Licensing High-Quality Images For Commercial or Publication


About - Licensing Thomas Schoeller Imagery

I have an extensive portfolio of high-quality OPEN EDITION photographic imagery that may be of interest for publication use and various commercial licensing applications. My imagery has been published in major nationally sold magazines, calendars, published books, internationally sold jig-saw puzzles, and even for popular TV program sets. If you have interest in licensing my imagery for purposes including commercial, publications, advertisement, reproduction agreements, or media usage, please be sure to read my policies and guidelines below. *Note that I do NOT license my work to be printed as Fine art prints, ever*

Every image on my website, subsidiary websites, and Social media is © Thomas Schoeller Photography, LLC. - All Rights Reserved. In addition to THIS (my homepage website), I manage a subsidiary website hosted on Fine Art America/Pixels. From the subsidiary FAA/Pixels website, a more condensed variety of Open Edition artworks are available to purchase as art prints, high quality JigSaw puzzles - coffee mugs, and 5x7" note cards. I also use the popular photographers website called Flickr for additional exposure. No matter where you come across my photographic artwork online, I always retain the copyright and intellectual property rights.


All uses of my photography - for any reason, including but not limited to publication, commercial, or private use, are subject to fees, and a One Time Limited Use - License agreement contract. For anyone interested in Licensing my Photographs - contact me directly.

I am a self-managed photographer, I am not represented by a micro stock agency by choice. I manage and negotiate my own license agreements with each potential lessee on a case-by-case basis. You will always deal directly with myself, and you won't find my imagery on third party stock photo websites. I am in no way obligated to agree to terms I am uncomfortable with, and I reserve the right to decline any inquiry for any reason. I need time to review ALL request to license my work carefully before proceeding.

Many variables and factors come into play when it comes to product licensing and pricing. Factors such as the intended use "personal, commercial, editorial", the Print Run (if applicable) the length or duration of of time requested for use, the size needed, geographical "local, national, international", online or offline, will attribution/link back be allowed.

All my image licensing is handled on a case-by-case basis. I reserve the right to charge a license fee as I see fit for the purpose and length of time of the license agreement.

Typical fee based licensing uses may include, but are not limited to the following:

- Magazine publications

- Calendars

- Brochures, Pamphlets, or Business Cards

- Books

- Website uses, including website banners or visual content

- Blog articles

- Commercial Advertisement / Anything used to sell or promote a product, property, or business

- Travel Guides

- Corporate Holiday cards

- Billboards or Graphics in public places

- Reproduction Agreements / for Large Volume Reproductions including hotels, airports, military bases & Health Care Facilities - normally arranged by Art Consultants and Interior designers.

- Real Estate (this falls under commercial advertisement)

Disclosure of Full Details and Contact Information

In the event you wish to license any of my copyrighted image files, it is imperative that you furnish a comprehensive list detailing the specific intended use of my photographs. To safeguard my personal assets, I require your full CONTACT information, including your name, company details for commercial purposes, complete address, as well as both an Email address and telephone number where you can be promptly reached. Please be aware that providing this information is vital, as it enables me to follow up on your inquiry with additional questions necessary for determining licensing fees. Your cooperation in this matter is crucial for a smooth and secure licensing process, and for determining the appropriate licensing fees.

A Word On Copyright Infringement - Plagiarism - Terms, Laws, Civil Penalties and Ethics

The complete body of my work, including all text (copy write) and © photographs, are protected by Title 17 of the U.S. Code on Copyright law. It should be known that a photographer does not need to register their work with the U.S. Copyright office for that work to be protected by copyright! In general, anyone found liable of civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay the actual damages (the fees normally charged to clients for the usage and period of time) and not more that $30,000.00 per work infringed for EACH usage. Courts reward upwards of $150,000.00 per work infringed.

Not a single photograph in my extensive portfolio is in the Public Domain, nor have I placed provisions on my © photography for use as a Creative Commons license.

All unauthorized uses / copyright infringements are subject to legal action as well as civil & criminal penalties. Unauthorized use also includes "breach of contract" by using my photography in any way that is not specifically included in our license contract. In addition, copy/pasting or screenshots from the internet to use for your own personal needs or commercial endeavors is strictly prohibited. When we discover a usage of my photography without authorization (we will and do find my images using plagiarism tools and reverse image searches), you will be legally obligated to reimburse the FULL value dating back to the start of usage as well as my legal expenses.

Placing Your Own Watermark Over My Intellectual Property

If you screenshot my photography and add your own copyright watermark, you are in double trouble because this is what's called plagiarism. That is an attempt to use another's "work/intellectual property" and passing it off as your own. Whenever I find my work being used illegally for commercial gain, you will find yourself in serious legal trouble, and you'll owe significant fees to reimburse my losses & legal expenses, as well as your own legal fees.

Resolutions To Avoid Serious Legal Proceedings

If you come to realize that you have been using my © protected photographs ANYWHERE without my expressed authorization, and we have "not yet" sent you notification, or you find that your license agreement is now out of date, there is a possibility this can be resolved without the serious implications and additional legal expenses. *If you are contacted by myself, or a legal representative acting on the behalf of Thomas Schoeller Photography, it may be too late*

It would be best for you to CONTACT me directly, and notify me of how/where you are using my imagery. By opening up a correspondence in this manner, I am willing to reward honesty and it may even be possible that I'll allow you to continue using the image while avoiding accumulating legal expenses. We will first need to determine the amount of time that the image(s) have already been in use, since you already owe me for past due fees. Keep in mind that we do NOT prorate my licensing fees. If you claim usage of my works for a few months, you will be paying the traditional 12-month fee that I charge.

