What is a Royalty Free License?
All of the photos on this website are sold as a Royalty Free License. This means that once you purchase a photo, you are granted permission to use it as art reference as many times as you like without further permission and without having to pay any additional fees. Royalty Free Licenses usually come with guidelines set out for you as to the allowed usage of the photos and you can find more information regarding the usage of the photos on this website in the Purchase Agreement. Please note that the copyright for all of the photos always remains with the original photographer.
What methods of payment do you accept?
At the moment Paypal is our only accepted method of payment. Paying by Paypal is highly secure, it is also one of the fastest and most convenient ways to makes payments online.
If I use your wildlife photos as reference for creating artwork, can I sell that artwork?
Yes absolutely, you have permission to sell your artwork and also any prints/reproductions produced from your artwork. If you wish, you may also enter your artwork into competitions, display it in galleries or exhibitions, and have it licensed. Basically, when using one of our photos as reference for creating a piece of art, you have the freedom to use your artwork in whatever way you would like.
Can I copy a photo exactly as it is?
Yes, when using any of our photos as reference for your traditional artwork you have permission to copy or trace a photo exactly as it is.
How do I access my member area?
When you log into your account, you will automatically be in your member area where you can view everything aussociated with your account. Once logged in, you are always able to access your member area by clicking on your name at the top right of the website.
How can I view my shopping cart?
Your shopping cart can be viewed at any time by clicking on the shopping cart icon in the top right of the website.
How do I get to the checkout to pay?
The checkout can be accessed at any time by clicking on the shopping cart icon in the top right of the website.
I have just bought a photo but I don't know where it is, how do I get it?
When you buy a photo which is not as part of a subscription, right after you make the payment a page appears where you can download your photo from, and also view the invoice for your purchase if you wish. You will also receive an automated email with a link to this page (be sure to check your junk mail folder if it's not in your main inbox). For non-subscription downloads you can also download the photo/s you have bought by logging into your account and on the left click 'Orders', then click on the order number and then to the right of the photo thumbnail click 'Download'. Then save your photo/s to your computer/device.
When you download a photo using a subscription, the photo automatically downloads and you then save it to your device.
If for whatever reason you need to download a photo again at any time in the future, which you have previously bought, just find the photo on the site and click download. A message will appear to say that you have previously bought this photo and there is no charge to download it again, then click download.
How does the Subscription work?
When you have bought/paid for your $10 subscription, you are then able to download 5 high resolution photos of your choice. Make sure you are logged in before downloading a photo. Once you have found a photo that you would like to download, just click the download button and then another box will appear. Click the little white circle to say that you would like to use your subscription (the final download button won't activate until you click this). You will also see how many downloads you have remaining and the expiry date for the subscription. Then click download again and the photo will automatically download to your computer/device where you can save it.
Once you have bought a subscription, you have 31 days to download 5 photos. Each subscription will expire on the 31st day, at the same time it was bought, so be sure to download all of your photos within that time. We advise that you download all your photos before the last day to ensure that you use them all in time, as any downloads not used will not be credited once a subscription has expired.
You can also view the details (expiry date and number of downloads remaining) regarding your subscription/s in your account, by logging into your account (or if you are already logged in just click your name at the top right of the site), then clicking on 'Subscriptions' on the left. Once you have downloaded a photo and saved it to your device, you can use that photo whenever you like for your art reference.
Please note: The subscription is not a recurring payment, it's just a one-off payment and you can keep coming back to purchase more subscriptions whenever you need to.
I bought a subscription but when I tried to download a photo I am not given the option to use my subscription?
Please make sure you are logged in before downloading a photo, as otherwise the site won't recognise that you have a subscription. If you are logged in and continue to have trouble, just get in touch.
Can I buy more than one Subscription at the same time?
You are very welcome to buy more than one subscription in the same transaction, just add them individually into your shopping cart and you are able pay for them together. Don't forget, you have 31 days after buying the subscriptions to download your allocation of photos.
