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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here you find answers to the most common questions you might want to ask about stock photo licensing, the Symbiostock network, or imago borealis. However, please feel free to contact me.

imago borealis – The Site

Symbiostock is a rapidly growing network of interconnected individual sites of photographers and illustrators each selling their own stock imagery. Because imago borealis is a proud member of Symbiostock and because we are all linked together through Symbiostock you will get search results from imago borealis and from the whole Symbiostock Network when you use the search bar (top right) or search tags (on image pages). One search, many artists. And all are set up to deal directly with you in very similar ways.
  • Easy Symbiostock network search So searching here will return results from my imago borealis portfolio as well as many more from the network. You can also use our central search page, symbiostock.info, where advanced search features like orientation, copy space and color can be applied. You search more than 200,000 images network wide and a click links you to the artist who can fill your needs. Better yet, add the Symbiostock search engine to your Firefox search options.
  • Support the artist, buy direct On Symbiostock websites there are no subscriptions or credits to purchase in advance. You pay only for the images you need at the size you require. There is no middle man either. You support the artist directly. It is fair trade.
  • Like the idea, share the word Like our Facebook page and share on your own. Come back regularly, watch Symbiostock grow, find new content and share your Symbiostock experience.
Why should you buy a license to use my photo(s) here and not from one of the big well-known stock agencies where you can find many of my photos as well? Your benefits of buying direct from the artist through imago borealis are:
  • No advance payment You just pay for the photo licenses you need. There is no advance payment for credit schemes or subscription plans.
  • Fresh and exclusive content My most recent work is available here months before it becomes available elsewhere. Watch out for photos marked “exclusive” or look them up in the Premium Gallery. These photos are exclusive on imago borealis. You won’t find them elsewhere to license.
  • Personal communication Do you require a variation of a photo or custom editing? Want a discount on a photo package? Need photographic coverage of a Yukon place or event? Just contact me to discuss your proposal.
  • Fair trade The big well-known stock photo agencies increasingly exploit the artists that fill their libraries with outstanding work. The industry low currently held by iStock grants artists as low as measly 15% of your purchase price. On imago borealis and on the Symbiostock Network there is no greedy middle man. Your purchase supports the artist direct, 100%, no cut, just fair trade.
You can browse and search stock images on imago borealis and the connected Symbiostock network in different ways:
  • Use photo galleries If you use the Photo Galleries provided under the top menu item “Stock Photos” or as an alternative the Photo Galleries Overview pages you can browse my stock photo portfolio on imago borealis fast and inspiring. Hovering the mouse pointer over an image will show you a larger preview and by clicking on a thumbnail photo you get the image page that shows you full stock photo description, size and price options, as well as a selection of similar stock photo that might better suit your needs.
  • Use the search box To make it easier for you, our customer, to find the right image we on the Symbiostock Network are all linked to each other. The entire Symbiostock Network will be included in your search depending on the availability of images matching your keyword(s). This means if you do a search for “winter wonderland” you will get a page where my winter wonderland stock photos appear first and then those matching stock images from my Symbiostock network neighbors. If there is still not enough stock images to show you, the entire Symbiostock Network will fill in. So when you click on their stock images an exciting journey through our Symbiostock network begins since the same “winter wonderland” search will bring up different results and new discoveries on different Symbiostock member sites. Of course, my ambition is to have the pictures you desire on imago borealis but if I do not I can offer an alternative where you can purchase directly from the artist.
  • Use the central network search You can also use our central search page, symbiostock.info, where advanced search features like orientation, copy space and color can be applied. You search more than 200,000 images network wide and a click links you to the artist who can fill your needs. Better yet, add the Symbiostock search engine to your Firefox search options.
You can freely browse and search all stock photos on imago borealis without registering. In order to purchase a stock photo, however, you are required to register. All you need is your e-mail address, a user name and a password of your choice. Your social media credentials are fine, too. It is required for payment processing and providing a secure area for your download(s). Your data will not be used for any other purpose. See also imago borealis’ Privacy Policy.
When you try to login with no or wrong password you get an error message with the link Lost your password?. Follow instructions to reset your old password and you will then receive an e-mail with a personal link where you can enter a new password. You may then land on a profile page that you can ignore as entry of additional data will have no real effect. In the top left corner you will find a link that brings you back to imago borealis. Too complicated? – Contact me.
You can use the social media “Follow Me” button at the right side of the browser window to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Co. However, if you want to be informed when I upload new stock photos to imago borealis your best option are RSS feeds. Watch out for the little buttons. You can use them to subscribe generally to imago borealis (do it right here: ). Or you can specifically subscribe to a certain photo gallery (do it on the Hierarchical Photo Gallery List. You will receive a notification in your RSS feed reader every time I upload a new photo to imago borealis or to the stock photo gallery of your choice. Contact me if you need help setting it all up.

