they are loaded onto the system to protect your intellectual property and to ensure maximum exposure to the search engines and to enable our systems search function.
Do my images need to be exclusive to PhotoAbility?
No they need not be exclusive to PhotoAbility. You can submit photos that you already have on social media sites like Facebook. Those sites are for sharing your images amongst family and friends and cannot be used by companies for advertising, promotion or marketing purposes. If you have your images on anther Stock Image Library for sale you can still submit them to PhotoAbility, however, non exclusive images will only be added as Royalty Free stock as we cannot guarantee the sales history to potential clients. For more info on royalty free vs rights managed click here
I am a professional photographer and I would like to do a photo shoot with a model for use in your library. Can you help me to connect with a model?
Absolutely! We want photographers to be involved and increase the number of creative and editorial images we have on our site. Please start by completing the Model Casting request under “Additional Services” and we will contact you as soon as possible to begin discussions on how we can work together.
Commission on Photo Sales
How exactly does your photo library work?
Here is a simple illustration that we developed to help people understand how a stock gallery operates.
Are your prices competitive to other photo stock libraries?
Due to the highly specialized and unique, limited subject matter of our photographs, as well as the rarity in finding authentic subjects for these disability related shots, you will notice our pricing will reflect a slightly higher rate than the norm for lower tier micro stock photo sites.
What is your commission structure?
Our base commission rate is 30%. All of our commissions are paid on the gross sale price.
- Less than 20 Images in Portfolio and
- Less than 5 Sales
- 20 - 50 images in portfolio and
- 6 - 10 sales
- 51 - 100 images in portfolio and
- 11 - 20 sales
- Greater than 100 images in portfolio and
- More 21 Sales
Why does PhotoAbility pay 30% to the photographer and keep 70%. What is the 70% used for?
PhotoAbility absorbs the investment costs and risks of well over $100,000 to develop and run a Stock Photo library and provide the opportunity for our photographers and models to sell photos and earn a great commission. The images do not sell themselves, there is ongoing marketing and promotion costs as well spread across a small portfolio of quality and unique images. There is also sales transfer fees and merchant fees of 6% on each sale. We are paying equal to or more than our competitors (see below). Successful models and photographers will earn 45%. We reward those who keep their portfolios up to date with new and fresh images that sell. Our library’s images are priced to reflect the effort and value of producing commercial quality images. Our Images sell from $20 for a web based image up to $3,200 for Rights managed high resolution photos. We are not competing with what is called “microstock” galleries who sell millions of photos as low as 20 for $5. Therefore, even our lowest base commission earn more than the highest commission micro stock gallery. Our minimum commission is $2.40 per image.
Competitor Summary (on NET sales. We pay on Gross sales with NO hidden fees)
- Corbis: 30% - 37.5% (photographer must be invited to submit photos)
- Getty: 20% - 30% (30% on Rights managed images only)
- iStock 15% -45% (Higher percentage is for exclusive image and photographers only)
- Alamy 40% (note: No commission is payable until your sales reach $175)
- Dreamstime 20% - 45% (high commission is on popular images sell in excess of 100 times) 2.5% commission on subscription sales. Images are at bottom end of market, for as little as $2.50 up to $20.
How do I get paid if my photo sells?
Once a photo is purchased, your account is credited with the commission with the sale. At the end of the month you will be paid via PayPal. A minimum commission balance of $10.00 applies.
How do I know if a photo sells?
You will be able to sign in and see sales reports on your account. Sign in under “photographer log in” on right side menu. From your control panel you can select sales reports.
If I win a photo shoot via the contest, any pictures from the shoot if used on the site pays a 10% commission to me as a model. Yet, if I submit my own photo, or upload a photo I have taken as a photographer, I would earn 30%. Why the difference in commission?
We have to compensate the photographer for taking the pictures for the photo shoot, and there is additional time and expense incurred in us setting up the shoot, that needs to be compensated for.
I submitted a photo and it was accepted, how long will it take for me to get paid?
While we are live from March2012, we have been in Pre Launch development phase of procuring images for library. Our official Industry launch is scheduled for Sept 2013 in which we will be investing in Public Relations and Marketing activities to drive sales. Until then we are seeking to seed our photo library with as many quality photos representing our mission as we can. Our mission: More inclusive representation of persons with disabilities in media and advertising. We will be actively marketing our site in as many avenues as possible, including trade shows, web and print based media, public relations and advertising. You can assist us by sharing your photo and our site within your social networks as well.
As a new venture, we cannot guarantee the sale of any photos you submit, or forecast what the sales on the site might be.
Sales and Image Usage
Will I know who will be buying pictures?
