Article history


September 2019
Copyright issues in photography: legal reminder and good practices

July / August 2019
From shooting to distribution: the photo workflow in a few word

May / June 2019
Update your photos on the and OTAs websites, a key step!

April 2019
Search properly, and you'll always find what you want!

March 2019
What is the photography brief for? Where can you download it?


SEPTEMBER 2019 : Copyright issues in photography, legal reminder and good practices

Any photos sent to be included in the Accor Photo Library must be accompanied by the photographer's transfer of rights contract and, where applicable, the approval of identifiable extras in the pictures. Otherwise, the Photo Library will systematically refuse to add the images concerned.

This obligation - which is often considered an unpleasant constraint when unforeseen - is primarily aimed at protecting you.

Copyright issues in photography: what you need to know

Copyright law provides a legal framework to automatically protect an original work (photography, artwork, film, etc.) created by an author. As such, a photographer enjoys a series of rights to his/her photographs and may decide to assign them to a third party (the assignee) through a transfer of rights contract.
This contract must meet several conditions:
1. It must be written and signed;
2. It must specify the scope of the assigned rights and, in particular, the nature of the right assigned, the media on which the photograph may be used and the duration of the assignment.

Under this contract, the assignee will hold the "proprietary/economic rights", which will enable him/her to use the work, reproduce it and communicate it to the public via the agreed media.

Similarly, any use of a photograph without the approval of its author may be considered as an act of infringement within the meaning of the French Intellectual Property Code, which may give rise to legal proceedings with the risk of being sentenced to pay the author significant financial penalties.

The people in the photographs have the right to the image and right to privacy. The public dissemination and commercial use of photographs that clearly depict them must also be covered by a contract where the conditions regarding the use of the image are defined.

Where can I find the official Accor forms when should they be signed?

If you are preparing to organise a new photo report in your hotel, ensure that the photographer signs the official transfer of rights contract, drafted by the Accor legal department. This signed contract is the absolute precondition for validating the service. It is therefore essential to present it to him/her before the report, in order to avoid any subsequent dispute. In any case, no other document will be accepted by the team in charge of incorporating your photos into the Photo Library.
Similarly, if there are any extras in the pictures, you must obtain their signed written approval, before using their image. Without this document, the Photo Library will again refuse to include the images concerned.


Are you, or a non-professional third party, the author of these photos?
In this specific case, you are not exempt from fulfilling the official Accor transfer of rights contract. Fill in all the fields that concern you and leave blank those you are unable to fill in (e.g. : agency name, invoice number, etc.).

Do you plan to use direct upload to illustrate categories for the Websites Update interface in the Photo Library?
This upload tool does not require you to send the photographer's transfer of rights contract or any approval forms for identifiable extras in the shots to the Photo Library. However, by ticking the "Photographer copyright" and "Image rights" if applicable, you hereby certify to be in possession of these documents and take full responsibility for the use of the related images.

Did you know?

The standard transfer of rights contract (photographer and extras) are available on the Accor Photo Library in six languages: French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Chinese! Specific versions for Germany and Austria - as well as the brands Raffles, Fairmont and Swisstel - are also available online.
All of these forms are regularly updated in collaboration with the Accor legal department. By routinely downloading the required form from the Photo Library, you can rest assured that you are using the latest official version!

How can you ensure that you have the rights to use an image?

By clicking the icon "Info Sheet" icon under the thumbnail(s) of an Accor Photo Library search result, it is possible to consult the usage rights attached to them.
The following is stated for each author or extra:
- his/her role;
- the type of rights assigned to Accor;
- a date where rights are terminated, if applicable.
Using this info sheet, you can also download the photographer's transfer of rights contract and approval forms from extras in electronic format.
These documents detail the scope of everyone's rights and guarantee usage for you in compliance with these rights.

Rights and conditions for use are also included in the document "IMPORTANT_a_lire.pdf", which is attached to the file when you download a selection of images or send a download link.

By sending photos by email or by sharing them from a portfolio, you will also need to check the box "I accept the terms of use whereby you commit to take into account all legal aspects related to these images.

In summary...

Images from the Accor Photo Library are reserved exclusively for the promotion and marketing of the Group and its brands. Regardless of your intended use within this framework, you agree to respect the rights of photographers and the photographed persons concerned.
In case of any doubt, you can contact the Photo Library team who can advise you, in collaboration with the Accor legal department.

