Case Study

Photo Research Expertise Reduces Permissions Fees by 40%

A large educational publisher wanted to adapt its national K-6 math program that was published several years ago for state-specific usage. In addition to reshaping the national program, which consisted of nearly 3,000 images, the key challenge for the publisher was to

• reduce photo permissions cost
• eliminate permissions liabilities that existed due to poor management and execution by the publisher’s previous vendors

The publisher turned to Lumina Datamatics for its unmatched permissions capability, which has enabled clients around the world save tens of thousands of dollars in research fees.

Solution and Approach

Lumina Datamatics’s solution for this project involved RightPhoto, its proprietary search and rights management engine, and its industry-leading onshore and offshore research teams. Lumina Datamatics followed the blended approach:

  • A blended team that consisted of onshore and offshore researchers, image managers, permissions specialists, and data managers was created
  • The team’s approach was to thoroughly analyze content and provide appropriate images based on context as well as to review existing images for source, cost, and permissions implications. This required familiarity with hundreds of sources used for this program and their reputation in terms of litigation


  • Using many decades of combined permissions expertise, the team not only replaced many current images with more appropriate ones but also reduced permissions fees by selecting low-priced images from approved sources and client-owned databases
  • Besides carrying out image analysis, making new replacements, and obtaining permissions ahead of the deadline, the team performed a comprehensive review of the new pages to ensure appropriate image placements and composition of pages
  • The team used RightPhoto for selection, review, and approval of images and communicated with the publisher. The publisher was also provided real-time reporting of costs through RightPhoto to ensure effective budget management


The client saved around 40% on permissions fees, significantly eliminating permissions liabilities. Lumina Datamatics managed the entire project using a sophisticated, Web-based rights and permission management system,, which facilitated seamless communication and review. Moreover, the effective management of project budgets and schedules through real-time data and reporting helped the client a great deal.