Where Did They Use That Image?

When you sign up to sell stock photography through one of the big stock photo houses like Getty Images, you never know where your images will end up. Even the monthly invoices you get showing who bought licenses of your imagery only provide a hint at where the images will be used. Often an advertising or PR firm is working on behalf of another client, making it even harder to figure out where your pics are going. But with a little sleuthing and some modern technology, sometimes you can figure it out.

I’ve been contributing imagery to Getty Images for almost two years now, and it’s just human nature to want to know who’s using your stuff, and where. Is it someone really cool, like, I don’t know, Nat Geo? (Wouldn’t that be cool!) Is it on a billboard next to an interstate somewhere, or in a new car brochure for a major automobile company? Who knows?

While I won’t reveal the client list for licensed items I haven’t yet found, such as a major Japanese auto maker, a major mutual fund company, a state department of tourism, and a major online bookstore, I thought it would be fun to show you the results of some uses of my images I have found on the Internet through searches anyone can perform using readily available tools.

This first one is in a brochure produced by the largest Czech telecommunications provider, O2. Their brochure, available on their website in PDF format, includes several scenics from mountainous regions. My image from Mount Rainier is the one used on their Roaming page. The text reads (roughly), “Going abroad? Choose the most appropriate tariff and call with confidence…”, followed by rate information.

O2 Czech Republic Roaming

Roaming page in O2 Czech Republic brochure. O2 is the largest integrated telecommunications provider in the Czech market.

The next one is used by a French company to promote their wind turbine project in Oaxaca, Mexico. They didn’t have any of their own turbines built yet, so they used a stock photo of a wind farm taken here in Washington State. I took this image last year on the way to do a photo shoot in The Palouse, a beautiful farming region in eastern Washington. While I was out capturing this image, my friend Janeen was waiting in the car on the side of I-90, expecting certain death by 18-wheeler. Sorry, Janeen!

Oaxaca  Wind Turbine Project

Alstom will install 34 wind turbines in Oaxaca. It will produce in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec over 350 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year by the end of 2014. Alstom is a French multinational company which holds interests in the electricity generation and rail transport markets.

I found this next one on a Chinese website. I thought it was just another case of someone using my images without permission, until I ran the text through Google Translate.

Microsoft Microsoft Windows “Milky Way,” the official desktop themes For Win7-32 ​​/ Win7-64 / Win8-32 / Win8-64 / Win8.1-32 / Win8.1-64 (2014 年 8 released on January 21) Microsoft has released the latest Windows theme “Galaxy” (Milky Way), which contains the most attractive beautiful wallpaper, showing the world a different perspective but also many beautiful Milky Way. Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows RT 8.1, Windows RT, Windows 7 Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise Edition and Ultimate Edition users can download free.

In ancient China, also known as the Milky Way Galaxy, Milky Way, galaxy, star Han, Hon, is milky white light across the sky in a band. Galaxy Aquila and the celestial equator intersect in the North Hemisphere. Galaxy on the celestial sphere sketched out a band of varying width, called the galactic belt, it’s widest point of 30°, the narrowest point is only 4° ~ 5°, an average of about 20°. Galaxy is only visible in the sunny evening, is composed of numerous dark star (star) light caused. Not the Milky Way Galaxy, but a part of the Milky Way. Galaxy contains billions of stars, the total mass is about 6,000 billion to 30,000 billion times the mass of the sun, about 100,000 light-years in diameter.

Aw. Who can get angry about that? It’s funny that I had to go to a Chinese site to find out where the company 10 miles to the north of me used my image. And, since I always trust links I find on Chinese web sites, I immediately downloaded the theme pack!

Microsoft Milky Way Theme

A softly glowing ribbon of stars unfurls in the clear night sky, revealing unique views of the Milky Way galaxy from around the world in this free theme for Windows.

This one’s pretty cool, I think. Oxford University Press is putting out a business book in October called “New Frontiers in Open Innovation”, and my Milky Way image is on the front cover! As far as I know, that’s my first front cover image. I’m pretty happy about that.

New Frontiers in Open Innovation Cover

New Frontiers in Open Innovation, by Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke, and Joel West, Copyright © Oxford University Press 2014.

And finally, my coworker Rajbeer sent me a link the other day to an article in the Huffington Post Travel section, where he found a group of Mount Rainier images, including one of mine with the credit “Ed Leckert via Getty Images”. The fact that this was the third image I’d located in three days made it almost comical. The fact is, I haven’t sold that many licenses.

Huff Post Travel

Mount Rainier Is Beautiful, And It Looks Even Better Under The Stars

I suppose anyone who models is equally in the dark about where their images show up. You sign a contract that assures you that your image won’t be used for anything illegal or immoral, but other than that, you have no control. I remember a few years ago when Getty was closing down their in-house photography studio, they invited all employees to come down and model for photos to be used on the site. And bring your family! Well, my coworker Mike volunteered and signed a modeling contract. A couple of years later, another employee found an ad with his photo in it. Any guesses what it was? That’s right, an erectile dysfunction ad! Yeah, some people have taken to calling him “Ed” instead of “Mike” since then. Not me, though.

So anyway, if you’re ever out there in a bookstore, or running around the web, and you find an image you recognize from my blog here, please let me know. It’s a big world with lots of places to search, and I can’t do it alone!

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2 Responses to “Where Did They Use That Image?”

  1. Interesting…, and nicely done; all such works are feathers in your cap!

  2. Matthew Beasley says:

    This is a very interesting topic! Cool images by the way, congrats on getting them out there.