Stock Photography unicycle pictures

There are companies that sell stock photography who have quite a few pictures of unicyclists for sale. Some pictures are even of MUni and trials, including a few pictures of Kris Holm riding railings on playground equipment. They also have pictures of freestyle exhibitions, mascots riding unicycles, parades, briefcase-toting business people in suits riding unicycles, and even a monkey riding a unicycle.

I was wondering…

  • do we know any of these people (or the monkey)?
  • has anyone seen these pictures in advertisements or other places?
  • how does it work? if you are in one of the pictures, do you get paid when someone buys it?

Getty Images has 170 unicycle pictures (the link takes you to the search results)
(Getty Images has all the pictures described above)

Corbis has 125, but you have to go there and type unicycle into the search box

There are other stock photography sites if you search for them, but the above are the biggest. Also, I would suggest not posting any of their pictures here (a link to the page containing the picture I assume is okay).

In answer to “how does it work?”

The photographer may pay you a singe flat rate fee, or not. If you are in a public place, anyone can take a photo of you without your permission. If the photographer wants you to co-operate to make the picture “just right” then it’s up to you to negotiate a fee.

The photographer then owns the copyright in the picture. The photographer makes “royalties” on the sale of the picture. Royalties to the model are unlikely.

If you are a big enough “name” that you will be recognised by the public as an individual rather than a model, you can exert some control on whether your image is used to endorse products or organisations.

Really well known people like the Beckhams franchise their image rights. Once they can prove that their image has a commercial value of its own, that is the start of being able to prevent other people from using their image to promote products etc. without permission.

Another important concern is that by taking your photograph, the photographer is stealing your soul.

Generally, most pictures you’ll find on a professional stock photography site have model releases. However, if you look at each one of the images on Getty, it will give you more specifics–for example, the Ellen DeGeneres images are listed as “Not released,” which means that you can’t use them without contacting the person (or rather, the owner of the image, which might be CBS or the NBA or whatever), but all of the generic-looking pictures will have model releases. Generic images without model releases aren’t interesting to stock photography customers. KH appears to have released his rights to these images–they are probably throw-aways from the photo shoots for Universe. He may have been paid by the original photographer.

This probably varies a lot from country to country, but without a model release, over here, you can use a picture of a random person in public in an ad or other commerce-generating way, but you are then liable to pay damages to that person if their permission was not obtained.

Kris Holm is a well-known unicyclists, and he’s probably aware that there are images of him available at stock photo agencies (probably at most of them). He most likely knows the photographers and gave permission for their use, though possibly not for free.

There are some really interesting images there on the Getty site. It’s amazing how often we see the image of the business-suited man on the unicycle. Funny how he usually looks like a juggler, uncomfortably fitting into the suit. :slight_smile:

Collections like those serve as a reminder of how many unicyclists are out there, outside of our group here at the forums…

Getty specifically notes that Kris’s images have a signed model release, so he at least is aware that the photographer was going to use them for profit.

Another point to raise is that a ton of what is up at stock photo sites was specifically created for the purpose of stock photography. Businessman on unicycle is a good example of that; you’re hoping that some management consultant dweeb uses it in a PowerPoint or something.

I knew it! And they said I was crazy!

I’ve looked and can’t find where the photographers post the souls for sale.

That’s because we keep them.