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JULY / AUGUST 2019 : From shooting to distribution, the photo workflow in a few words

The Accor Photo Library tool is the single point of entry for all your photos, regardless of how you want to use them.

Have you just organised a photo report at your hotel? Do you have photos ready to be used?

Then send your HD files, accompanied by the photographer's copyright contract and models' image release contracts, duly signed to Accorstudio.
Provided that they comply with the brand's photo brief and meet the required technical standards, your photos will be included in the Photo Library within three working days.

Would you like to share these visuals with an employee or external service provider (marketing, public relations, communication agency, etc.)?

Search the Photo Library and drag your selection of images into a basket.
You will be able to:
- Download it in the required format;
- Send it to an employee; or
- Generate a download link for your external service provider.

Do you need to use these images to add them to an, or OTA website?

Click the "Update websites" button on the hotel section to access the corresponding Library interface and confirm your request, once for all, when all categories have been illustrated.
To do this, you can use photos from your stock Photo Library or images directly from your computer ("direct upload").
The Distribution Systems Administration & Operation service is responsible for updating the Accor websites within three working days and sending your request to external distribution sites.

You have a question about:

- Including your images in the Accor Photo Library?
Contact Accorstudio, who are responsible for receiving all of your files (photos, copyrights contracts, etc.), verifying them (compliance with the brands' photo brief, technical and artistic criteria, etc.) and processing them (post-production retouching, indexing keywords, etc.), before making them available on the Photo Library:

- Uploading your photos to, or an OTA?
Contact Distribution Systems Administration & Operation - Digital Services, in charge of distributing your images on these various websites:

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MAY / JUNE 2019: Update your photos on the and OTAs websites, a key step!


Step 1

After clicking on the "Web sites update" button in the Hotel Area, enter your RID code and your destination city. You can then access all the tabs and categories for your hotel and view the photos currently online on the sites.

Step 2

Go through each tab to display the proposed categories and fill in each location by clicking on the "Modify" button. You can then select a photo from:
- the images available for your hotel in the Photo Library
- standard images made available by your brand
- destination images available in the Photo Library corresponding to your request
- images from your computer*
Example: To illustrate a given type of room, select the "UPSELL" tab, choose the corresponding category and then click on the "Modify" button for a location to assign the image of your choice.

*The direct upload option allows you to use images from your computer that are not available in the Photo Library. These images must comply with the photographic brief for your brand and you must be in possession of the official Accor rights assignment contract signed by the photographer.
NB: You take full legal responsibility for any images posted that are not from the Photo Library.

Step 3

Once you have made ALL the desired changes, click on the "Save" button. Your request will then be sent to the "Tarsline Photo Distribution" Department, which updates Accor websites within three working days and forwards your request to external distribution sites.


Don't have a recent photo to illustrate a space in your hotel?
Don't panic! The standard images provided by your brand's marketing department are there for that purpose. If you have found another image from the Photo Library that suits your needs, we can also make the image temporarily available.

Do you want to add specific photos for each of the different categories of rooms/suites?
The UPSELL tab allows you to find all the different categories for the suites and rooms you want to illustrate in your hotel.
NB: In order to appear in the update tool, all of your room types/suites must first have been activated by the department.

No pictures that match the location of your hotel?
Go back to Step 1 and enter another city close to your location.
Example: Images of the city of Lyon can be used to illustrate the surroundings of your hotel in Villeurbanne.

Would you like to publish 360 photos on the Accor App (for mobile phones and tablets)?
The 360 tab was specifically created for this purpose. Only the Hotel Tour (all areas) and the Meeting/Events Tour are currently visible on the application, but we plan to introduce further 360 options in the near future.
Please note that the first location on the interface is for 360 videos.

Do you have a question about putting your photos online on, or OTAs?

Contact Tarsline Photo Distribution, which is in charge of sharing your images on these different websites:

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APRIL 2019: Search properly, and you'll always find what you want!

About one hundred photos are added to the Accor Photo Library every day.

