Selling your photos on the global stock photography market is a great way to get your photography out there, and for people to use and appreciate your work. But as every stock photographer wants to know: What are your photos being used for? And how do you finding where your photos are used?
Google Reverse Image Search
The best way to track down your sold stock photos is to do a Google search by image. Simply upload your image or paste the link location at images.google.com. Note, when you search using an image, your search results may also include similar images, not only sites that use your exact image.
Though Google is a more popular brand, a good alternative is TinEye, which uses a innovative and customisable image search solution.
Search Easier with Plugins
A easy way to search by image is to install the browser plugins for Google Image Search and/or TinEye. You then don’t have to upload or pate the URL for the image. Instead, simply right click on the image in your browser and select ‘search by image’.
Search for Photo Copyright
Doing a online search for your own name can also be a good way to track down the use of your stock photo, since buyers might list your name in the photo credit and copyright.
Improve the search results by searching for the exact phrase e.g. “Nina Jung Myers”. You will then narrow down the search results for that exact name, and not different combinations or single use of either 3 names.
The above points will help you find existing use of your photos. But for future use, add your name in Google Alerts. Make sure to adjust the settings to Any Language, All Regions and All Results. That way you will be notified when any websites, blogs and news outlets in the world use your photo and credit you in the copyright.
Photos used without your permission can be tracked down and pursued legally using services like Graphics Detective. Their services offer to track these infringements and act against them. A lawyer sends a letter requesting a fee between 150 € and 250 € for the unauthorized use. They create automated actions to remove websites from search results, block them from the internet and send notices requesting indemnification. The service is free for the first 100 photographs. The service allows up to 5.000 images.