I am new to photography and would like to become a contributor to some stock agencies.

I would like to confirm, with a expert, that will shooting my images. My original file's resolution is 5000x4000 in RAW or JPEG.

Is it in order to protect a artist's work that they resize the image (for example 4500x3800) and then submit the image to the selling platform?

Is this the right thought process for protecting a RAW or JPEG and then retaining the original? Is it this simple to retain my own original, just change the size?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What are you trying to protect your work from? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 2, 2016 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


In my opinion it has not much sense.

  • You want to sell "licences" of your photo. It is your photo and you are licencing it to to the buyers to do "whatever" they please (using the terms and conditions the website states).

  • Do you want to licence a lower quality image? Then yes, resample it.

  • If you want to prove for example in court that you took a photo I think there are some better ways to do it than showing a little bigger file size file. For example some test photos of the same shoot, the raw file, the date of registration on the stock site, data saved on the file itself, etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Or just get copyright registration, which in the US (and I suspect some other countries) is de facto necessary to bring a copyright infringement suit. \$\endgroup\$
    – j_foster
    Sep 3, 2016 at 12:10

Short answer, no, there's generally no point in resizing before submitting to a stock agency.

With most agencies, once the customer chooses to buy a photo (actually a license to use the photo; they don't actually get the copyright) and pays for it, they can download the photo immediately. The agency isn't going to contact you to get the high-resolution version because they already have both the high-res and your permission to license it. Whatever resolution you submit to the agency should be the highest resolution you want to sell.

As far as the photo getting stolen, who are you concerned about? Any reputable agency will make every effort to keep people from stealing the photos from the website; they have just as much of an interest as you do to prevent people from using the photos illegally (i.e., without paying them the licensing fees). If you're concerned about the agency staying the photos, you need to find a different agency.

By submitting lower-resolution images, you're actually only hurting yourself. Royalty-free stock sites usually allow the customer to select the resolution they want; higher-resolution images are higher prices. Pricing for rights-managed images for print usually includes the size of the image on the page; larger images cost more but requires a higher-resolution photo. By submitting a lower-resolution image, you're cutting yourself out of the highest pricing categories.

Disclaimer: I've not submitted or sold stock, but part of my job involves researching stock. This answer is based on that experience.


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