My subscription expired a few days ago and I still had one download left on it, please could I be credited with another download?
Once a subscription has expired, it can no longer be used and any unused downloads will not be credited.
I have bought a photo but my computer crashed and I need to download it again, am I able to do this without paying for it twice?
Yes. If, for whatever reason, you need to download a photo again that you have previously bought, you are able to do this free of charge. Log into your account and on the left click 'Download History', here you can view all of the photos you have purchased. With our current site template however, it's unfortunately not possible from here to link through to where you can download it. For photos downloaded using a subscription you would need to find the photo on the main site again and click download, a message will appear to say that you have previously downloaded this photo and there will be no charge to download it again. Then click download again.
If you didn't download the photo using a subscription, log into your account and on the left click 'Orders'. Click on the relevant order number, this will open up your order page, then to the right of the photo thumbnail click 'Download'.
Please note: We cannot guarantee that a photo will remain on the site indefinitely, for example if a photographer decided to remove one or more of their photos for whatever reason. This however does not affect your rights to use a photo for reference if you had previously bought it.
How do I view photos which I have previously downloaded?
Login to your account and on the left click 'Download History'. Photos that you have downloaded will be viewed as a list of thumbnails. The photo thumbnails can't be clicked on or re-downloaded from here, but as stated above you can find the photo on the site again if you need to re-download a previously bought photo.
Is it possible to have a 'wish-list' option to save favourite photos?
Yes, on the site this is called a Lightbox (see below).
What is the Lightbox option for?
A lightbox is where you can save your favourite photos. So if you see any photos that you may like to purchase at a later date, just save them to a lightbox. In order to see the lightbox icon under the photos you need to be logged in. You can create several lightboxes in your account to file different sets of photos if you wish.
To save any photos to a lightbox, just click on the light bulb icon under the photo thumbnail (make sure you are logged in) or if you have already clicked on the photo, just click on the lightbox icon under the photo. To remove any photos from a lightbox, click the lightbox/lightbulb icon under the photo and you will be given the option to delete that photo.
Once logged in, you can view your lightbox/lightboxes at any time by clicking on the lightbox button in the top right of the site.
What is the email / envelope icon for under the photos?
This is a way for you to email yourself or anyone else a link to a photo on the site.
Can I use your photos to create digital artwork?
Hand painted digital artwork using a photo as reference is allowed. We do not allow digital edits/manipulations of a photo or digitally painting over the photo if this is to sell on or share. You may edit/manipulate a photo if it is to be used as reference only. If you are unsure please get in touch with us.
What format are the photos stored in?
All of the photos are stored in JPG/JPEG format.
Once I have downloaded a photo, is it just me who can use that photo or can others download it too?
The photos are not exclusive, all of the photos are available to all of our members at any time. Therefore is it possible for other members to download the same photo as you.
Is it possible to see all the photos from a particular photographer in one gallery?
Yes, on the menu bar click 'Contributors' and you will see a list of all the contributing photographers on the site, in alphabetical order using the surname. Find the photographer, click on their name and then click 'View Media'.
Do I need to give attribution/credit when using one of your photos as reference for my artwork?
Although attribution is not compulsory, it is very much appreciated. If you would like to credit us/give us a mention when posting your artwork online, that would be fantastic. A credit for the photographer as well would be great too. Just check what is written in the copyright section on the site of the photo that you used, as our site contains photos from several different photographers. It will say the name of the photographer followed by '@ Wildlife Reference Photos'.
We are always happy to return the favour, if you give us a mention on Facebook when you upload your artwork, just share it to our timeline for us to see and we'll share it on our page https://www.facebook.com/wildlifereferencephotos.
Can I use the same photo for more than one purpose?
Yes. For example, if you're using a photo as reference for creating a drawing, you can use the same photo as reference for creating a painting.
I'm a tutor/teacher and would like to use a photo as part of my lesson, is that allowed?
