What Is the Purpose of a Stock Photograph?


Quick Answer

Stock photographs offer an efficient and cost-effective alternative to hiring a professional photographer for designers, artists or companies, according to Webopedia. They are professional photographs of everyday or commonly used images of places, famous landmarks, people, occasions and nature. Stock photography also encompasses images that are computer-generated, clip art, vectors and other types of imagery that may not technically fall under the category of photography.

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Full Answer

The images of stock photographs are bought and sold on a royalty-free basis, so more than one company and designer can purchase the same photograph for their own use, explains Webopedia. However, each image is sold under certain terms of agreement that lay out limitations. Terms of an agreement at times includes the specific uses of an image, a clause preventing resale of the image by the buyer and a limit on the number of copies of a piece of literature, such as a magazine, in which the image is to be used. Such terms may differ from distributor to distributor.

Companies that use many stock images often do so through a subscription service offered by the distributor, reports Webopedia. Distributors also now provide websites from which the image can be downloaded or if it is a group of images, the buyer can choose to receive them in a CD-ROM.

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