The LightRocket collection on Getty Images
LightRocket is proud to be partnered with the world's leading provider of digital media, giving selected contributors a valuable professional channel for distributing their editorial work, primarily photos, but now also video footage clips.
I want in...
If you would like to be a part of the LightRocket collection on Getty Images, you'll need to subscribe to a LightRocket Power plan. You'll need to be producing a regular flow of high quality and relevant news and editorial features and to have an existing archive on LightRocket of at least 500 images (and/or videos). And you'll need plenty of talent too.
Your application is unlikely to be successful if you don't have 500 images on LightRocket and your application is more likely to be successful if you have lots of well edited galleries that are published on LightRocket.
However, if you are already submitting images to an agency that is uploading them to the Getty site, it is unlikely that your application will be approved.
Before applying, we recommend you do some searches on Getty and compare what you have to offer to the kind of work being uploaded to Getty by their staff photographers, stringers, wires and other agencies. If you are photographing places or events already well covered by Getty, your application is more likely to be declined.
We are now able to submit video footage (short editorial clips of about 10 to 30 seconds) to Getty's video collection - so if you shoot professional editorial video and would like to upload to Getty's site, you would be wise to make one of your galleries a selection of your best clips when you apply.
Tell me more
To help with any questions you may have about the LightRocket Collection on Getty click on any of the frequently asked questions below to get answers:
Applying to Getty
To apply you'll need a Power plan subscription to LightRocket. You will also need to show a commitment to LightRocket as a regular contributor of good editorial imagery, especially news, current affairs and features. You don't have to be a 'news photographer', but it will certainly help your application if the work you upload to LightRocket includes topical stories and work of an editorial rather than creative nature (imagery intended for commercial uses such as advertising).
You must be logged in to make a submission by picking three galleries that you have created and published on LightRocket. For your three picks, avoid repetition and show off what you do best in less than 50 images per gallery. Please note, your application is unlikely to be successful if you don't have at least 500 images published on LightRocket and your application is more likely to be successful if you have lots of well edited galleries.
It is worth noting that if you are already submitting images to an agency that is uploading them to the Getty site, it is unlikely that your application will be approved (they are already getting a feed of your images so it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to sign you up).
Before applying, we recommend you do some searches on Getty and compare what you have to offer to the kind of work being uploaded to Getty by their staff photographers, stringers, wires and other agencies. If the place(s) where you work, or the events you focus on are already well covered by Getty, your application is more likely to be declined.
You should also look at the 'Getty Contributor Agreement Highlights' FAQ section below to see if becoming a Getty contributor works for you.
If you are a LightRocket Power plan subscriber and you are happy with the deal being offered, log in and go to the bottom of this page and press the "Submit my application" button then submit links to three galleries for review.
Getty's editors may take a few weeks before making a decision so be patient and take care not to remove/unpublish submitted work from the LightRocket site as this may invalidate your application. Once a decision has been taken you will receive a notification via email from LightRocket.
If you're accepted by Getty, you'll be sent a form to fill in with your details to be returned to LightRocket by email. You will then receive an introductory email from Getty with details of how to sign up. The final step is to log in to Getty's photographers' portal and complete the signup process online, including filling in a tax interview.
A rejection by Getty isn't necessarily a reflection of the quality of your work. Getty's editors have a number of criteria when selecting new contributors. Your collection might be similar to content Getty already has. Or it may be that your style, though unique and artistic, doesn't match Getty's requirements in terms of what might sell. Black and white photos, for example, while often powerful and artistic-looking are often not easy to market to picture buyers. If your pictures lean more towards the creative/commercial side of things, they probably won't fit with an editorial collection. Or it could simply be that you do not have enough recent work on LightRocket. Getty wants contributors who are going to submit new work on a regular basis.
You can re-apply any time but it's probably best to make sure you've got some strong new work to show before re-applying. Although you submit just three galleries, Getty's editors will often take a broader look at an applicant's work. So before re-applying, and to reduce the risk of another rejection, we recommend taking a long hard look at your existing collection and making sure you have something new for review.
