Royalty-Free License

Royalty-free, or RF, refers to the right to use a copyrighted image without the need to pay for each use, time period of use, or other usage terms. Essentially, the buyer has a one-time right to use your photo(s) without many restrictions. Specifics vary by the licensing agreement. 

If you choose to sell your images as royalty-free, they are delivered electronically through your PhotoShelter website, and the sale and fulfillment process is totally automated by PhotoShelter. Unlike rights-managed images, royalty-free images have relatively loose restrictions on their usage.

When checking out, buyers will be prompted to agree to PhotoShelter's Royalty Free Image and Film License Agreement, though you may choose to upload your own personal licensing terms to supplement ours (learn more in Configuring Your Payment Processor, step 4). Note that a buyer never buys the copyright to the image, just the right to use it.


Creating a Royalty-Free Pricing Profile

1. Head over to your Pricing Profiles by selecting Sell > Pricing Profiles from the Navigation Bar.  

2. To add a new Pricing Profile, click the Add Profile button in the upper right. 


3. Then click the Royalty-Free link in the popup window.


4. Name your Pricing Profile and provide an internal description (optional) for your own records. Optionally, write a public description to be displayed to buyers upon checkout. 

You can also choose whether you want to require buyers to enter a shipping address at checkout by checking off the checkbox next to Require shipping address.

Note: Because there is no physical shipment, we recommend requiring a physical shipping address upon purchase. Otherwise, only a contact email will be required to transact.


5. Under Sizes/Prices, set your desired pricing for each downloadable size image you want to make available (the longest dimension possible is listed). If you don't want to offer a size, don't enter a price. Optionally add a description that will be displayed to buyers.  


6. Click Save Pricing Profile to commit your changes. 


After you have created a Pricing Profile, you need to apply it to your galleries or images that you want to make available for royalty-free licensing. Check out our detailed Applying Pricing Profiles tutorial to learn more.


Licensing a Royalty-Free Image

A look at what happens when your buyer licenses a royalty-free image. 

When a buyer selects images on your website that are priced for royalty-free sales, they are prompted to select the size that they need, depending on the options you've made available. When they check out and provide their credit card, your payment processor (PayPal, Stripe, or merchant account) receives the funds automatically.  

PhotoShelter then generates the file they purchased from your original file and emails them the download link. The file is available for download for 10 days from a secure area after purchase.

Note: There is no review process by the photographer for royalty-free sales, so please ensure that you have uploaded high-resolution and high-quality images before pricing them for sale.



A few additional things to be aware of regarding royalty-free licenses:

  • PhotoShelter will always generate a JPG and embed IPTC metadata into the file.

  • If your image is too small, the size options may not be applicable - for example, if you have priced a medium-sized download (1500 pixels), but your image is only 1200x900 pixels. You can get around this by picking a royalty-free size that is no larger than your image, or by pricing the Original Size option.

  • Image sizes will only display to buyers if your original file dimensions exceeds the pixel dimensions listed next to the size.


Still have questions? Contact us.