Stock photography is the licensing of images so they can be used for websites, newspapers, magazines, advertising and more. Essentially a photographer owns their photos, but they can grant others the license to use them. While the image itself is used by the purchaser, it is still owned by the photographer. Some stock photographers may choose to sell their images while others may share their photos for free. There are different ways a photographer can license their images. The two most common ways are Royalty Free (RF) and Rights Managed (RM). What is stock photography Royalty Free? Royalty Free allows the purchaser to buy the right to use an image any way they want as many times as they want without paying more than the one time fee. Rights Managed photos can only be used for a set amount of time for a predetermined purpose that is negotiated at the time of the sale.

You’ve probably seen stock photos many times on websites, in ads, etc. They can be people portraying certain emotions, generic office photos such as someone talking on the phone or a group of professionals gathered around a conference table, plants, animals, sunsets, buildings, anything really! There are large libraries of existing stock photos that you can choose from, or you could contract a stock photographer to take pictures of a specific object, place, staged tableau, etc. If you can dream it up, there’s probably a stock photo for it!

 (Chris Ridley)