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Using the library

Searching tips

  • Refine your keyword search by selecting a category/sub-category and any of the filters available under the category drop-down menu. There is also a full keyword list under the category menu.
  • Connect keywords with "and" to refine your search. Example: people and aircraft.
  • Try and keep keywords to one or two words and use "and" to connect. Example: instead of typing "British Airways aircraft"* type "British Airways and aircraft".
  • If you know the image reference number, enter it into the "Search" box (e.g. CHE22056d).
  • Take a short cut: try the "Featured galleries" for a selection of some of the best images or use one of the "Quick links".

* British Airways is a registered trademark of British Airways PLC in the U.K. and other countries.

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  • The lightbox facility enables the user to store collections of images for future reference.
  • You are required to register to use this facility. Once registered you are logged in and your first lightbox will be automatically created for you.
  • Login again to view your lightboxes.
  • You can add more lightboxes as required.
  • Use the "Lightbox selector" to select your current lightbox.
  • A lightbox can be renamed.
  • A lightbox can be sent to another lightbox-registered user.
  • All images in a lightbox can be added to the "Image basket" or downloaded to your desktop as a zip file (screen-resolution watermarked images only).

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Submitting a "Quote request" and ordering images

  • Add the image(s) to the "Enquiry basket" directly from the image preview page or from your selected lightbox. If you are not sure which imagery you want to use but need an idea of cost, then add a sample image to the request; you are not obliged to purchase the imagery you add to the "Quote request".
  • Click "Proceed" to continue to the "Enquiry details" form and complete all necessary information. You can use the "Comments" box to provide additional detail about use. Once we receive your "Quote request" by email, we will then provide a no-obligation usage quote by email.
  • If you prefer to speak to a member of the library team about your image enquiry, please contact us by phone on +44 1992 501134 or email at
  • We are a rights-managed photo library, the quotes we provide are based on the specific details of use, not the image choice. Our prices depend on variables such as print or screen size, print run, and period of use.
  • Once the usage fee has been agreed we will supply the image(s) electronically, along with a copy of the T&Cs and a tailored licence agreement. The invoice will then follow in due course.

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Model release information

Model release

  • If an image is model-released, a Model Release Form is held by Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited for each of the recognisable people within that image.
  • Model-released images can be used for most purposes, however we will advise further once we receive your enquiry. Images may not be used in a controversial, sensitive or defamatory way. If in doubt about the context of use then please contact us.

No model release

  • If an image that contains recognisable people does not have a model release then it can only be used in an editorial context. However, there are circumstances where permission may be granted, please contact us to discuss.

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Editorial use

  • Editorial use means that the image can only be used for non-commercial purposes. Editorial use includes news reporting, fact sheets, books, educational and magazines (editorial pages).
  • If you would like to use an image specified as editorial use in a non-editorial context then please contact us to discuss.

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Frequently asked questions show allhide all

Do I have to pay for the images?

How do I pay for the images?

Can I download the low-res images for use in compositional design layouts?

What if I can't find the particular image I'm looking for?

How can I use the images?

How long does it take to receive the images once I have confirmed my order?

In what format are the images supplied?

Once I have taken delivery of a high-res image, can I manipulate or enhance the image to fit my brief?

How often is the library updated?

Once I have taken delivery of a high-res image, can I manipulate or enhance the image to fit my brief?

What happens if you've supplied me with a high-res photo but I don't use it, is there a cancellation fee?

If I purchase a photo, can I store it on my computer after the agreed usage?

Do you supply photos for personal use?

Do you hold any historic photos?

Do you hold any photos of celebrities at the airports?

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Contact us

The Heathrow Photo Library is managed by Equate Images Ltd.

Library updates

View the latest additions - updated 26 November 2021.