Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Finding Yourself

One of the downsides to licensing images through a royalty free agency is you are not always aware of when an image is used. This is because the nature of a royalty free license means that an image can be used multiple times without additional payment. So an image licensed to used in a book may later be used on a website to promote that book.

A few times the licensees have contacted me to tell me my work was going to used. But most of the time I have to rely on my own investigative abilities. There are several ways to find images in use.

Image Search

This is one of the easiest ways to find my work. First I go to the sales page at one of the agency's that represent my work. On that page there is a thumbnail of each image along with licensing data. I place my cursor over the image and right click. From the menu I select "Search Google for this image". This opens a new tab with websites and listing where that image is found.

This can also be a great way to find people who are illegally using my work.

Targeted Search

If I'm looked for printed credits then I can type my full name in quotation marks. By putting my full name in quotation marks the search will bring up only listings that have all the words in the marks. A standard search will bring up any listing that has any of the words in the search bar.

When I exhaust that list I run the search again using only my first and last name in the quotation marks. This brings up other listings where the licensee may have shortened my name for some reason.

Category Search

Google allows for searches in various categories. This can be helpful when I'm looking specifically for credits. Under the search bar there are categories like News and Images and More. I select More which opens a drop down menu. From there I select Books.

Now Google will search only books which have the words in the search bar. The books will so up as previews with an image of my name in the credit. If the credit is in near the image then I am able to see which image was licensed, if not then I will look up the book in a bookshop or in an online store to see if there is a "look inside" feature which might show me the image. In some cases the image is obvious because it's the book cover.

There are other ways to find yourself online but these are the three I use the most. Happy hunting!