Hey, That’s My Pic! Using Google to Discover Usages

If you’ve been following my popular monthly earnings reports for a while you’ve seen the “Hey, that’s my pic!” section, where I disclose the most interesting usages for the month. In this post I’ll discuss how I found such images and uncover another cool tool that you may use right now to discover your usages in major publications. Let’s get started!

Checking usages everyday

I pretty much check on Google everyday for usages, mainly for fun but also it’s a good way to think like a buyer when creating concepts.

Checking for unauthorized usages

On a more serious note, it’s a great way to ensure that license usages are being complied with accordingly, if not take a screenshot with a link and send it to the customer support at the respective agency.

How to check

How I check is not rocket science, simply my name on Google within the past 24 hours/last week. I happen to have an unique name/surname so it’s easy…not so easy for the John Smiths out there.

I use an alias of “Brasilnut1” over at iStockphoto, so I check that out as well.

Funniest usage so far

Some usages are outright bizarre and unexpected, such as the following:

Google Books

Recently, I’ve been using the “Google Books” search tab to discover more obscure usages, notably within publications, including travel guides and reports (both private and public sector), as well as of course book covers, such as licensed via Arcangel.

I’ll illustrate what I mean when I search name on Google Books…lots of hits!

Link to results under my name in Google Books

Feeling nostalgic

Going through the usages makes me feel nostalgic, such as this pic licensed to a Lonely Planet guide to Rio de Janeiro captured in Rio in 2018. Just hope I earned more than 36cents for it at the time, especially if it went to print!

Not all results show the picture in use

It’s fun to search through but note that many books won’t show the full results so you may only see your name in the credits. This is frustrating but nothing much you can do. If you’re so inclined, head to a book shop and pull out the publication to see exactly which image was sourced or simply purchase the eBook.

Let me know how you get on with your search results

Search yourself and please comment below if you spotted some of your usages!

About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy, currently based in Madrid, Spain, on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage, when things go back to normal (Late-2021??). I’ve devoted eight years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer (however, had recently go back into full-time office work to make ends meet). I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography


  1. A long time ago I created an alert in google with my name, for a reason other than photography. I receive an email every time a web page includes my name, so there is no need to do constant searches. When I started in stock photography I created several different alerts with my name or with pseudonyms used. This is useful when they have included my name in the post. At other times I use reverse searches, by image. It is where I find the greatest number of matches

    Liked by 1 person

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