Frequently Asked Questions and Registration
Welcome to BBC Pictures
BBC Pictures' free website service is ONLY available to staff members of print and digital press media based in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux.
The site only contains pictorial content of the BBC's current and forthcoming programmes available on its free-to-air television channels and radio stations.
We hope that the questions below will help regarding sourcing images from the BBC.
So before attempting to register on bbcpictures.co.uk, please look at ALL the questions on this page.
Please also be aware that under the new Terms & Conditions BBC Pictures cannot allow group logins, please do not share your account details with anyone. If colleagues require access, they will need to register.
PS: Please do not put in a specific request for an image in the 'Planned Usage of BBC Pictures' question. This is for BBC Pictures to understand how you would use BBC images in general on behalf of the publication/website you are applying for.
- Do I qualify for an account on bbcpictures.co.uk?
Yes, if you are a staff member of a print or digital press medium based in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux, which regularly requires usage of promotional images from the BBC.
Access to use BBC Pictures will not be granted to: print or digital press media based outside the UK, Ireland or the Benelux; commercial companies including public relations and artist agencies; design and press agencies; local authorities, charities and educational institutions; independent production companies: freelance journalists or picture editors, fan site owners and members of the public.
- How can I get pictures if I am a freelancer?
Unfortunately, we can only sign up journalists, picture editors or picture researchers to a specific publication, and not just for general use for freelancers, as each individual publication is given specific access, depending on their lead time.
BBC Pictures would ask that you contact direct the publication/website you are working for and ask their Picture Desk to take a look on the website for pictures on your behalf.
- Where can I get pictures of old programmes including those that have completed transmissions or being repeated on the BBC?
The BBC Photo Library holds more than six million images. This collection dates back to 1922 and charts the BBC's rich TV and radio broadcasting history. From The Archers to Z-Cars, a dedicated team of Photo Library media managers will happily assist with any research and licensing enquiries. Please note that charges apply to this service.
BBC copyright images can be licensed for editorial re-use across the media industry. The Photo Library is able to deal with UK and international requests for archive material. Please note that charges apply to this service.
Unfortunately, the Photo Library is unable to provide images for commercial exploitation or personal use.
For all BBC archive photo enquiries the Photo Library Team can be contacted at email@example.com.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 0930 - 1730hrs UK time (excluding Bank Holidays).
- Where can I get pictures if I am member of the International Press (other than Ireland and Benelux)?
International Pictures deals mainly with requests from international press (excluding Ireland and Benelux) supporting BBC programmes that have been sold overseas by BBC Worldwide.
For any BBC programme currently being broadcast, press should first go to the broadcaster’s press office for images.
International Pictures’ opening hours are Monday to Friday, 0930 - 1730hrs UK time (excluding Bank Holidays) and they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The BBC Photo Library can help with requests for archive material. The library’s open hours are Monday to Friday, 0930 - 1730hrs UK time (excluding Bank Holidays) and they can be contacted at email@example.com.
- Where can I get a BBC, Television Channel or Radio Station Logo?
The BBC brand is a valuable asset, recognised worldwide for world-class programmes and broadcasting excellence. The BBC name and visual identity are critical to sustaining this recognition and as such must be used with care to protect the BBC's reputation and integrity.
Application can be made through the website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/branding/ - click on 'Use of BBC Assets'.
- I've just seen this picture on bbc.co.uk, can you help?
- Due to the breadth of the BBC’s web presence we do not have access to the vast majority of images on BBC websites. If you wish to enquire about using a picture on a specific BBC website then the best way to reach the person responsible for the image is to click ‘Contact Us’ at the bottom of the web page.
- I've seen this picture on bbc.co.uk/news, can you help?
If you are enquiring about a news related image that you have seen on news.bbc.co.uk then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How can I get some footage, clips or screen grabs from a BBC Television programme?
For enquires relating to TV footage and ‘screen grabs’, please email email@example.com
- Where can I get current and forthcoming programme press information?
- The BBC Press Office website, www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre offers journalists BBC press releases and press packs, programme information, biographies, speeches and key facts. No password is required to access the site.
- Where can I get pictures of a BBC Film that is being shown on the BBC?
