Before you can even set up photography licensing with your company, you must have a basic knowledge of what legal use rights are. A license is essentially an agreement between you as a photographer and your customer, which outlines how they are able to use the photos you sell from you. There are two main areas of licensing, financial use and non-financial use. Financial use is when you sell your photos as stock photographs with the option to have them licensed so that they can be used commercially. Non-financial use is when you sell your photos as licensed use in either printed format or on your website.

The most common way to obtain photography licensing rights is through being hired by a client to take photos for them. If you do not want to have to sign a full contract with the client, then hiring them to supply you with the photos instead will give you more control over what you are allowed to do. You can also negotiate your own usage levels with the client, which gives you the ability to determine if the user you are allowed is high enough to be worth the cost of paying a photographer.