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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stock Photography?
Stock photography is existing photography that can be used, according to the licensing terms to which the photographer and buyer have agreed, for print and web ads, in books and magazines, in news, on websites, in brochures and packaging, and in a large number of custom applications. Using an image that already exists saves the purchaser the time and expense of a custom photo shoot.
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How does Steve Marsel Stock work?
Steve Marsel Stock is a Rights Managed Stock Photography collection. You purchase the specific usage of an image for a defined term only. Prices are based on research of current industry standards and trends. Prices are dynamic and are subject to change as new data becomes available.
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Does Steve Marsel Stock publish catalogs?
As part of our ongoing efforts to keep costs low for our customers, we do not publish catalogs. Every image in our library can be found on our website.
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Why should I purchase the use of a "Rights Managed" stock photo and what are the advantages?
A rights-managed license grants you the right to publish an image according to a specified set of terms. These terms include circulation, print run, medium, geographical location, image size and the length of use.
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What browsers are compatible with this website?
Steve Marsel Stock is compatible with Internet Explorer, Opera, Netscape, and Firefox, on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. For best results, we recommend using Firefox.
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How can I purchase the use of an image – a license - on Steve Marsel Stock?
First, you need to register. Click on the “new customer” link on our home page; fill in the form, read the “terms of use” agreement, and then check the box indicating, “you agree” with our terms of use. This is recorded and stored in our database. You will receive a verification email with a verification code. Go back to our home page and sign in as a returning customer. Copy and paste the email verification code into the box.
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Can I purchase a subscription?
Steve Marsel Stock is not a subscription based service. We are a “rights managed” stock photography service. Buyers purchase a license to an image for a specific use and duration. That usage license is priced based several criteria including but not limited to reproduction size, placement, duration or print size run, geographic market, and industry.
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What does “Rights Managed” mean?
Rights Managed refers to a type of contract between two entities (the licensor and licensee), that is employed when licensing the rights to use content such as photographs. The term "Rights Managed" means that the seller of the license is specifically giving permission to the buyer to use the content in a certain way. This typically includes restrictions on the length of time, the medium, the size, the format and the location of use. The more flexible or beneficial rights one purchases, the more expensive the license.
Typically, for an image that has always been licensed as rights managed, the licensor is able to provide a history of usage to a prospective licensee. This can benefit the licensee, because they can be assured a competitor is not using specific content in a certain geographical region.  The history can also provide the licensor with the opportunity to make additional income from offering the licensee an option such as exclusivity within a specific region or industry. If the image does not have a recorded history (it may have initially been sold royalty-free, for example), the licensor would not be able to provide such an opportunity. Again, the rights managed license is merely a set of restrictions placed on the content's use. At its base, it is not a guarantee of exclusivity in any sense. All the images on Steve Marsel Stock are “rights managed”. Every use of one of our images requires an individual license.
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Does my browser need to be able to accept cookies?
Yes. Steve Marsel Stock uses cookies to hold your username and/or password. No credit card or purchasing data is stored in the cookie. The personal information you submit when you join Steve Marsel Stock is stored in our database.
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Can I share my username and password with friends and colleagues?
No. According to our Terms of Use only one user is allowed to use your account. You and you alone are ultimately responsible for the use (or misuse) of your Steve Marsel Stock account and membership.
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Can I read your buyers contract before I purchase the use of an image?
Yes. Our contract may be viewed at the following link.
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What if the site is not accepting my username/password or email address, even though I know the information is correct?
You may be logging in at the wrong site. Members login at: If problems persist contact
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Which currency do you charge in?
All charges and prices are in USD. Your credit card company does the actual conversion to your local currency at the moment of the purchase. Any charge beyond this conversion rate is a surcharge added by your credit card company.
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What is the best way to search for an image?
There is no single best way to search for an image on Steve Marsel Stock. For general searches, type a relevant word or phrase into the yellow search box that best describes the image you’re looking for. For a more specific search, use our advanced search page where you can search by category. Go to “browse all stock photos” at and click on the thumbnail or link of the category that best describes what type of image you’re interested in finding.
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What is a Lightbox?
A Lightbox is used to store a group of images that you would like to eventually download or share with a friend/colleague. You can place images into a Lightbox, and then download the images, or send the Lightbox link to a friend/colleague to review. You are not obligated to purchase images in your lightbox, and it's entirely up to you how many lightboxes you have, although our system limits you to 99 lightboxes.
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How do I write a Model Release?
As with any legally binding contract, it's best to check with a lawyer. The ASMP Stock Photography Handbook includes an Adult Release, Minor Release, Simplified Adult Release, Pocket Release, and Property Release - all available online at NPPA's Business Practices Committee Web Site. In addition, Susan McArtney has a book titled Travel Photography: a Complete Guide to How to Shoot and Sell that includes copies of simple model releases in 33 different languages that can be copied and used. (Seed, 1996)
See The PDN Guide to Model and Property Releases for more information.
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How do I add images to a Lightbox?
You must be a registered user to save images in a lightbox. When you conduct an image search, the results are displayed as miniatures called thumbs (or thumbnails). If you scroll over a thumb, you can add that image to your lightbox by clicking in the lightbox checkbox icon directly beneath the thumb. This will generate a dropdown box, prompting you to “add to lightbox.” If this is your first lightbox, you will choose “new,” and will be able to save the lightbox with whatever title you prefer. Thereafter, you may continue to add other images to that particular lightbox, or continue creating other lightboxes, depending on your needs.

