That's about what I thought and what I've done as well.


On Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 12:02 PM, Linda Feltner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
In many instances, you are right, one is looking through many images to learn. Depending on the rarity of the species, or the pose/behavior, it might be more obviously derivative. 

I've asked insect photographers for permission when I have no other choice of reference. I either liked the pose, or it's hard to make up without specific information, such as insects in flight. I tell them that I am re-drawing the pose, and would like to use their photo as reference. Most often they say fine, appreciate me asking, and say no charge, but would like to see the finished product.

There are professional photographers that I always offer a fee, because I feel I should support their hard work. I could never, ever sit in blind for 5 hours in the hot sun, waiting for the perfect photo... 

Bethann's inquiry mentioned "specific subjects" so it may be that it is only too obvious where the references originate.

Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
P.O. Box 325
Hereford, AZ 85615
(520) 803-0538

On Aug 28, 2015, at 8:47 AM, Liz Lockett wrote:

This is naive but if you creating a truly unique piece and you are using images for information only, not design or  composition why would you buy them? Unless you felt like you wanted personal copies?

On Aug 28, 2015 9:21 AM, "Britt Griswold" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
A GNSI member has posed an interesting question in the Business section of the GNSI Forums. I would be curious to know what sort of experience other list members have had with procuring permission to use images as reference:


I'm looking for references online for some pretty specific subjects, and the only images I can find are clearly images owned/under copyrights. A couple were produced by photojournalists, from what I can tell. Like us, they probably (rightly) anticipate being compensated for use of their images. :)

So, my questions are:

Are there norms for purchasing reference images (not from stock agencies)"?
Has anyone had any experience purchasing rights to a reference image?
If so, how have you handled approaching the photographer? Is there a standard licensing fee I could propose?
Anything I'm forgetting to ask?

Thanks in advance!



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