If you're a tutor and would like to use a photo as part of a tutoring lesson/course, in which your students use the photo too for the purposes of the class, please get in touch with us. You will need to purchase a Tutoring Licence which will allow all of your students to use the photo for a fair price. You would download the photo as normal, then get in touch with us to let us know how many students will be using the photo, we will then send you an invoice for the additional Tutoring Licence fee. The cost of this licence for one photo is $1 per student.
If you are using a photo simply for a tutorial video, and not sharing the image for others to use, there's no need to purchase an additional licence. If any of your fans/followers would like to use the same image, they would need to download the photo themselves.
Do you offer refunds?
Due to the nature of the product, digital downloads, once you have purchased a photo we are not able to offer a refund. This is because a digital download cannot be returned like a physical product can and so a refund policy would leave it open to abuse if anyone requested a refund and then still used the photo anyway.
We may make an exception in certain circumstances, if you are not satisfied with a photo you have bought please let us know within 14 days of the order date.
Information and FAQs for Contributing Photographers
NOTICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: Jan 2020: We will be taking a temporary break from accepting new photo submissions, this is just to allow us to perform some site maintenance. This notice will be updated when we are accepting again.
Can anyone contribute their own wildlife photos to sell on the site?
Anyone is welcome to submit their photos, but these are not automatically offered for sale on the site. All photo submissions are reviewed by our administrators who decide whether or not a photo is suitable to be added to our database and offered for sale. We pride ourselves on our quality control to ensure that our members get the best experience.
If your photos are approved, they will then be added to the site. Members will be able to start downloading them and you can start earning from them.
How much do Contributors earn if their photos are accepted onto the site?
Contributors earn 50% commission on all downloads of their photos. For individual downloads, contributors will earn $2.50 per download. When a photo is downloaded as part of a subscription, contributors will earn $1 per download.
How are Contributors paid for the download sales of their photos?
All Contributors are paid monthly by Paypal, on or around the 15th of each month.
How do I submit my photos to the site?
If you are new to the site, you will first need to create an account by clicking 'Create an Account' in the top right of the site. In order to submit photos, you will need to select the 'Contributors Membership'. With this membership plan, you are able to submit your photos and also download/buy photos if you wish to.
If this is your first time submitting photos to us, we recommended submitting no more than 20 to start with. Once we have gone through those, you will get a better idea of the standard and the type of photos we will accept. It will save your time by avoiding sending photos which are not likely to be accepted.
If you already have an account with us under the Basic Membership and wish to submit your photos, there's no need to create another account. Simply log into your account, click 'Edit Account' on the left and under the Membership section click 'Edit'. Here you can change to the Contributors Membership, where you are able submit your photos as well as buy photos.
- It is very important that you own the copyright to all of the photos that you submit. Please do not submit photos which were taken by someone else.
- Photos need to be clear, sharp and high resolution - between 2mb and 12mb in size. No larger than 12mb please, to ensure the smooth running of the site.
- Photos must be submitted in JPG/JPEG format.
- Please do not include watermarks.
- Please do not submit photos which show any kind of logo or trademark, or a person's face.
- Take the time to edit your photos so that they look the best they can. Whether that's upping the contrast a little, brightening or altering the colours. It could be the difference between making a sale and not making a sale.
- Add all of the details (as described below) - Titles, Keywords, Gallery and Copyright. This is very important as adding these details enables members and visitors to find your photos. Any photos missing these details will not be added to the site until the details are all there.
- Be sure to add the correct title to your photos, naming the exact species. If you're not sure of the species, spend a little time researching to ensure that you don't label your photos incorrectly.
Follow these steps to submit your photos
Select 'Add New Media' followed by 'Add Files' then select the photo/s that you would like to submit. Once you have added all of the photos that you would like to submit, click 'Start' in the bottom right. The uploading process may take several minutes depending on the quantity and size of the photos.
(There are two uploaders that the site uses, 'Java Based' and 'HTML5/Flash Based'. Either is fine for uploading photos, it just depends on which works best for you and the device you are using. This can be changed by clicking 'Edit Account' and under 'Preferences' click 'Edit' next to 'Batch Uploader'. Here you can change between the uploaders if one doesn't work for you, then click Save.)