BBC Pictures will occasionally release images of a BBC Film being premiered for the first time on BBC Television. In general however, all promotional activity regarding BBC Films (in particular general cinematic releases) is supported by Freud Communications. Please check their website for contact details - www.freud.com
- How can I get pictures of a film being shown on a BBC channel?
- Unfortunately we are unable to supply any images for the numerous films shown on BBC channels. You will need to contact a stock film stills library/agency for this.
- I am looking for pictures to promote a Live Tour such as Strictly, CBeebies, Top Gear etc
If you have received press information regarding a Live Tour, please go back to the contact name on the Press Release for images.
- I am an agent and would like pictures of my client.
Because BBC is unique in the way it is funded, it has strict regulation which controls the way BBC assets can be used by third parties, in order to comply with various UK/EU laws and BBC Trust policies.
BBC Pictures commissions stills photography to be used exclusively to drive audiences to the relevant BBC content and programming. These images can not be used as part of personal PR campaigns or directory entries without an agreed licence obtained from the BBC Photo Library. The BBC will however reserve the right to licence its photographs until after completion of the first broadcast transmission of the programme.
The BBC Photo Library can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Where can I get pictures for Comic and Sport Relief?
BBC Pictures supports primarily the main broadcasting event for both charities, so for anything else please contact email@example.com.
- Where can I get pictures for BBC Children in Need?
Apart from the broadcast of the Appeal Night on BBC One, for any other Children in Need activity please check the BBC Children In Need website bbc.co.uk/pudsey for contact details.
- I am looking for pictures for a commercial project I am working on.
- Due to our public service remit, we are unable to distribute pictures for use in published books and other commercial projects. To buy rights to use BBC copyright images in this context, please contact the BBC Photo Library at firstname.lastname@example.org
- I am working on new magazine/paper/website and need pictures. Am I able to register on your website?
We are unable to supply images for new magazines until the name of the publication and street date of the first issue is known.
Please feel free to register once the magazine has launched.
- Where can I get pictures for my Television Programme?
The below information only covers the programmes being broadcast in the UK, Ireland and Benelux.
If your programme is a daily/weekly magazine show such as The One Show or a news programme such as Newsnight and you wish to use images for editorial use for the purposes of publicising the BBC and its current and forthcoming programmes, please register on the website – bbcpictures.co.uk
Please be aware that the licence is non-exclusive and without charge and covers unlimited transmission throughout the UK, Ireland and Benelux by all broadcast methods; terrestrial, cable, satellite and including multi-platform media such as on-demand.
But for any further exploitation, the production company will need to acquire a licence from the BBC Photo Library. Contact email: email@example.com
For any other programme genre, please contact the BBC Photo Library direct. The library will be able to licence BBC copyright images – contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Access to the BBC Pictures website will not be granted.
- Production Company Queries – International (excl UK, Ireland & the Benelux)
Please contact the BBC Photo Library direct – contact email: email@example.com. Access to the BBC Pictures website will not be granted.
- I am a student working on student paper. Can I have access to your website?
We are unable to accept applications from individual students working temporarily on student publications due to the transitory nature of the student population.
However we are happy to accept applications from permanent staff of the college/university with the proviso that they are directly responsible for the account and students’ access to it.
Please can the staff member make it clear in the section about Usage of BBC Pictures that they will take this responsibility on behalf of the publication.
- I am a student looking for pictures from the BBC for my academic project, can you help?
The supply of BBC pictures is governed by strict terms and conditions and eligibility. We can only supply images for editorial use for the purpose of promoting the BBC and its current and forthcoming programmes to potential new audiences. Unfortunately, an academic project does not fulfil these criteria and we regret we are unable to help with your request.
You could try the BBC Photo Library – firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able licence BBC copyright images to you.
- As a member of public can I get pictures?
- Presently the BBC is unable to provide pictures to members of the British public. But for all other programme enquiries, please e-mail 'BBC Audience Services' via the web form at bbc.co.uk/feedback/
- What happens after I sign up?
Your application form will be emailed directly to BBC Pictures at email@example.com for review. Once approved, you will automatically receive a login and password. The BBC does however reserve the sole discretion to refuse access to bbcpictures.co.uk.
Depending on the volume of applications, the process may take up to a week. If you urgently require images, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.