Free Photo Licensing Agreement Template

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Last Update April 5th, 2024


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What Is a Photo License Agreement

A Photo Licensing Agreement is a legal form that outlines the terms and conditions for the use of photographs, normally for a drawing, film, or other types of content. 

This agreement is typically used by models, brands, and photographers to ensure that their intellectual property rights are protected and that any use of their images is authorized.

The legal document is used so that photographers and digital artists may safely sell the rights of their images to clients. 

It is also known as an:

  • Image Licensing Agreement

  • Digital Image License Agreement

The Photo Licensing Agreement will explain what the image is and if another party can modify the image. 

The document ensures that clients will not break copyright laws when using a photographer’s image. 

Intellectual Property Right Law

United States intellectual property laws and internationally protect the owners of images (i.e., photographs) from third parties.

By creating an image you are given exclusive rights to the photograph or image you created, and it will remain yours.

If you made an image for a company it will belong to the company unless it is mentioned differently in a contract. 

How to Use a Digital Image License Agreement

If you own an image it is essential to ensure that no one else may use it without your permission. Three types of individuals or entities commonly buy and sell the rights to an image: 

  • Photographers

  • Models

  • Marketing Brands 

If you fall into one of these three categories, you should understand why using a Photo Licensing Agreement is necessary.


If you are a photographer, whether you take photos professionally or simply as a hobby, there are many moments you may be asked for one of your images to be used. 

Therefore, you should determine how the image will be used by the client and how much you will sell those rights for. 


Even though you did not take the photo, you do have some rights to an image. 

You can use a Digital Image License along with a media release form to have a further claim to ownership. 

Marketing Companies

If you work for or own a marketing business or brand you should use this type of agreement, especially when working with photographers. 

By using it you can protect both your rights and the photographer’s rights when it comes to the image.

Consequences of Not Having a Photo Licensing Agreement

If a Photo Licensing Agreement is not in place, there can be problems for the image licensor or licensee.

For example, a third party may use the photographs without permission, or they may use the photographs in a way that is not authorized. 

If this happens, it will be difficult to stop them without an agreement as proof and the following problems will likely appear:

  • Unable to make a profit: Without using a Photo Licensing Agreement you will not be able to sell its rights and make a profit. 

  • No control over use: As a creator, you would have no say in how a third party uses your image. If you own a company and use an image without permission, you risk it being removed. 

  • Lose exclusivity: If you use someone’s photo or image without creating an agreement, you risk other companies and brands using the same image. 

To ensure that you do not face these negative consequences, you should take advantage of our downloadable Digital Image License Contract template. 

What to Include in a Photo License Agreement

To make certain that each party is protected when buying and selling image rights, you’ll have to include every necessary detail

That way there is no doubt about your control regarding the image’s rights and how exclusive or non-exclusive they are. 

To correctly write your agreement, be sure to include the following:

  • Description of the image

  • Licensor and licensee personal and contact information

  • Length of the agreement

  • Billing information

  • Exclusivity

  • Limitations and restrictions

By including these terms and conditions within your form you’ll create an airtight agreement and avoid any legal hassles down the road. 

How to Create a Photo License Agreement

Once you know what terms must be included in your contract, you’ll need to draft your document. 

Follow the steps below to create a well-structured Photo Licensing Agreement. 

  1. Mention the parties involved: Include the names and contact information of the person(s) or organization(s) granting the license and the person(s) or organization(s) receiving the license.

  2. Specify the image’s exclusivity: State whether the license is exclusive or non-exclusive. If you are buying the rights, an exclusive agreement may be more expensive, but you will be the only one that can use it. 

  3. Add the length of time: Include the length of time the photographs can be used for.

  4. Cite permissions: Add the specific ways the photographs can be used, if it’s not unlimited use. Mention any limitations on the use of the photographs, such as limitations on the number of copies that can be made.

  5. Include the fees and payment: Enter the amount of money to be paid for the use of the photographs and when it is due. Also mention how they must be paid for (cash, check, etc.), and whether it will be completed in one lump sum or installments. 

  6. Sign the document: After including everything in the document and accepting the terms, each party must sign the agreement to make it official. 

Make this process much easier by using LawDistrict’s standard digital image license agreement template to create your legal form.

Photo Licensing Agreement Sample

Before creating your Licensing Agreement, it’s recommendable to study a written example

Review the Digital Image License example below to have less doubt regarding how to structure your document.

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photo licensing agreement sample

Other Intellectual Property Documents

Whether you are a photographer, model, or brand owner, you should have as much legal protection as possible when buying rights to media and images. 

Similar documents exist are used to protect intellectual property rights, such as: 

Photo Licensing Agreement FAQs

Creating a legal document like this can be tricky. That’s why we have responded to some of the most asked questions on the subject. 