Selling photographs online is a very competitive business. If you're accepted, the financial returns of putting your work with Getty will depend partly on how strong your work is, partly on whether the subject matter you have covered is in demand at any given point in time and partly on the quality of the metadata (captions and keywords etc) associated with your images. Accurate captions and keywords will help potential buyers find your work and increase your chances of making a sale. In addition to all of these factors, it's worth remembering that if you are accepted as a Getty contributor you will have an opportunity to place your work on one of the most successful platforms for digital photography in the world.
Getty Contributor Agreement Highlights
Commercial photo agencies like Getty pay commission, known as a 'royalty', on the revenue they collect for licensing your work. This is a standard model in the photo industry. The percentage commission an agency will take varies however. In Getty's case you will receive 35% of each sale. This is not the highest split in the industry but it is worth remembering that Getty's platform is generally considered to be the most successful. The sales split is the same for all LightRocket members accepted by Getty and is non-negotiable.
No it's not. LightRocket members accepted by Getty contribute imagery and videos to Getty's LightRocket Collection on a non-exclusive basis. The Getty contributor agreement is a blanket agreement for all types of imagery and video footage for all license types. The agreement's default is the right to license accepted images and 'similars' on an exclusive basis. However, LightRocket contributors will receive an amendment document that nullifies this exclusivity - you will be signing a NON-EXCLUSIVE agreement for rights managed editorial images and video.
This non-exclusivity means that if you have images and/or videos on LightRocket or other sales platforms, you are free to submit the same material to Getty too.
You will be signing a one year agreement with automatic renewals for successive one year periods. You can terminate the agreement any time you want by giving 90 days written notice. Getty can terminate the agreement at the end of the first year or at the end of any subsequent yearly renewal provided they give you 90 days written notice.
If you leave LightRocket you'll no longer be able to submit your work to Getty's because you'll no longer be able to use the LightRocket platform for submissions. Whether Getty will continue to market and license your work that was previously uploaded if you terminate your subscription to LightRocket will be at the discretion of Getty and/or LightRocket.
If either you or Getty decides to terminate the agreement, Getty will make reasonable efforts to remove your content from its systems within 90 days. It should be noted that Getty also has a one-time-only right (five times if the license is educational as educational publishers often re-use images in their publications again and again) to renew licenses on essentially the same terms. Getty will continue to pay you for any licenses made during this 90 day 'wind-down' period and for any re-licensing of your work.
Yes. The contributor agreement is a formal contract with Getty. You should be sure you understand it before signing. Though our FAQs are intended to be comprehensive they are not a substitute for a careful reading of the actual agreement which you will need to sign should your application be accepted.
Payment, Licensing Info and Copyright
You will be paid directly by Getty if you have outstanding sales - and your royalties balance is above US$ 50.
When you sign up with Getty, you'll need to provide payment information. PayPal is Getty's preferred payment gateway but if that is not available in your country, they may be able to make an exception. You can always check your sales and your monthly electronic statements by logging in to Getty's online contributors' portal.
Typically, sales are reported about a month after they were recorded by Getty and are then paid about a month after that.
All licenses granted for photos from the LightRocket collection on Getty are 'rights managed'. This means Getty will define specific and limited rights in return for an appropriate fee. Typical measures of usage relate to size (1/4 page, 1/2 page etc), position (home page, cover, inside page etc), print run (if relevant), duration of use and geographic distribution. This allows Getty to retain much tighter control over how, where and by whom your work is used. Remember, though, by agreeing to become a Getty contributor you are empowering Getty to license your work on your behalf. They won't be able to come back and ask if a specific license is OK.
Yes. Editorial publications working on deadlines expect images to be 'pushed' into their systems every day by Getty and other services, so that your images can be seen by editors around the world right away. But rest assured, these feeds are not part of a 'subscription deal', any use by their clients will be subject to fees based on the rights managed pricing agreements Getty has with each customer.
