FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are your photos 300 DPI?

Digital images do not have a DPI. Simply put, DPI stands for "dots per inch" and digital images have only dots, i.e. pixels. A digital image file doesn't have "inches" until it is made physical - displayed on a monitor or printed on paper. At that point, the DPI is determined by the screen resolution or the DPI setting chosen for the printer.

The only time digital images can (sort of) be said to have a DPI is when they were created by scanning a print or slide, which was common practice before digital cameras became widespread. In this case, the DPI is the quality setting the scanner used to create the digital image from the print. When licensing an image that was scanned, it is indeed important to be sure the DPI setting used by the scanner was high enough, so that the photo will look good when printed again. Therefore publishers got in the habit of requesting "300dpi images".

Unfortunately, confusion on this issue is further perpetuated by many digital cameras, which embed a default DPI in the photo's metadata for "convenience" - to help estimate the size the photo will be when displayed. Often this DPI is rather low, such as 72dpi (typical for screen display), and this can understandably alarm publishers who aren't aware of the above. Please be assured that this metadata tag is nothing more than a tag and does not affect the quality of the photo. Photographers could change that tag in Photoshop to read "300dpi", but it would not change the image itself one bit, so it doesn't make sense do so.

For more information about DPI and digital images, please see the following resources:

3. How much do your photos cost?

Technically, you don't buy our photos, but rather licenses to copy them. Our licenses are all Rights-Managed, so the price primarily depends on how you want to use the photo. We also offer resolution options so you don't pay for more pixels than you need. And a few photos may cost more or less than others due to uniqueness or quality. Prices are displayed on photo pages.

4. Any other questions?

Please contact us.

Text by Holly Hayes. Originally published in 2014; last updated December 2023.