Below you’ll find answers to some FAQs concerning Photo Licensing Agreements.

What Are the Types of Photo Licensing Agreements?

There are two main types of Photo Licensing Agreements, exclusive and non-exclusive. If you use an exclusive license only the licensee will have the right to use the image.

The photographer or digital artist will still remain the owner even in an exclusive license. 

Non-exclusive licenses let photographers re-issue licenses to other parties, normally through a third party.

Do Image Rights Expire?

Legal rights to images do expire depending on the terms of the agreement that you make with the other party. 

When setting out the length of the contract you will include when the agreement ends, and at that moment the other party’s rights to use the image will conclude. 

At that point, you and the other party can choose to renew the agreement.

A client’s rights to an image may also end if they breach any of the terms of the contract. 

When Do I Need a Model Release Instead of a Photo License?

Even if you are a photographer and own the image, if you photograph another individual and use it for commercial purposes, you will need that model’s written consent. 

Without the model’s approval, you will risk violating their right to privacy as well as using their own likeness.

Therefore, you should use a model release form when using someone else’s likeness.

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photo licensing agreement sample

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Preview of your Photo Licensing Agreement

Photo Licensing Agreement
Before using or buying the Photographic Image from the Seller, it is important to carefully review these terms and conditions. By purchasing or using the Photographic Image, you acknowledge and agree to abide by the terms and conditions outlined in this Agreement. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, please refrain from using or buying the Photographic Image from the Seller.
This Agreement, referred to as the PHOTO LICENSING AGREEMENT, is dated as of the _____ day of _____________, 20____.

the Seller, _________, of _________
(the "Seller")


the Buyer, _________, of _________
(the "Buyer")

(individually the "Party" and collectively the "Parties")

The Parties enter into this agreement on the basis that the Seller will provide the Photographic Image to the Buyer and the Buyer will pay the Purchase Price to the Seller, along with other valuable consideration. The Parties hereby acknowledge the receipt and sufficiency of said consideration. The following terms and conditions outline the agreement between the Parties:
Photographic Image
1. The Buyer shall be provided by the Seller the photographic image or photographic images owned by such Seller. The photographic image or photographic images are described below (the "Photographic Image"):     - _________
2. The Photographic Image is the exclusive property of the Seller and is protected by copyright law. Except as explicitly permitted under this Agreement, the Photographic Image may not be copied, published, or used in any manner. The Seller retains the right to utilize the Photographic Image on the Seller's website and for the Seller's own marketing and advertising endeavors.
3. The Buyer will be provided the Photographic Image by the Seller on 05/19/2023 (the "Contract Start Date"). This Photo Licensing Agreement shall be renewed daily (the "License Term").
Permitted Use
4. The Buyer shall only use the Photographic Image as provided in this Agreement.
5. The Photographic Image may be used by the Buyer for non-commercial and personal use only. Further, the Buyer shall be subject to the use restrictions provided in this Agreement (the "Permitted Use") during the License Term.

6. Non-commercial and personal use means that the Seller allows the Buyer to display the Photographic Image on their personal computers and may print it for personal use. The Seller also allows the Buyer to display the Photographic Image on their websites if the Buyer does not alter the Photographic Image, includes a reference or link to the Seller’s website, or gives credit to the Seller.
Restrictions on Use
7. The Photographic Image shall not be resold, sublicensed, or redistributed by the Buyer, except as provided in this Agreement.
8. The Photographic Image shall not be used commercially by the Buyer to earn money, for marketing or advertising purposes, or as a trademark, except as provided in this Agreement.
9. The Photographic Image shall not be used by the Buyer in a defamatory or obscene way.
10. The Photographic Image shall not be used by the Buyer, and allow to be used by any third party in a manner prohibited by the laws of the United States.
11. The Photographic Image shall not be altered by the Buyer.
12. The Buyer shall not allow the use of the Photographic Images by others, download it, or redistribute the Photographic Image, except as provided in this Agreement.
13. The Seller will be paid by the Buyer for the Permitted Use of the Photographic Image the following amount: $_________ (the "Purchase Price"). This amount shall be paid by cash by or before the following date: 05/19/2023.
14. The Seller declares and warrants that the Seller has full legal rights and title over the Photographic Image described in this Agreement to grant its use and that this Agreement does not infringe the rights of third parties.
15. The Seller provides the Photographic Image "as is" to the Buyer. The Seller, and its officers, employees, agents, and suppliers, do not provide any warranty, whether express or implied, as to the Photographic Image.
Liability & Indemnity
16. The Buyer agrees to indemnify, defend and hold the Seller harmless from any third-party claims, losses, damages, liabilities, penalties, punitive damages, expenses, legal fees, or costs of any kind or amount whatsoever arising from or related to the Buyer's use of the Photographic Image. The Seller shall not be liable for any such claims, losses, damages, liabilities, penalties, punitive damages, expenses, legal fees, or costs, whether incurred directly or indirectly by the Buyer.
17. The Buyer agrees to indemnify, defend and hold the Seller harmless from any third-party claims, losses, damages, liabilities, penalties, punitive damages, expenses, legal fees, or costs of any kind or amount whatsoever arising from or related to the Buyer's use of the Photographic Image, or its officers, employees, agents or suppliers, or the Buyer's breach of this Agreement. The Seller shall not be liable for any such claims, losses, damages, liabilities, penalties, punitive damages, expenses, legal fees, or costs, whether incurred directly or indirectly by the Buyer, or its officers, employees, agents, or suppliers, or the Buyer's breach of this Agreement.
Expiry or Termination
18. This Agreement shall continue in full force and effect indefinitely in accordance with the renewal terms set forth herein, unless terminated by either Party as provided below.