Next, we can choose an intended time period for continued usage. Oftentimes, I'll offer to replace a pixelated screenshot for a better quality - optimized for web use jpg image. I use the same criteria when deciding if I'm comfortable in allowing the image to be used as I would for a new inquiry. I also require proper attribution and in most cases a hyper-link back to my website.

About Licensing Agreements

It is also important to know, when "licensing" imagery from a photographer, you are NOT purchasing, "buying" or ever taking ownership of the image or the Copyright. You are "renting" the photographic image (intellectual property) for a pre-determined length of time. I will never, and have never granted perpetual, worldwide rights in any license agreement.

Moving forward, the licensed imagery can only be used under the exact conditions set forth as stated in the license agreement contract. Licensing contracts regulate every detail pertaining to the usage of the image and prevent the lessee from transferring the imagery or our contractual agreement to another (3rd) party. In addition, the lessee will never own the Intellectual property rights of that image at any time. Any imagery licensed from myself will be deemed non-exclusive, and non-transferable.

Each image requires a "One Time Use - Limited Time" license agreement that I will provide directly via invoice. The only circumstances I don't provide my own contracts are for well established - nationally distributed magazines and calendar publications that have their own boilerplate contracts. Again, using my image files to reproduce (print) my artwork as Fine Art or wall décor is strictly prohibited.

What Is A Reproduction Agreement?

This is an agreement between myself, and either a Corporate Art Consultant or an Interior Design Specialist. The relationship between art consultant and artists is one of mutual respect. Typically, they represent clients that are looking to install a fairly large number of fine art prints at commercial (business), lending institutions, residential, medical facilities, or in the hospitality (lodging) industry. I only allow Open Editions to be reproduced in this manner.

A one-time, non-exclusive reproduction agreement will clearly state the agreed upon number of "reproductions" of any specific artworks, and that no more reproductions can be made without the expressed written consent of myself. It's my policy that I don't stray far from well established commercial art consultants that have excellent reputations.

There is a significant risk allowing a private party to have control over my master high resolution digital image files. Therefore, it bears repeating, I don't allow people to use my image files to reproduce (make prints) as Fine Art or their own wall décor.


First, allow me to express my advocacy and unwavering support for ALL artists. I have served as an advisor for the Connecticut Art Gallery and held the positions of Director of Photography and Art Show Judge for the Kent Art Association. I support the arts, regardless of the genre'.

Here is an example of how this frequently plays out. I receive occasional requests -- by artists -- to use my photographic images as a "reference" to make their own derivative artworks from. My highest level of concern is an artist that intends to reproduce my artwork as realistically as possible - which is known as photorealism. The end game, in most cases, is to benefit only themselves & to monetize the results. The legal definition of this method is plagiarism, the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

Upon completing their photorealist derivative, often to be reproduced as art prints for online sales through commercialized print on demand websites, the artists engaging in this process approach me with diverse and sometimes audacious requests. As they endeavor to persuade me of their perceived harmlessness of their actions, the climax of their plea often includes the rather insincere offer of "giving me credit." It's a gesture that, despite its intent, falls far short of any meaningful acknowledgment or compensation.

In the early days, those initial requests from artists seeking to use my photographic works as a basis for derivatives were somewhat flattering. Yet, over the years, I've gleaned invaluable lessons from these experiences, realizing that such arrangements have never tilted in my favor. While my easy-going nature and willingness to assist fellow artists have often made me receptive to such propositions, the discomfort has clearly grown. The notion of being asked to essentially "donate" the fruits of my labor for a mere mention of my name is unequivocally unacceptable, and insulting. This approach exudes a condescending aura, suggesting that the meticulously crafted fine art photographs I produce are somehow less "worthy" than the genre within which the soliciting artist operates. What may have long ago seemed flattering, has evolved into a realization that my creative endeavors deserve more than being overshadowed by derivative works.

I am consistently amazed by the incredible and awe-inspiring talents exhibited by artists across various mediums, and I hold profound respect for their original creations. To gain a fuller understanding of this situation, let's momentarily shift perspectives. I would never approach an artist, asking to photograph their original works with the proposition of providing full credit, only to subsequently attempt to monetize the images I captured of their unique artwork. It's essential to maintain a reciprocal appreciation for the creative endeavors of fellow artists and uphold the integrity of their original contributions.


The imagery on my website isn't just a simple click of the shutter that gets uploaded to an online gallery. The journey begins with a modest investment for travel expenses. The costs includes flights, vehicle rentals, food, lodging, and in some cases a photo assistant. Afterwards I'll spend hours of my time processing and preparing the image files for print. That doesn't begin to add up the tens of thousands of dollars I've invested into professional equipment to create all of the imagery I have in my collections.

In addition to my personal financial expenses, there is also blood & sweat equity. This begins with advanced location research, many miles of hiking and waking up at ungodly hours to get my butt on the road and hit the hiking trails to trek to my planned destination. Now let's add in all of those close encounters with Bears, really pissed off Moose & Elk, the trips and falls, foot blisters, sunburn, wrong turns on the trails, and getting caught at high altitudes during lightning storms while hiking in and out to get the shot I dreamed of.

So before any artist creates a derivative artwork from my own, there is a proper and reasonable way to go about this. First, you'll need to CONTACT me directly and allow me time to review your request. I may have questions to follow up with, and might even enjoy a chat by phone. If I'm satisfied with the situation and approve, the following step would be to LICENSE the imagery from me. I'd be happy to create a workable agreement with the artist that fairly compensates both parties and go over all of the details together.