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How to sell Live News images on Alamy

How to sell Live News images on Alamy

Captions, headlines and dates for Live News images

Your image tells a story but no one will understand it unless you caption it correctly – and we can’t sell it without full, accurate captions and headlines. If your image doesn’t have this, our team might reject it from the News Feed. You might want to check out our Live News Policies for a bit more guidance.

It’s essential that before you upload your image, you add:

  • A caption to the IPTC description field
  • A headline to the IPTC headline field
  • The date the image was taken (not the date of upload)

If you’re still not sure which IPTC fields to use then email us ( and we’ll send you an example image. You can open this in your editing software where you’ll see which IPTC fields you need to fill out and some helpful guidelines about what to write.

Headlines and captions are different. Headlines apply to all the images in a set from an event. The caption is specific to the individual image and describes what’s happening.


When you have two or more images from one event, all the images need exactly the same IPTC Headline to keep them together in the news feed. The headline needs to be in this format: General description of event, town/city, country (e.g. Grammy Awards red carpet, Los Angeles, USA).


It’s your image so you know what it’s about, but a picture editor seeing it for the first time will be completely lost unless you help them out with accurate captions which answer the basic questions:

  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Who is in the image?
  • What is going on?
  • Why is it happening / why is it newsworthy?

The caption needs to be in this format: town/city, country, date (in format 1st April, 2015.), description, credit.

For example: Los Angeles, USA. 1st Apr, 2015. Elton John trips over as he walks along the red carpet at the 101st Grammy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, USA. Credit: John Smith/Alamy Live News.

For more info, download our helpful PDF guide on captions and headlines for Alamy Live News.