19. Either Party may elect not to renew this Agreement by providing written notice of non-renewal to the other Party at least 14 days prior to the renewal date. In such event, this Agreement shall terminate at the end of the then-current term, without further liability or obligation to either Party, except for any obligations that by their nature survive termination.
20. If the Buyer fails to comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the Seller shall terminate this Agreement immediately.
21. The Buyer acknowledges that the Seller may cancel this Agreement at any time under the following circumstances:

    a. If the Buyer fails to make a payment when it is due; or
    b. If the Buyer becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy.
22. If the Buyer uses the Photographic Image without authorization and infringes on any copyright, the Seller may immediately terminate this Agreement and take legal action.
23. The Seller shall require the Buyer to stop using the Photographic Image and delete all copies of it at the expiration or termination of this Agreement.
Intellectual Property Rights
24. The Seller retains all intellectual property rights in the Photographic Image, including the sole copyright to the Photographic Image. Nothing in this Agreement shall operate to transfer, assign, or otherwise grant any party any right or interest in the Seller's intellectual property rights or affect ownership by the Seller of intellectual property rights concerning the Photographic Image.
25. Any use of the Photographic Image, under any conditions not specifically allowed for in this Agreement, may constitute a violation of federal copyright law or international copyright agreements.
26. The Seller prohibits the Buyer from falsely representing that they are the original creator of the Photographic Image.
Export Laws
27. The Buyer must comply with applicable export laws to purchase a license for the Photographic Image.
28. The Buyer shall not ship, transfer, or export the Photographic Image to any country in a manner prohibited by the laws of the United States or use it in any manner prohibited by the laws of the United States.
29. If there is a conflict between any provision of this Agreement and any law of the United States (the "Act"), such law shall apply, and the Agreement will be amended, or the provision will be deleted to comply with the Act. Further, any provisions of the Act are incorporated into this Agreement.
30. If any terms or provisions of this Agreement are determined to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Agreement will not be affected, and each unaffected term and provision will remain in full force and effect.
Governing Law
31. This Agreement will be governed by and construed under the laws of the United States, without regard to the jurisdiction in which any action may be instituted. The Buyer agrees to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of the State of Alabama to bring any action or for the enforcement of this Agreement. However, the Seller reserves the right to commence legal action to obtain injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction.
32. The Seller prohibits the Buyer from assigning or transferring the Agreement or any rights granted within without the prior written consent of the Seller, and any attempted assignment or delegation without such consent will be void.
33. The Agreement will inure to the benefit and be binding upon the Seller and the Buyer and their respective successors and assigns.
Agreement of Parties
34. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the Seller and the Buyer concerning the subject matter hereof, and there are no further items or provisions, either oral or otherwise.
35. The provisions contained in this Agreement cannot be changed except by the signed and delivered written consent of both Parties.
General Provisions
36. Headings are inserted for convenience only and are not to be considered when interpreting this Agreement. Words in the singular mean and include the plural and vice versa. Words in the masculine mean and include the feminine and vice versa.

37. Unless otherwise stated in this Agreement, all terms used in this Agreement shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Uniform Commercial Code in effect in the State of Alabama on the date this Agreement is executed.

38. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, and facsimile signatures shall be deemed to be original signatures and shall be binding.

39. All monetary amounts referred to in this Agreement shall be in United States dollars (USD). Payments shall be made under this Agreement in USD unless the Parties agree otherwise in writing.

40. Time is of the essence in this Agreement.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties have executed this Photo Licensing Agreement on this _____ day of _____________, 20____.


_________ (Seller)



_________ (Buyer)

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