As Getty adapts its business to changes in the industry, it has sought to move into areas where traditional pricing models don't work. This is particularly true where the use of images on the Internet is concerned. The recent launch of Getty's 'Connect' service has created a new opportunity to generate revenues from content viewed alongside ads on client sites or simply based on traffic. Through an API (Application Programming Interface), 'Connect' clients are literally connected to Getty's editorial collection. This sales model is known as 'aggregate licensing'. You will receive a percentage of the revenue Getty receives for views/clicks of your images on a 'Connect' client's site. This will show up as a single line item in your sales report detailing your share of revenue for a given client in a given period. A word of warning though, don't expect a windfall. Individual revenues from aggregate licensing deals are likely to be quite small.
It is standard industry practice for agencies to be able to market themselves and their photographers using the images that are submitted to them without payment. Getty and their distributors will need to be able to use your images to market you and your work. No royalties will be paid on these marketing uses.
Yes. Getty will endeavour to make reasonable efforts to have you credited when one of their clients uses one of your images, but under the agreement, they will not be responsible for any lack of credit. Credits will be in the format:
Photographer Name/LightRocket via Getty Images.
The LightRocket collection on Getty images is purely editorial. Getty won't be marketing your work to commercial clients. However it is always possible that one of their clients will purchase a license for commercial use, provided the image(s) does not require any kind of release or the client accepts responsibility for using an image that does not have the relevant release clearances for commercial use.
Editorial imagery doesn't generally need either model or property releases. Although there might be some instances where the subject matter is sensitive when a consent form could be appropriate.
By signing the agreement you will be authorising Getty to take action, including legal action, against unauthorised use of accepted images and claims relating to copyright infringement. If they do proceed with a claim against a third party, it will be at Getty's expense and they will pay you royalties on any amount received in settlement.
You do. Ownership of your work is unaffected by signing an agreement with Getty. The agreement very clearly states that Getty makes no claim to your copyright. You are merely granting a right to license your work.
If, for example, you are paid for a use of one of your images that is subsequently cancelled by a client and reimbursed by Getty, or you are mistakenly paid for a client's use of somebody else's image, Getty reserves the right to deduct these payments from your future sales, provided Getty has informed you of such overpayment within one year of its occurrence.
Possibly. If you are accepted as a Getty contributor, when you sign up you will have to provide information about where you pay taxes. If you are neither a US citizen nor a resident alien, Getty will have to withhold 30% of any royalties you make from US clients unless there's a treaty benefit between the country in which you pay taxes and the US. If you live in a country where there is no tax treaty with the US, you may be able to claim a tax credit against the amount that was withheld.
What to Submit to Getty
Getty's editors want recent editorial stock photography, features that relate to current affairs and, of course, original coverage of key news events around the world. As a general rule, to improve your chances of making sales, it's a good idea to keep your submissions 'fresh'. Try and establish a regular feed of imagery to Getty. Even though Getty is famous for its news coverage, you don't need to focus on news. Original feature stories illustrating burning issues that aren't yet grabbing the headlines are perfect. Getty wants imagery and features that will capture the attention and imagination of picture editors grown numb from reviewing images pouring onto their screens from around the world.
It's fine to submit older stock but as a rule it should have either a historical or timeless quality to it. There are some generic subjects that don't really change such as pollution, population, indigenous people and culture. Pictures of the natural world, if the subject is unchanged, clearly fall into the 'timeless' category. If you have pictures of historic events - disasters, celebrations, riots, wars etc - you should submit them too. Even pictures that illustrate a particular fashion, style or technology associated with a period of time are ok to upload. So if you've got good pictures of people using Walkmans in the 80s, or wearing flares and tie-dye t-shirts in the 70s etc. upload them for review. It goes without saying that pictures of famous or infamous people throughout history are of course great stock and should be included in your submissions.
