What Is Stock Photography?

Feb 19, 2017

Best free stock photo sites

Stock photography is the supply of photographs which are often licensed for specific uses. This industry took root in the 1920s and it has by now established various models for its functionality. These models include; traditional macro stock photography which is also known as traditional stock photography, mid stock photography which is often used online and micro stock photography which is a relatively new model of stock photography and is available through agencies that sell licensed photos in volumes. 

At times micro stock photography had been gaining popularity since it provided opportunities to everyone while the macro stock market was difficult for all but the best photographers. Professional stock photographers traditionally place their photos with more than one stock agencies who then license and their photos. These stock photographs are usually made through vector technology. Stock vector pictures can be resized without any loss of quality and are best for printing and high-resolution display.

Stock photography has recently grown from the 1920s to current stock photo agencies while photo libraries have as well grown from the former physical archives to current online servers. The image archives began to grow by relying more on the keywords for sorting and the retrieving of passwords and with time started selling CDROMs which had pack of best pictures and photos. In the course of their growth, they started to license the image packs as royalty free and as rights managed.

Different Types of Stock Photos

1. Royalty Free Photos

These royalty free photos happen to be the most affordable and most popular license type of stock photos and are sold at a premium rate. Royalty free is a system that allows the purchase of a compact disc with the photos there in as many times as they you wish without paying any other additional payments. It also refers to the right to use copyright material or the intellectual property of a property with the need to pay any royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold or some time period of use or sales. Royalties are mainly used and applied by many computer industry standards for actual use of their set standards.

2. Rights Managed Photos

The rights managed images on the other hand is where the copyright license which when purchased by a user, allows the one-time use of the photo as specified by the license. If the user therefore wants to use the photo for any other purpose, an additional license will therefore need to be purchased and it can be issued in non-exclusive or exclusive basis. For instance in a situation where you want to use the stock image in a print media advertisement campaign and also on a printed brochure, that would be two usages of the same stock image. You will need to estimate the audience size for each of the advertisement. 

For the print advertisement, calculate the transmission of each insertion as the audience size. For the printed brochure stock photo, use the print run as the audience size. Most best stock agencies have a default licensing period in place which is set for six months to one year, but there are other options usually available. You therefore for the sake of remembrance need to mark your calendar for a few weeks before the stock image license expires so that you have enough time to remind your client for a restock and arrange for a renewal or to ensure that the marketing materials containing the photos have been discontinued. 

3. Extended Licenses

This type of license is related to the royalty free type which while being very flexible, they come along with restrictions concerning their distribution and redistribution volume. These extended licenses which are also called enhanced licenses may include the right to increase the limit of picture copies or the reproduction of the photos or to eliminate it completely by providing you with unlimited copies that you can use the image in terms of resale so that you can allow more people to access the downloaded photos and work on them and also allow for other methods of distribution and use.

Best Stock Photos and Images at Stockmile

Extended image licenses are more expensive than standard royalty free system and are very useful especially in the scenario where you want to get more rights than those of standard royalty free and through extended licenses you avoid the process of setting up a custom rights managed system.

4. Public Domain (CC0)

Public domain licenses offer provisions where the image is free to use without purchasing a license and be used for commercial or personal purposes.

How do I access macro stock and micro stock agencies?

The traditional stock agencies also referred to as the macro stock agencies sell right managed or royalty free photos while some of the still sell packages or virtual CDs’. Despite the great progress that micro stock agencies have made, majority of photos today are already licensed by the full priced macro stock agencies. Some of the traditional but rather expensive stock photography agencies include Getty Images, one of the world largest stock agencies that features a wide range of brands and licensing options.

If you have a constrained budget all is not gone. Micro stock image agencies have got low price packages that will suite your budget. These agencies source their photos from not just professional photographers but also amateur photographers and still main a very strict quality level. Through this method the micro stock sites can therefore provide photos at much lower cost than macro stockphotos. 

Most of the micro stock agencies usually operate on the credit based system where you pre-buy credits that will allow you to make downloads of photos. Credits will allow you as the customer to buy photos on casual basis whereas a subscription system will offer better value for those who regularly require photos, companies such as professional designers, newspapers and media websites. 

Best stock images and stock vectors whether free or just at affordable prices you may find here at Stockmile.com!

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