Payment Processing and Stock Photo Download

You have found a stock photo you like and want to download it? Great! It is easy and takes only a minute. The steps below assume that you are on the stock photo page that shows all info about the photo you selected including size, price, and license options and shows a big green “Checkout” button:
  • Login or register This is required for PayPal payment processing and for providing you a secure space that holds your purchased stock photos and provides links to download them to your computer. Click on the “Login / Register” button on the top navigation bar. Register with login name, e-mail address and password or use your social media credentials. If you registered earlier just login with your login name and password.
  • Select size and license When you are logged-in you can select the desired size and license for your stock photo. Be patient, some browsers behave somewhat sluggish, here. If you are unsure what you need check size n price and read about the two license options and what they permit you to do with the stock photo file. Contact me if you’re still lost.
  • Click “Checkout” You are transferred to your personal Customer Area, where you can review your choice(s). Continue shopping, log out, return later, you can check the contents of your personal Customer Area anytime by clicking on your user name on the top navigation bar (after login). If you are done shopping accept chosen license terms and click “Pay now”. You are transferred to PayPal and you can pay for your purchase via you PayPal account or with any major credit card even without signing up with PayPal. When your payment is being processed you automatically return to your personal Customer Area for your stock photo download(s). Sometimes you need to wait a moment for PayPal to confirm your payment to imago borealis. When that happens you need to refresh your browser for your download link(s) to appear. You will also receive an e-mail with the download link(s). if not check your spam folder. Don’t worry in the unlikely event that everything fails. You can always contact me.
  • Download your photo file(s)
  • Downloads from imago borealis are all jpg files in highest quality (least compression) setting.
  • For specialists: Most stock photos on imago borealis are shot as original RAW files and processed and/or edited as 16 bit AdobeRGB images, then converted to 8 bit sRGB jpg files. So, if you need stock photos in AdobeRGB or any other color space just contact me. Most likely, it will be possible.
Unfortunately, a watermark is necessary to protect my copyright. But it is visible on imago borealis, only. The stock photo(s) you download is clean and has no watermark.
No. Although, currently, the only way to pay for your stock photo downloads on imago borealis is through PayPal. So clicking the “Pay Now” button in your Customer Area will refer you to PayPal’s internet site. However, don’t worry. If you don’t have and don’t want a PayPal account you can still proceed. Paypal does process your credit card or bank account on my behalf without requiring you to open an account or to register with them. When your payment is successfully processed on PayPal’s safe and secure site you automatically return to imago borealis, where your stock photo download will be enabled as soon as imago borealis gets notification from PayPal that your payment has been approved (This usually happens anywhere from instantly to up to a couple minutes). In the unlikely event this proven process fails, you can always contact me to assist in solving the issue.
Prices on imago borealis are without sales tax (GST, HST, VAT, …). If you are outside Canada you are lucky because I don’t have to charge sales tax at all. If you are inside Canada you don’t pay sales tax because as a small startup imago borealis is not sales tax obligated, yet. So, what you see is what you pay.
Due to the nature of digital goods imago borealis can’t generally offer returns and/or refunds. However, imago borealis wants happy customers. Contact me in case you are unhappy with your purchase, specifying your issue. I will try hard to correct the problem. If I can’t I will make exceptions to the general “no refunds” policy in well-founded cases.

Stock Photo Use and Licenses

No. The stock photos remain to be my intellectual property (IP). You don’t buy a stock photo on imago borealis; you don’t own it and you can’t buy its copyright. You buy a license to use that stock photo within the scope of the license type (standard and extended) you choose.For more details refer to the license terms. If you are new to the concepts of IP, copyright and licensing, Jo Rodrigues who runs the Symbiostock partner site StockyImage has written an excellent blog post about this topic. And you can always contact me.
Yes. Note, however, that modifications you make will get you neither ownership of the modified material nor copyright in it.
Yes. Generally, for all editorial uses and those commercial uses where a credit line deems to be appropriate in print, online on web sites and other digital media you are required to provide a credit line. It should read: © Stephan Pietzko / www.imagoborealis.com or similar. In cases you think it is inappropriate to include a credit line (e.g. adverts, use in composite work, etc.) please contact me. Most likely, I will authorize such use without credit line.
Purchase of a stock photo license (standard or extended) on imago borealis gives you the right to use that photo in a single personal or commercial project for yourself or a client. However, the photo may not be resold or redistributed on its own, or used in a product offered for sale where the photo contributes to the core value of the product being sold. So in short purchase of a standard license allows:
  • personal or commercial use
  • perpetual use in a single project
  • on behalf of one client or for yourself
  • on its own or as part of a new work
  • online use of a size up to 800 pixels at the longest side
  • up to 100,000 printed copies (the extended license allows unlimited copies)
The stock photo(s) may not be:
  • resold, sub-licensed, assigned, transferred, distributed or otherwise made available to third parties as standalone file or included in a library
  • resold, sub-licensed, assigned, transferred or distributed to third parties included in a reusable template (the extended license allows this)
  • used in a product offered for sale where the photo contributes to the core value of the product being sold (the extended license allows this, print-on-demand excluded)
  • offered to users of a hosting or blogging service
  • printed to be sold as artwork (the extended license allows this, print-on-demand excluded)
Stock photos marked “for editorial use only” are unreleased of third party rights and cannot be used commercially. Refer also to the full License Terms. Please contact me to discuss a specific use if you are unsure or have any questions.
  • Are you planning to print or reproduce a stock photo more than 100.000 times? Any number below that is covered by my standard license.
  • Do you want to use my photo as part of physical or electronic goods for resale? Physical or electronic items for personal or promotional use (not for resale) are covered under the standard license.
  • For more details refer to the license terms or contact me.
Most of the stock photos on imago borealis don’t require releases at all. In any case, information about releases is given right under the photo itself on the detailed image pages. Those few photos on imago borealis that are not model/property released are marked “for editorial use only”. There is the Photo Gallery “Editorial” that shows all unreleased photos on imago borealis. It is your responsibility to use a licensed photo according to its release status. Find more info on editorial use in the license terms or contact me with your questions and/or concerns.