Both are fine. If you submit stories, there's more chance Getty will be able to actively market your work. It's much easier to pitch an idea for a story than to promote generic stock. Depending on the type of imagery you submit, your work will have more or less longevity in terms of sales value. If you're shooting a hot news event, you might find there's only a fairly short window of opportunity for sales (until it becomes historical...). So it's probably a good idea to find a balance between timeless stock, current events coverage and photo stories, which are often easier to market.
LightRocket and Getty's editors will decide what goes live on their site. They have a good idea of what is already in the archive, when a submission contains too many similar images and of what sells too. Don't be disappointed if not everything you submit makes it through to the Getty site.
In your archive on LightRocket, files uploaded to Getty will show a small 'g' icon above the thumbnail to indicate it has been accepted. You can also search the Getty site using your name.
The LightRocket collection on Getty is editorial in nature. Editorial content is for informational purposes. This typically means pictures that are in the public interest and specifically not for commercial or promotional purposes. The kinds of clients that publish editorial photos are magazines, newspapers and book publishers. So news coverage is fine, feature stories about real life events are fine as are stock photos describing real situations. Editorial submissions carry an ethical responsibility. Because their purpose is to 'inform', editorial images should be as faithful to reality as possible. Your submissions to Getty must not be digitally manipulated or distorted in ways that could be misleading for the viewer.
If you have editorial videos that are either HD or 4K, they can be submitted via LightRocket. More information will be given if you are accepted as a Getty contributor, but in a nutshell, Getty wants short clips of 10 to 30 seconds, not produced videos.
How to Submit to Getty
File Size - At least 3000 pixels on the longest side. You can of course upload files that are larger than this, but if you are accepted by Getty our system will not allow you to send images that are smaller. Videos must be HD or 4K (exceptions may be considered for older stock video).
Metadata - All images and videos submitted to Getty must contain comprehensive metadata. This means they need to have at least a caption/description, basic keywords (see keywords section below), a country location, copyright/credit and a date.
Quality - You'll also need to make sure your pictures are in focus, have levels and colour balance set properly, are clean - meaning they are free of blemishes and dust and other basic quality controls. You should also check your files are not clipped either in the highlights or the shadows. Videos should be professionally shot with no camera shake etc.
The golden rule when it comes to writing captions is to include the WHO, WHY, and WHAT of the picture (we'll automatically add the when and where for you from the information you supply in the created date and location fields). You should include as much of this basic information as possible in the very first sentence. The more relevant and accurate information you can squeeze into the first sentence of your caption, the easier it will be for clients to find your images - and for you to make a sale. Additional sentences can contain more generic information about the image or in the case of a story or feature, information that pertains to all of the images.
The Getty search engine for editorial pictures puts emphasis on terms in the first sentence of your caption. It helps if you can get as much "who", "why" and "what" in that first sentence. When adding keywords remember quantity is not a virtue. The most important criterion when selecting keywords is the relevance of the term to the meaning of your picture - just because a picture has a tree in the background doesn't make the picture about a tree. Ask yourself would a picture editor be happy to find your image in their search result for that keyword. If you have a named person etc in the picture please make sure you add the name to both the caption and the keywords to make sure Getty's search engine finds the image.
Currently Getty is only accepting images that have metadata (captions, location info, keywords etc) in English.
If you're an accepted Getty contributor you can only upload images via LightRocket. You will need to inform us when you have files or stories that meet all Getty's size and metadata requirements and are ready for upload to their site. We will provide further instructions to accepted Getty contributors.
No - submissions are for Getty's editorial collection so you can't submit images or videos generated or manipulated using any form of AI.
The short answer is, yes, but it's all or nothing - you will not be able to restrict particular images, but can set a restriction for everything you submit. If, for example, you have an exclusive agreement with an agency for a particular territory or country, you would need to inform Getty when you join that all of your submissions should not be made available to clients registered in that territory or country. Once set, there are no exceptions; all of your images will no longer be available to those clients going forward. If you wanted to remove this restriction you would need to ask Getty to change the restrictions for your entire collection.
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