Implications of CC licenses between individual photos and the work including them

Hello! I am confused about CC licenses and was hoping some people here understand them better than me. I’m making a mini field guide with mostly iNat photos for some friends, and since a couple people I know online requested it thought I’d make sure image credit and licensing was correct.
I have two related concerns. First, I’m wondering about the implications of “share alike”. A few of the photos have CC-BY-NC-SA or CC-BY-SA licenses, so I was going to put the whole guide as CC-BY-NC-SA. Though now I’m not sure if those two kinds of licenses are compatible. Can I include photos with both types of licenses on them?
I’m also concerned since the guide has some of my own photos, which I haven’t released anywhere and have no associated license, whether there would be some kind of implication for those photos. Would the license for the guide only affect use/distribution/modification of the guide itself, relating to it being a guide? Rather than individual components like the photos. I have a list of image credits including their licenses, and my own are just blank in the license column. Should I put something there?
Thank you!


Each photo is it’s own separate work, made available under separate licensing. As long as the proper attribution, license, and source URL are given for each work then differently licensed works can be included within the same ‘field guide’ (on a non-commercial basis). This is assuming you’re using the photos either unmodified or just cropped.

See this StackExchange answer for more:

The only issue would occur if you were to ‘remix’ the two works into one derivative work - that is made incompatible by the licencing. This is hard to do with photos but more possible with e.g. music.

You can choose to license your own photos however you wish e.g. with a CC BY license (or whatever). Indicate who the copyright owner of them is (you!), and provide people guidance on what licence you are making them available under e.g. “all rights reserved” or CC BY or CC0 or something else…

Don’t forget to make clear the licensing of the text of the field guide too! with e.g. CC BY or another license.

TL;DR each thing within a work can have its own licence - that’s fine, just make it clear what licence each thing has.


Thank you so much! I was trying to read the licenses on the creative commons site, but there wasn’t a lot of guidance on what some things meant. But your reply answers my questions.

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