That means that over 187,000 images can currently be viewed and used by all the Group's employees. However, whether you're looking for the latest photos of your hotel, or selecting images for an internal communication document, it isn't always easy to navigate your way through this labyrinth of images. Do you know exactly what you're looking for? Are you using the right search strategy and techniques? Have you entered the right keywords?
The Photo Library is a powerful search tool and users can choose and combine a series of search techniques for best results. If you know how to search correctly, you'll save time and find just what you want - or the next best thing.

Why not take 15 minutes to learn how to search correctly?

You know exactly what you want, but don't know where to find it.

Use the advanced search and batch search features.
Select your field (hotel code, brand, city, room type, name of photographer, etc.) and enter the corresponding value or choose one from the thesaurus ("open book" icon). The advanced search feature allows you to combine several fields (and/or), while batch search allows you to list several values (e.g. a selection of photo credits).

You're not quite sure what you want...

Use the theme-based browsing, general search and faceted search features and let yourself be guided step by step until you've found what you were looking for.
For example, let's assume you're looking for a photo that evokes the atmosphere of a winter sports destination.
Type the word "mountain" into the general search zone and then narrow your search by selecting keywords from the suggestion list in the faceted search zone (on the left): snow > winter > ski, etc.
Alternatively, click on Destination Photos > France and then select a ski resort from the suggestion list.
You could also use the search by geolocation feature to find photos within a given area around your chosen destination. Just click on the globe icon located beneath the photo preview to display them on a map. Then you can zoom in and out and skim over the map to view the images available in your designated area.

You're looking for... inspiration!

Use the search by keyword and search by color features.
Click on the "keyword" link in the search bar to consult the list of suggested keywords and select one to preview the corresponding photos.
Use the color search palette to display all the pictures with the same dominant color.
Narrow your search as you find inspiration. It's that simple!

Did you know?

- You can right click on a photo preview to "Find photos with similar colors".
- You can click on the "Last search" link in the search bar to find the results of your last search.


If your computer has gone silent or is whirring it generally means your search has been inconclusive. You need to either "narrow" your search because the photo is hidden in a morass of other images, or "rephrase" it because the relevant information has not been found.
The Photo Library's archivists tag hundreds of images a day to prevent this from happening. They are well-versed in the subtle art of image cataloguing and searching and are happy to help you find the pictures you need. Contact them at:

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MARCH 2019: What is the photography brief for? Where can you download it?

Your guests form their first impression of your establishment from its pictures.
The photography brief introduces photographers to your brand and helps you order a photographer's services. It must be sent to all photographers carrying out photo reports in a hotel. It is also known as the photography "specifications" or "guidelines". It enables photographers to take a tailored approach to your specific establishment while meeting our shared objective of developing a consistent visual identity for each brand.

Photo credit: Abaca Corporate/Didier Delmas

Why is it indispensable?

A photographer needs advice and guidance. The photography brief will help them understand what is expected of them and what rules and regulations they must respect (copyright, consent from extras, etc.). It is the starting point of your relationship with a photographer.

It provides guidelines and explains things using concrete examples, thus avoiding situations in which creativity prevents the objectives from being met. It encourages communication and establishes the framework for the photography assignment. It also allows the photographer to determine precisely what resources they will need and helps them to draw up a clear proposal and quote.

- Before the shoot: it helps engage your teams with simple, efficient instructions so you can prepare everything, down to the smallest detail and in the best possible conditions.

- During the shoot: it helps the photographer assess their work and verify that their photos meet the requirements.

- After the shoot: it allows you to verify the end-product.

This document reassures all those involved throughout the process. If its guidelines are correctly followed, the results will meet and maybe even surpass your expectations.

Did you know?

Photos that do not meet the photography brief requirements cannot be added to the Accor Photo Library.
All photos must be accompanied by the photographer and extras forms, which must be duly completed and signed before the photo shoot.

When should it be sent to the photographer?

The Accor group's referenced professional photographer's agency always refers to each brand's photography brief. However, if you use the services of a local photographer, they will not necessarily be familiar with your brand environment and values.

As soon as the photos you need for your establishment have been defined, send this document to your photographer and discuss it with them once they have read it. If you have not yet chosen a professional photographer, this document will help you decide which one to use, based on the feedback you get from the photographers you have contacted.

Where can you download it?

You can download your brand's photography brief from the Accor Photo Library. This ensures that the document is updated in real-time and in collaboration with the Marketing departments. You will also find the transfer of copyright and extras' consent forms in the photo library.
Download them here

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