When your photos have finished uploading, a new box will appear entitled 'Add Media Details'. The first category 'Album' enables you to create albums in your account for your photos, if you wish to. These would be your personal albums for storing your photos, they are not the galleries that appear on the main site.
The second category 'Galleries' are the galleries that feature on the main website. If the photos that you have uploaded are all of the same subject and can therefore all go in the same gallery, for example Leopards, then please select the appropriate gallery. If your photos are of different kinds of animals, leave this section blank for now but please make sure you add the photos individually to the appropriate galleries once you have submitted them, by clicking on the 'Edit Details' icon (far left) under each photo in 'My Media'. If there isn't a gallery that your photo belongs in, please select the 'Miscellaneous' gallery. For adding bird photos to galleries, please do not put them in 'Birds' as on the site this is where the different bird galleries are shown. There are some galleries to choose from which are listed under 'Birds', for example 'Birds of Prey' and 'Waterfowl'. If your bird photos don't belong in the galleries listed, please add them to 'Miscellaneous Birds'.
The next category 'Details' enables you to add the title and keywords for your photos. Again, this can only be done at this stage if the photos that you have submitted are all of the same subject. For this reason, and for adding to the site's galleries, it is better to submit photos of the same subject together. For example, if you have 10 tiger photos, 10 lion photos and 10 cheetah photos, we would recommend submitting them in batches of the same subject so that you can add them to the appropriate gallery and then add the title and keywords at the same time before submitting.
For the title, this must only be the exact species of the animal and please use capital letters at the beginning of the subject words. For example, write African Elephant instead of african elephant. Be specific where necessary - If you have a tiger photo for example, write which species of tiger it is (Amur Tiger / Bengal Tiger / Sumatran Tiger etc). Or for example if you have a bird or butterfly photo, find out the exact species and if necessary do some research to ensure that you don't label your photos incorrectly. For the description, if you wish you could add a brief description to accompany the photo/s but this is not compulsory. For example, if you photographed an animal in the wild you could mention this, or simply a little more information about the animal. Some artists prefer to use photos which have been taken in the wild, so if yours have then this would be worth mentioning.
For the keywords, enter a few words that are relevant to your photos (separate the keywords with a comma) then click 'Add'. For lioness photos the keywords would be: lioness, lion, big cat, africa, predator etc. For lion cub photos, the keywords would be: baby, lion cub, infant, juvenile, africa, big cat, etc. Please add descriptive keywords where necessary to help members find a your photo more easily. Words such as drinking, growling, running, resting, looking up etc, depending on the type of photo. Or for photos which include movement, be sure to include words such as movement and action. Basically any words you can think of to describe a photo, words which someone may type in the search bar if they are looking for something in particular. Also add your name to the keywords so that our members are able to find your photos by entering your name in the search bar. Keywords are very important as they help people to find your photos. Then, for 'Media Types' on the right, select the box for 'Photos'. The final category, 'Pricing', doesn't need to be altered as this is the same for all photos on the site. Don't forget to click 'Save' when you have added all of the above details.
Your photos have now been sent to our administrators and will appear as 'Pending Approval' in your account. If your photos are approved by our administrators, the 'Pending Approval' notice will disappear from the photos when viewing them in 'My Media'. This means that your photos have been added to our database and will shortly be offered for sale on the site. Any photos which have not been accepted will appear in the 'Failed Approval' section. Please don't be dis-heartened if your photos are not accepted, it just means that they are not suitable for this particular site which is aimed at providing quality reference photos for artists. You are welcome to continue submitting photos. Don't worry if after a few days your submitted photos have not yet been checked by our administrators. We receive hundreds of submissions but be rest assured that your photos will be seen.