Only registered users can purchase pictures on our site. You will receive a sales report on all your photo sales. Our photos are priced for commercial and professional use. There is no “free Images” downloading off this site. The only exception to this is what is called a “comp image” with a watermark, which can be downloaded, and which is the industry standard that agencies use in design and publication mock ups. If a noncommercial entity or person wanted to spend the money and buy a photo for personal use, there is no way we can prevent that. Models, actresses, public figures and personalities accept that their photos are in the public domain. We can, however issue legal cease and desist orders to anyone who uses our photos in a public way that we feel is objectionable or not within the rights provided for use by the license.
Do I have info on who purchases the pictures?
In both licence types we can track who has purchased the images. With RF that is all we know but we do not know to what use the image will be put. With Rights Managed images it is a one time use so for every use we know who has purchased it and what specific application and geographical region the image will be used for.
How much visibility will the pics get and by whom? I wouldn't want anyone stealing it and using it for other motives?
Photos uploaded to PhotoAbility are watermarked for licensee protection, are priced at high end of market (minimum $20 -$3,200 per image), and are intended for use in a COMMERCIAL Modeling Photo Stock Library. We are using latest pricing models, the most advanced image protection and tracing technology, and all photos are licensed for use and cannot be “altered or used to create obscene, offensive or illegal products or services”. Small comp Images (printed to a maximum of 2” x 1.5” and watermarked) are available to be downloaded for test use for comp rough cut evaluation materials and may not be distributed outside company or to the public, may not be placed in any online or electronic distribution system and may not be distributed or made available for use or distribution. Comping images can only be downloaded by registered users and IP addresses of all downloads are recorded. All violations will be enforced through the Digital media Copyright Act (DMCA) process. See license terms and conditions "i.e. contract for sale. http://www.photoability.com.au/licence.html. These terms must be acknowledged by contributors prior to upload onto the site.
Success for the Library and our contributors is to have our images being used in mainstream publications. Brochures, company websites, newspaper catalogues, resort websites, tourism bureau websites, Tourist office information boards, magazines, annual reports etc. worldwide. Images will be in the public domain; this is not a private gallery. The images are watermarked, but only to protect the sale, and thus your commission, not to prevent the images from being used in public. You must appreciate that once an image is sold and purchased by a client or advertising agency that image will be in the public domain in a non-watermarked state.
We appreciate that commercial modeling is not for everyone. Those who already have a public profile via pageants, sports competitions, organizations, professional work, advocacy, or have a public or insecure Facebook pages, are likely to have images in the public domain that are less protected than those in a commercial library.
If you are uncomfortable being a commercial model, do not participate in this project. Images uploaded to site are not to be the type of private personal Facebook images, but commercial images for sale and re-use that will represent people with disabilities. Those who want to model and make a commercial return from modeling should contribute to our library.
Can I specify how my photo will be used?
Photos sold by PhotoAbility are sold subject to our license conditions. The majority of our images are available for instant download once the license fee is paid. Under our RF license the use is unrestricted and we do not keep track of the industry buying the photo. Under our RM license the image use is restricted to the specific applications that were purchased, that includes industry type, specific application (ie press, brochures, web, etc.) and the duration of time the license was purchased for. Under the instant purchase licenses no pre-approval is available.
For unique, high resolution, professional images we do offer a restricted license. The images are not available for instant purchase and no price is shown on the image display. These images are only available by quotation for a specific use. This is available where you want to control the final use of the image. Conditions apply to acceptance of images under this type of license.
Can I download a preview/comping image?
In order to download a comping image you must be a registered customer and must be logged into the system. Once you are logged in a download icon will appear above the image. All file save options are disabled.
High resolution comping images are available on request to registered users.
What is a “License” to use photo mean?
When a customer buys a photo on our site, he is granted a license to use the photo by the owner.
What are the terms of the sales “license?”
OWNERSHIP AND LIMITS OF USE
The MEDIA shall remain at all times the sole and exclusive property of the LICENSOR. In order to protect the rights of the LICENSOR, the LICENSEE undertakes to comply with the following:
(a) The LICENSEE shall not sell, sub-license, loan or otherwise transfer all or part of the MEDIA or any interest therein to or for the benefit of a third party;
(b) The LICENSEE may not modify and re-distribute the MEDIA as part of a product and/or service;
(c) The LICENSEE shall not use or display the MEDIA as part of a digital archive and/or reference source;
(d) The LICENSEE shall not use the MEDIA to create obscene, offensive or illegal products and/or services;
(e) The LICENSEE shall not remove, alter or obliterate any copyright notices found in the MEDIA;
(f) The LICENSEE shall ensure that its personnel, including any consultants, comply with all of the terms and conditions of this License and shall be liable for any breaches thereof.
What is the difference between royalty-free and rights managed images?
Note: All uploads will be royalty free unless specified.
Royalty-free (RF) images are available for unlimited use, in accordance with the license agreement, for a one-time fee. You are able to use the image immediately after purchasing a license and you never have to worry about renewing the license. Licenses for royalty-free images are non-exclusive.
