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What is stock photography

Often, when I advertise for stock photography models, I get replies from those who aren't sure what stock is. I've tried to come up with a brief, easily understood explaination....


Stock photography is a collection of photos created by one or many photographers, which are used by designers, illustrators, those in advertising, etc. The photos are marketed by a Stock Photo Agency and people pay a fee to license the photos for a specific use. Essentially, they are "renting" the photo.

They use these photos because often, it is difficult, expensive or impossible for them to shoot or obtain the photo themselves. For example, it would be quite costly and time consuming for a NYC based designer to fly to the Amazon just to shoot the one photo he needs for an advertisement. A stock photographer who has already been to that location may have a wide selection of great photos available!

Stock photography isn't limited to exotic subjects and locations, though. Even everyday people, objects, and locations make useful stock photos. Suppose that same designer needs a shot of someone with a great smile for a toothpaste ad... Why should he hire a photographer, a model and rent a studio when there are already many great photos out there that he can use? He shouldn't - stock photography is the answer!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)
I absolutely LOVE your photography! Next time I'm in NYC, I'll gladly let you shoot photos of my son for your stock collection. I get two or three compliments per day from strangers who think he's the most adorable little boy the gods ever created. There are a few pics of him in my journal (Dec 8 and Dec 25th entries) if you're interested.
Feb. 26th, 2005 03:48 am (UTC)
I'd be happy to shoot photos of your son - Just let me know whenever you're making the trip up here and we can make some arrangements! All those compliments are completely correct!

Feb. 26th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
Very good description. I work for a marketing/promotion agency and use a lot of stock photos. This description is very clear.
Feb. 26th, 2005 06:58 am (UTC)
maybe its because I've been around marketing/advertising all my life, but i never really thought there would be anyone who didnt know.

But, since apparently there are, thanks for the description. Would it be ok if I used that somewhere?

im very sorry to be off topic, but do you notice both icons in the comments you've recieved? interesting.
Mar. 24th, 2005 04:08 am (UTC)
Although my reply is nearly a month late, I'm finally getting around to it! I think a large number of people who might be itnerested in an shoot would not necessarily know what stock photography is - actors or models might not know what it is, but may in fact be willing to shoot with that purpose in mind if they could get good photos out of it...

Feel free to use this wherever you'd like...

Icons? Perhaps they've changed in the past month, but I don't see what you are seeing...

Feb. 28th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
One more post of agreement. I think the examples are what would make it understandable for someone who has never encountered design work, advertising, etc.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )