Working With Artists

© Vicky Prince

I’m always very flattered when I’m approached by artists who would like to use my photographs as reference material for their artwork. Over the years I have seen all styles of paintings of my photographs, from cubist to impressionist, in every kind of media, and it’s always wonderful to see how others interpret the scenes I have captured with my camera. I love it when amateur artists use my images to try new techniques and broaden their repertoire, but equally it’s incredibly rewarding when internationally-renowned professional artists use them to create artwork that sells for thousands of pounds. I believe in artists of all kinds supporting one another.

Amateur Artists

If you’re an amateur artist and you’re painting purely for your own enjoyment, with no intention of commercial gain from the finished artwork, please free to use any of my images as source material. If you share your finished painting on social media please tag me so that I can see it!

Professional Artists

If you’re a professional, commercial artist who may go on to sell the finished artwork and/or reproductions of it, please contact me by email at before using any of my photographs as reference images. I will usually always agree to your using my photographs. However, there are few caveats…

Firstly, many of my images are licensed to national greetings card companies, including Abacus and BBC Countryfile, which then legally limits their use by myself and by others. Any reproductions of these images could breach the terms of my contracts with these companies. I’m afraid I will have to decline your request if you want to paint a photograph that is already licensed.

© John Connolly

Secondly, I may also sometimes politely decline your request if I sell the image myself as a print or canvas on my website, since any reproduction of that image in another form (eg a painting) could dilute my own sales.

Thirdly, whilst I don’t ask for payment for the use of my images as reference material, I do ask commercial artists to make a donation to a small UK charity (The Creative Health Trust) which funds art projects in hospices for people with life-limiting conditions. 100% of the money from donations goes to their charitable work. I don’t stipulate an amount, but ask you to pay with your conscience as a guide, taking into account your own means and the amount you are likely to sell your painting for.

Finally, please always credit me (@peaklass) as the creator of the source material when you share the finished painting online. In return, if you notify me, I will give a shout out to you too. I have an audience of more than 50,000 followers on social media and every little bit of publicity helps!

© Bob Sutcliffe

Copyright of Photographs

One last point, please note that all my photography is copyrighted without exception. Please don’t share or use my images anywhere, either online or in print, without permission, appropriate credits and payment where relevant.

The copyright for photographs always rests with the original photographer, regardless of whether those photographs are shared on social media or more widely on the internet and regardless of whether the Copyright symbol is displayed. Saving and using an image that you “found online” without the permission of the photographer is image theft and infringement of copyright law is a criminal offence.

Professional photographers train for years to hone their skills and they invest in very expensive equipment. They go out in all weathers at unholy times of the day to capture images, and then spend precious time marketing their work. The sale of those photographs literally puts food on their tables! Using an image without permission, payment or credit is akin to stealing goods from a shop. Thank you!

Artists featured in this article are Bob Sutcliffe (, Vicky Prince ( and John Connolly ( My thanks to all.