The other way is to click on the image itself, which will bring up the image on your screen to full-size. To the lower left of the image, you will see the light bulb icon and the words “add to lightbox.” Click on this and the dropdown box will come up. Simply repeat the process stated above to save images in a lightbox.
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How do I share a Lightbox with a colleague or a friend?
Once you have created a lightbox, you have the option to email it to a third party. Just enter the email address and click "send".
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I am registered member and storing images in a lightbox -- how long will the lightboxes be there?
Your images will remain in your lightbox for 90 days or until you delete them.
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Can I download the same image more than once?
Steve Marsel Stock does allow a re-download period, which lasts 48 hours after you have completed your on-line transaction.
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Can I download a comp image from Steve Marsel Stock for layout purposes?

Yes. To save a low–res watermarked image for comp ONLY follow these directions:
Mac users click and hold shift and the numeral 4. Drag the target over the image from top left corner to bottom corner of the image. A .png snapshot of the image at it’s display size of 500 pixels should appear on your desktop. You can bring this into Photoshop and save the image as another more usable format like a jpeg or a tiff.
For PC users, click on the image to view your save options. The comp image is free for layout of uses. For other uses you will need to purchase the images.

How can I license a single image more than one usage?
Each additional usage requires an additional license. Choose the image again and enter the additional usage variables into the RMPC (Rights Managed Price Calculator) to get a price for that usage license. Then add that to your shopping cart.

What if I have several usages for the same image or want to license an image with “exclusivity” to a certain industry?
Email us at or phone us at 617-718-7407. We will make every effort to accommodate your request with your budget.

Does the image I download have a watermark on it?
No, images purchased and downloaded will not be watermarked
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If I modify an image, can I claim copyright to that image?
You may modify an image and use it; however, you may not claim copyright to that image under any circumstances. Steve Marsel Stock and its suppliers continue to own all images, whether or not they have been modified.
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What is a derivative work?
US Copyright law defines a "derivative work" as a work that is based on (or derived from) one or more already existing works, is copyrightable if it includes what the copyright law calls an “original work of authorship.” Derivative works, also known as “new versions,” include translations, musical arrangements, dramatizations, fictionalizations, art reproductions, and condensations. Any work in which the editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications represent, as a whole, an original work of authorship is a “derivative work” or “new version.” For more information, please click on this link:
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Can I use images that I download in work-for-hire?
Yes. You can use any photo from Steve Marsel Stock for a customer/client project. It is imperative that you convey to your client that they do not own and do not have the rights other than those rights purchased. Additionally, your MUST convey to your client that they do not, under any circumstances have the right to give or sell the individual images to anyone, at any time
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Where can I use Steve Marsel Stock images?
According to our Stock Photo Licensing Terms you may use the photo or photos you have purchased a license to in accordance with the terms of that license ONLY. Any additional use of the image or images will be considered a breach of contract subject to litigation in the State of Massachusetts, USA.
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Do your images have model releases?
Yes and No. In instances where photos have recognizable faces in them, those people have signed a model release, which is on file in the Steve Marsel Stock offices. Some Editorial photos may not be model released. These Editorial photos will be indicated as not having model releases. Look for a check mark in the Image detail area under the rights managed price calculator.

