Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Stock photography is photography or other imagery of common landmarks, concepts, and events that can be used and reused for commercial design purposes. Book publishers, specialty publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, film makers, web designers, graphic artists, interior decor firms, corporate creative groups, and other entities utilize stock photography to fulfill the needs of their creative assignments. By using stock photography instead of hiring a photographer to perform on location shooting, customers can save valuable time and stay on budget. With a wealth of images, stock photography databases that may be searched online save photo researchers valuable time when they are looking for just the right image. With today's digital delivery methods, images may be purchased online and delivered via FTP or email, the very same day.
Stock photography is sometimes called a photo archive, or just stock photos. The term photo archive often refers to the website or physical location where the photographs are stored. Photo archives are also sometimes called image banks. As modern stock photography distributors often carry stills, video, and illustrations, none of the existing terminology provides a perfect match for the state of the industry.
Images are filed at an agency that negotiates licensing fees on the photographer's behalf in exchange for a percentage, or in some cases owns the images outright.
Pricing is determined by size of audience or readership, how long the image is to be used, country or region where the images will be used and whether royalties are due to the image creator or owner. Often, an image can be licensed for less than $200. The client may, however, request an "exclusive", preventing other customers from using the same image for a specified length of time. Such sales can command many thousands of dollars, both because they tend to be high-exposure and because the agency is gambling that the image would not have made more money had it remained in circulation.
"Exclusive" photos are often referred to as rights managed. Photos that do not allow for an exclusive purchase are often referred to as royalty free.
Some stock photography sites offer low-resolution photography free for the purpose of preparing advertising comps to demonstrate a design. If the advertiser decides to use the image, the rights to use the high-resolution image then can be negotiated.
For many years, stock photography consisted largely of outtakes ("seconds") from commercial magazine assignments. By the 1980s, it had become a specialty in its own right, with photographers creating new material for the express purpose of submitting it to a stock house. Agencies attempted to become more sophisticated about following and anticipating the needs of advertisers and communicating these needs to photographers. Photographs were composed with more of an eye for how they might look when combined with other elements; for example, a photo might be shot vertically with space at the top and down the left side, with the conscious intention that it might be licensed for use as a magazine cover. Leading agencies during this time included The Image Bank, Comstock Images , FPG, and Masterfile .
In the 1990s, a period of consolidation followed, with Getty Images and Corbis becoming the two largest companies as a result of acquisitions. Today, stock photography companies have largely moved online.
The following is a table of photo archives, image banks, or image search engines. If possible, please include rates or discount rates for different types of use.
|360-berlin||In German / English||300,000+/ ?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Acclaim Images||RF and RM stock photography direct from the photographer, instant access, photo requests, lightboxes, prints, clipart, and bulk discounts.||33,000 / 40||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Action Press||In German|
|Alamy Images||Royalty-free (RF) and Licensed (L) stock photography from the world's leading picture agencies and photographers...||2,500,000 +||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Banana Stock||$, £, €||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|BrandX||20,000+ / ?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can Stock photo||Affordable royalty free stock photography community||11,000+/900+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|CITB-ConstructionSkills online image library||Images from the construction industry. Registration required.||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Coolstock.com||American Photographs: Past, Present, Future.™||Yes|
|Corbis (DE)||Wikipedia:Corbis||25,000,000+||Corbis Professional||Corbis Educational|
|Dennis Kunkle Microscopy, Inc.||Scientific stock photography, mainly microscopic images||Yes||Classroom Only||Yes|
|Dreamstime||Royalty-free stock photography community||15,000+/380+|
|EarthScienceWorld.org ImageBank||Earth/Science Pictures||No||Free||Free|
|fStop||Royalty-free pictures by designers for designers|
|Fotosearch Stock Photography||Search 50 Stock Photography Vendors at one site||800,000+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free Digital Photos||Free pictures for websites, newsletters and documents etc. For commercial and non-commercial use.||1,500+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|IndexStock||First agency to go digital, huge fast site, artist-oriented, also www.photostogo.com for small business and www.indexopen.com for subscription||800,000 images and 1,700 artists||Yes||Yes|
|iStockphoto||Fastest growing online community of amateur & semi-pro photographers & images. Images are priced on a credit system||250,000+ / 10,000+||$1 - 3||$1 - $3||$1 - $3|
|iStockpro||Royalty-free stock house featuring well-known collections & independent photographers from around the world||450,000+ / 450||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|LOOK||Special agency for travel, outdoor, active-sports and conceptual present photography||800,000+ /50||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Matton Images & Royalty Free Photography||Provider of Royalty Free Stock Photographs & Images. The site can be viewed in English, German, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French and Finish.||600,000+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mira||The stock agency of the Creative Eye Cooperative. Artist owned, professionally managed||40,000+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|morgueFile||Royalty-free photos||30,000+ / 200+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Photofeatures International||Music Stock photos since the 60's||Yes|
|Photonica||Indexed by photographer, sleek interface||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pixerver||Free stock photography and digital pictures||Free||Free||Free|
|Seattle City Photography||Royalty-free stock photos and prints of the Seattle/Eastside||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SeattlePhotographs.com||Stock photos of Seattle||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ShutterStock||Royalty free stock photography by subscription||170,000||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|the Stock Solution||Stock photography agency||200,000 / 100|
|stock.xchng||Free stock photography exchange||119,708+/?||Free||Free||Free|
|Travel-Images.com||Images of 300 countries and territories - stock photography||>1 million / 200||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Trauma Imagebank||Medical photographs of trauma||Free||Free||Free|
|Veer||Distributor and agency. Royalty-free and rights-managed images, plus motion and type products||250,000+ / 300+||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Zefa Visual Media||in German|
|Art Stock Photo||Directory of Art Photo Web Sites||100's||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- Costonstock.com - Collection of royalty-free stock photography images by Jodie Coston.
- davidsanger.com - Travel stock photography and online searchable database
- Stockphoto.net - Database of stock photography providers
- TerrySmithImages.com - Diverse, premium collection of travel, concept, and lifestyle images
- Digital Stock Photography - Digital Stock Photography and Fine Art photography
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