* So that members and visitors can find your photos, it is important that you put your photos in the correct gallery, and add the title and keywords for each photo. If you are not able to add these details before you submit your photos, for example if they are all of different animals, then please make sure that you do this as soon you have submitted your photos. To edit all of these details once you have submitted your photos, simply go to your account member area then click 'My Media' and under each photo there is an icon for 'Edit Details' (far left icon). Don't forget to click 'Save' in the bottom right of the box after adding new details.
Adding Copyright information to your photos
Once you have submitted your photos, you are then able to go back and add the copyright information in the same section as the titles and keywords, so that your name will appear on the site when your photos are clicked on. Go to 'My Media' and underneath each thumbnail photo, there is an icon for 'Edit Details' then go to the 'Details' section. For the copyright, please write your name followed by @ Wildlife Reference Photos. For example, Jo Bloggs @ Wildlife Reference Photos. By entering the copyright information, it means that your name will appear next to your photos every time they are clicked on.
How do I access my member area?
When you log into your account, you will automatically be in your member area where you can view everything associated with your account. Once logged in, you are always able to access your member area by clicking on your name at the top right of the website.
How long will it take for my submitted photo/s to be approved/failed?
Hundreds of photos are submitted to us each week and we look at each one individually, so we can't say exactly when your photos will be checked. It could be within the day, or a couple of weeks. Adding all of the correct details to your photos will speed up the process.
How will I know if any of my photos have been downloaded/sold?
To keep track of your sales, simply log into your account member area and on the left hand side click 'View Sales'. Here you can see which of your photos have been downloaded along with when they were downloaded and the commission you will receive for each download. At the bottom you will see the total that you have earned which is split into 'Paid' and 'Unpaid'.
Why were my photos Failed / Rejected?
All of the photos submitted are individually viewed by our administrators, and generally the main reasons why photos are not accepted onto the site include:
- Not a high enough resolution
- Lacking detail or clarity
- Too 'grainy'
- Poor lighting (too saturated / too bright / dark)
- Unappealing pose, expression or angle
- It may also be that we have very similar photos already on the site
We may sometimes give the exact reason why a photo has not been accepted. In your member area you can click on where it says 'Failed Approval' in red text above the photo to see if a reason has been given. We get hundreds of submissions every week and so are unable to give the reasons for each and every photo, but we try to do this for a few.
Photos may also be failed if you have not entered the details (the title which needs to be the exact species, gallery and keywords.) If this is the case and the photo would have been approved with details, we will write that you need to add the details.
Failed photos will be deleted from our database each month.
How do I add my Paypal account?
Contributors are paid monthly by Paypal, so you will need to add your Paypal email address to your account. To do this click 'Edit Account' and then scroll down to 'Contributor Settings', then on the right click 'Edit'. Here you can enter the email address that is associated with your Paypal account, then click 'Save'.
All payments to contributors are made in US dollars, so if your Paypal account isn't up set accept payments in USD, you may need to manually claim/accept the payment for it to go into your Paypal account. If this is the case, be sure to claim the payment within 30 days or it will automatically get returned to us.
Will I have my own Gallery on the site?.
Your approved photos will be added to our database and go on the website along with all of the other photos. You will also have your own profile in the 'Contributors' page on the menu bar, where all of your photos can be viewed. If you wish, you can also add an avatar/photo to represent your profile, add your website and a biography. To add/edit any of these details, just log into your account and on the left click 'Edit Account'. We also promote contributing photographers on our Facebook page.
Your profile information
On the website for others to see, your profile will show when you became a member. It is also optional for you to add your company name and location. If you wish, you may also add an avatar/photo to represent your profile (we currently have an issue with the avatar upload process so please contact us if you would like to upload an avatar), add your website and a biography. When adding a website to your profile, be sure to include the http:// (or https://) before your website address, otherwise it won't load. To add/edit any of these details, just log into your account and on the left click 'Edit Account'.
Can I remove my photos from the site if I decide to?
If you would like any of your photos removed from the site, please contact us and we can do this for you. Photos which have been failed during the approvals process will be deleted by us each month, once they have been failed for a few weeks.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.