So this is how they're using my images?! - Dreamstime

I've always been curious (and maybe a little apprehensive) about where and how the photographs I've submitted to Dreamstime are being used-- and now with reverse image search functionality in Google (Google reverse image search) (and built into Chrome browser , as described here), I've been merrily finding out!

Most of them make sense, as in the case of a toad photo I took at the local aquarium.

I suppose I wonder why they didn`t just take their OWN photograph at their own aquarium. I`d like to think they just preferred the expertise and care I took in shooting and editing my particular capture! (A library using my toad photo)

Sometimes, I see the pictures turning up in an unexpected scenario: (a surprise book cover!)

I`m reluctant to inform my models of some of the photo usage examples but I do have more respect for the bravery it takes to pose for stock photos ( and I`m not even including the case of that poor girl who appeared on the Obamacare website). I admit I feel satisfaction when I see a favourite photo being used in a worthwhile way; I feel more connected to the work when I see a direct result of the effort poured in.

(a cute blog using my pumpkins photo!)

So far I`ve been lucky and I haven`t seen any photos being used without permission, so I`ll continue to track the pictures just out of curiosity and amusement.

Hope everyone is enjoying the year`s end and here`s to more photographic adventures in 2014!

Photo credits: Alphonse Leong.

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January 17, 2014


Thank you so much for this post! I'm fairly new to stock sites but I have had my first sale and it was such a buzz finding my photo published on a website ( As time goes on I'm hoping that I'll be able to find my images else where :)

January 14, 2014


My husband doesn't thank you because I've spent two hours looking up my images :) Seriously, though, that is very good information. Thank you!

January 11, 2014


Wow, I suppose she won't be sitting for any more photos?! Or has she gotten over it?

January 11, 2014


My sister in-law is the poor girl from the Obamacare site. Talk about a nightmare few months!

January 10, 2014


Thanks for reminding me, I had forgotten about it, and when I used it, within minutes I found the used on an image with the DT watermark still present, kind of flattering to see that you produce images good enough to have them stolen... But on a positive note I also found others and was happy to update my list of credits. Happy New year and keep shooting!

January 09, 2014


Isn't it about time the name of the purchaser or the nature of use was shown in the sales section for us photographers?? Can't be that difficult for Dreamstime to do can it? Having suffered at the hands of image theft It would help clean up the industry's act and be helpful for a photographer in targeting a specific market.

January 07, 2014


oh, if the dreamstime logo is still visible, then it's likely being used without permission and you should notify Dreamstime!!

January 05, 2014


Thank you for sharing this. I was also curious and came across my image used on this site
It was strange to see the DT logo still recognizable on the image and even more strange that there is note at the bottom of the article "PHOTO BY MARK Villante PLASTIC SPORTS PHOTOS" - Maybe he is referring to the images in the gallery.

January 04, 2014


You're welcome, I think you'll find nice surprises!

January 03, 2014


Thank you for this I have wondered what my pictures were up to and now I can find out. Thank you .

January 02, 2014


Thanks! I didn't know about this. About to go find out where my photos have been used...definitely will feel more connected to the process this way!

January 01, 2014


I have seen many of my pictures used, however not always without issues.

I had one model who was hired, full release signed etc, who did not like the way her picture was used, she complained, and whilst I took her pictures off sales, there was nothing legally she could of done.

I have also had pictures stolen off web sites that have bought my images, so I was paid once for an image that was used three times by others, these cases are still on going.

On a happier note, several pictures have been used in youth social education books about drug abuse and sexual issues. I would willing of given these pictures for free, if they have changed just one young persons life for the better.


January 01, 2014


Yes is really nice and good to see your photos where are used...Thank you for sharing!

December 27, 2013


Alphonse, very interesting points you make. The photo of the girl on Obama's Health Care web site looks great to me. These Christians in the USA who object to universal health care aren't Christian at all. What a country the richest in the world and you are bled white if you are sick. David.

December 27, 2013


Yeah, always exciting to see how the images are used :-9

December 26, 2013


thanks! yes, true, cooking sites tend to pick out a lot of the pics :)

December 26, 2013


fun article and glad you are finding your work. ive only found one of mine so far! GOOD IMAGES!

December 26, 2013


From time to time I go to check on Google images, and I have found images used without my permission and with the DT watermark... Is a good thing to do, and on the other side you get the satisfaction of seing your work in many places.

December 26, 2013


Yes always good to see your photo, being used (legally) somewhere.
Most of the times, I find my photos either in some cooking websites or travel blogs and sites

December 26, 2013


Always nice to find out how images are being used.

December 26, 2013


Thanks, I found it very useful.

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