If you're a photographer that uses Yahoo's Flickr service to showcase your high-quality images, you may soon be scouted by Getty Images, the world's largest distributor of pictures and video, to become a paid contributor to its gallery.

Yahoo and Getty Images have entered into a partnership under which Getty editors will search Flickr for interesting images. They will then send an email to any photographer they find and like, inviting them to participate in the programme and ensure that their images have the proper releases to be licensed legally.

Those chosen to be included in the program will be paid the same as photographers who are under contract with the company.

"We believe that Flickr will be an important addition to the mix that we have", said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and chief executive of Getty Images.

He believes that Flickr photographers will help Getty increase its portfolio on certain subjects and certain regions of the world.

He also believes they will bring an element of realism to its selection of photography.

"Because the imagery is not shot for commercial services, there is more authenticity", he explained. "Advertisers are looking for authenticity."

As for what photographers can expect to receive if they are chosen for the programme, Mr. Klein said that Getty charges on average between $500 and $600 for "rights managed" images (around £250-300), which are used by a customer exclusively for a period of time. Photographers get between 30-40% of that. Alternatively, the company charges on average of $250 for non-exclusive use of images and gives photographers a 20% cut of that, Mr. Klein said.

"It is a real testament to the quality of the photography on Flickr", said Kakul Srivastava, general manager of Flickr.

The programme will be rolled out in the coming months, and all Flickr photographers will be eligible to participate.