Rights managed (RM) images are available for a specified amount of time for a fee that is determined by intended use. Usage restrictions may apply due to the nature of the subject matter, geography, or the original agreement between photographer and subject. Our "Restricted Use section of the gallery contains those images that require photographer approval before sale. The Image may contain details of the restrictions that apply.
For more information on licensing images, please read the PhotoAbility Content License Agreement.
How can I use “Editorial Use Only” Images?
Images that are marked as “editorial use only” are ones that have not been released for commercial use and may not have the legal releases from everyone identifiable in the photo.The images may be used for articles blogs, presentations and news stories but may not be used to promote or sell a commercial product or service.
Mediums where you can use “editorial use only” images are newspapers, news broadcasts and other non-commercial applications. It must be understood that all images presented in our Editorial section may not be cropped or altered in any way that changes the context or meaning implied by the original photo and may not be used in to slander, demean, criticize or cause harm in any way to those depicted in the image.
Who are your target customers who will be buying photos from the library?
Our customers are advertising agencies, direct marketing and graphic design agencies, corporations, publishers and media companies, small to medium- sized businesses, as well as consumers.
How often are stock images used?
The stock photo industry is valued at 1.8billion dollars a year (2010), In 2004 62% of designers used stock photos and graphics, according to recent surveys that figure has risen to well of 90%.
Why are stock images used?
Many agencies and businesses around the world do not have the time or resources to take their own quality photographs for their media and advertising activities, whether a local press release, publication or massive advertising campaign. That is where a Stock Image Library and your photos come into play. A photo library has a large selection of images to cater for a variety of situations and needs and avoids the expense and time of custom photo shoots.
Who buys stock images?
We maintain relationships with many marketing agencies working in print and web marketing services. We also cater to a wide variety of publications and trade specific industries that are on the look out for fresh stock.
How Much do stock images sell for?
The prices obtained for our images varies on the licence type and the usage.
- RF images are sold on size regardless of their intended use. Currently our prices range from $20 for a web only image to $350 for a maximum size image suitable for printing to a minimum of A4 size.
- RM images are sold on the basis of usage and size of the potential audience that will see the finished product. Currently our pricing ranges from $20 for a web or social media image to $1500 for an image use in a multi-national or global campaign.
Is PhotoAbility a Not-For-Profit?
This is a question we are often asked as there seems to be an expectation that work that involves individuals with disabilities (except medical product sales) would necessarily be a charitable enterprise. PhotoAbility is not a nonprofit or “charitable” organization and are selling images with the expectation that we will grow and be a successful and profitable enterprise for our founders, investors and photo contributors. If we are a success, it will be because people see the value of the service we provide and recognize the growing economic significance of the Inclusive Tourism, lifestyle and Leisure markets. Our customers who make a strategic decision to use our imagery, will see a competitive advantage by choosing to embrace people with a disability as customers.
We believe the images sold in our library will enhance a commercial offering and therefore both our models and photographers are entitled to a commercial return for the effort involved in producing a high quality stock image. We do not ask those involved in our project to give their time and resources for free because our images happen to depict individuals with disabilities. Nor do we expect our customers who purchase and utilize our photos, to do so because it is charitable, but because it makes business sense.
We also do not ask our photo contributors to donate or sell their images at a reduced rate as we believe in the fundamental equality of people with a disability. We believe that every model and the photographers who take their pictures are entitled to a fair and equivalent reward for their effort. We do however, for the purpose of assisting advocacy and nonprofit organizations, have a discount built into rights managed image pricing for such groups who wish to utilize our images in their work or campaigns.
On a side note, our co-founder happens to be a person with a disability who wants to run a successful business and in doing so help others like her earn money through their work via this site. We have and will continue to hire people with disabilities for many of the functions of this site, from web design, to proof reading, to sales. As a "for profit company", we have pledged to give 10% of our profits to organizations that support the cause of disability rights, empowerment and inclusion. All photo submiters can also designate any non-profit of THEIR choice to receive proceeds from sales. So no, our business model is not charitable, it is an entrepreneurial one that chooses to give back and help make a world that is open and inclusive to all abilities.
Do you require watermark on images from Photoshoots prior to sharing on Social media?
For exclusive shoots and internet use, our policy is to always use a watermark images prior to sharing because:
- The images only really provide benefit to the model and photographer if easy credit and contact info exists.
- It reduces the chances of unauthorized or objectionable use.
- All major magazines watermark their images.
- There has to be a difference in value between hi res images for publication and those freely available on the internet.
Where is PhotoAbility Located?
PhotoAbility is a registered Trading Name and Registered Trade Mark of TravAbility Pty Ltd ACN 141 642 515 , based in Melbourne Australia.