What is an editorial image?
Editorial images are images that have not been released for commercial use. We do not provide the service of researching and/or obtaining any needed additional releases. Steve Marsel Stock makes no representations or warranties for the use of names, trademarks, logos, uniforms, registered or copyrighted designs or works of art depicted in any Image. You must satisfy yourself that all necessary rights, consents or permissions as may be required for reproduction of any image have been secured by you. Please review the license carefully.
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 Can you contact the photographer and research a particular image for me?
No. Each contributing photographer has the opportunity to write detailed descriptions of each image they post on Steve Marsel Stock. Many of our contributing photographers travel often and may be difficult to contact in a timely fashion. Therefore as a rule we do not contact photographers or research images for our clients. We apologize for the inconvenience.

What size file will I be purchasing and in what format will it be in upon download?
File sizes would be based on Tabloid publications (larger than 81/2 X 11 publications), a larger size than standard use to allow the buyer greater latitude for cropping, or possibly a finer line-screen use (in print reproduction) with less image degradation. See attached sizing reference PDF. The sizes would be as follows:

From our Rights Managed Price Calculator we start with the long dimension in inches and end with the short dimension {the wildcard - it's an unknown, all images are different) in ppi (pixels per inch)

1/8 page or smaller 5 inches x {wildcard} @350 ppi
¼ page 6 inches x {wildcard} @350 ppi
½ Page 10 ¼ inches x {wildcard} @350 ppi
1 Page 14 inches x {wildcard} @350 ppi
Double Page 21 1/8 inches x {wildcard} @350 ppi

These file sizes are larger than necessary to cover the size use purchased. All files are downloaded in Tiff format.
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What is a TIFF?
Tagged Image File Format (abbreviated TIFF) is a universal file format for storing images, including photographs and line art. As of 2009, it is under the control of Adobe Systems. Originally created by the company Aldus[1] for use with what was then called "desktop publishing", the TIFF format is widely supported by image-manipulation applications, by publishing and page layout applications, by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition and other applications.[2] Adobe Systems, which acquired Aldus, now holds the copyright to the TIFF specification. Our TIFF files are resized to an app.

How can I purchase a single image for multiple uses?

How can I contact customer support
The Contact Us link can be found on the bottom of any page within Steve Marsel Stock. Please use our online contact form to send us an inquiry, or email

What is your refund policy?
The return /refund policy of Steve Marsel Stock is 48 hours from the date & time of Initial download or 72 hours if the file has never been downloaded.

How do I remove my email address from your mailing lists?
Just login to your account, and visit the User Login link from the header of any Steve Marsel Stock page. You can opt out of any list from the Members section.

What if I forgot my username or password?
No problem. Visit the Lost Password? link on the customer login page to have your password sent to your email address.

Can I sell templates that include images from Steve Marsel Stock?
You may not sell the images that you download from Steve Marsel Stock. You can use them in design elements, but not offer them for resale or distribution unless the license you have purchased for that image allows it.

An image I saw recently is no longer on Steve Marsel Stock. Why?
Because photographers retain copyright to their images, they have the right to remove a photo from the site at anytime. If you see an image you like or need, it is best to purchase it’s use i as soon as possible.

Can I create an online gallery of your photos?
No. We maintain an online gallery, and users can be referred directly to our website. We suggest that you use a Lightbox for the purpose of grouping and sharing images. The unauthorized downloading of any image from Steve Marsel Stock is strictly prohibited.

Where can I find receipts for my purchases?
Receipts are emailed to you at the time of sale. You can find all of your receipts in your account by following these steps:
1. Login to your account
2. Scroll to “Order History” to view all of your invoices
3. Choose the transaction in question and print it from your computer

If you require further assistance with finding a receipt, please contact Steve Marsel Stock Support at 1-617-718-7407.
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How do you protect my credit card information?
All of your information is stored in a protected database on a secure server in a secure location. Please review our Privacy Policy for further details.

Which Terms of Service apply to my account?
To see which Terms of Use applies to your account, click here.

Can I sell the images that I download?

You may not sell the images that you download from Steve Marsel Stock. You can use them in design elements, but not offer them for resale or distribution under any circumstances whatsoever unless the license you have purchased for that image allows it.