Media Buying Resources

Are you sourcing, licensing or commissioning media?

Sourcing media for your company or project may seem easy but it might be more involved than you realise.

picture agencies, museum images, royalty-free, rights-managed, out of copyright, model releases, location release, third party rights, fee negotiation, licence fees, licence terms & length, rights clearances, commissioning a photographer, rates, editorial use, commercial use, credits, creative commons, public domain, copyright exceptions, fair dealing

These are all terms you’ll need to know if you’re sourcing and licensing content.

Be aware

  • You need to make sure you have all copyright and related rights issues in hand - amateur attempts to find images could have significant risks for your business, including unnecessary copyright infringement.
  • Copyright - a legal right for creators to control copying, can be confusing if you don’t know the basics.
  • There are related rights to be aware of too, such as broadcasting and performers rights, as well as exceptions to copyright.



  • The expertise required to manage the procurement of images and the acquisition of rights comes with experience and study.

Professional Picture/Media Researchers can help you source, commission and license images and video for your project/company. Involving them at an early stage of your project planning will safeguard your risk, budget and schedule, as well as enhancing the finished product.

Through the lens – how Picture / Media Researchers can help you

Picture / Media Researchers offer you key services and creativity that will save you time and money, as well as making sure your product/brand is current and up-to-date.

They will find the best, most cost-effective image or footage clip for your project by:

  • Sourcing the most creative options for your particular project, whether that’s book covers, inside pages, digital content, websites, blogs, ads, marketing or promotional;
  • Bringing extensive experience to assist with briefing. They can offer guidance on how best to illustrate the project on a page-by-page or item-by-item basis;
  • Commissioning images or footage to suit your needs, schedule and budget. This includes: briefing, casting, props, planning, photographer or production company, scheduling, locations, releases, permissions, graphics, transcripts, subtitles, call-sheets, sound effects and delivery of final files;
  • Directing you to the most cost-effective sources and negotiate good rates with photographers and image suppliers;
  • Advising on current image trends to ensure your images are up to date.

They will provide images and clips that are ready for use in the required format by:

  • Providing permitted image-editing, manipulation, cropping, resizing, increasing or reducing file sizes depending on required use;
  • Accessing the most appropriate files and resolutions for your product;

They will handle the legal requirements for your images and clips by:

  • Advising on copyright law and the best approach for clearances for your projects;
  • Ensuring assets are cleared for current and future uses, for all platforms, print-runs, and all relevant distribution territories;
  • Advising on any third party or additional clearances, restrictions for any use;
  • Recording and supplying all the credit information required for all assets;
  • Ensuring all contacts made to track down suppliers are recorded and comply with any due diligence required.

Picture Researcher or Media Researcher?

Picture Researchers can help you source, commission and license images, and many of these researchers have had training in searching, licensing, clearing and negotiating footage and audio assets too.

Some researchers deal with images, some with footage, and some do both so it depends what you need as to who you would contact.

With thanks to for providing this guidance.

Picture credit: ©Jane Smith