Stock Images web directory: 16 resources.

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  • Alamy
    Alamy is an international company that provides stock images to users and clients around the globe for creative work purposes.

  • Awkward Stock Photos
    The website is a social community of admirers of artistic imagery that defies conventional photography.

  • BigStock
    The company is a provider of royalty-free photographs and illustrations that are gathered together from photographers and artists around the globe.

  • Corbis Images
    The company is a resource for advertising, marketing and media professionals, providing a selection of stock photography, illustration, footage, fonts, creative merchandise and entertainment licensing and rights representation services.

  • Deposit Photos
    Stock image agency that provides royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vector images.

  • Dreamstime
    Dreamstime is a provider of stock images and a supplier of digital images. Structured on categories and subcategories, the database is updated with images and titles on a daily basis.

  • Fotolia
    Offers royalty-free images that can be used in design projects and documents, without time limits or restrictions on the number of printed copies.

  • GettyImages
    Creates and distributes still imagery, footage, music and similar content to clients who need tools for creative work.

  • iStockphoto
    The company provides royalty-free stock images, media and design elements. Account registration is required to gain access to the the stock image collections.

  • Jupiter Images
    The company is a supplier of stock photography. Offers royalty-free images and stock illustrations.

  • Open Stock Photography
    The website is owned by the Wikimedia Foundation and offers image files that are available under a free content license or in the public domain. No restrictions of use beyond those relating to official insignia.

  • Photodune
    Offers stock images, photos, vectors and illustrations. Allows registered users to sell their collections of photos.

  • ShutterStock
    Shutterstock is an international company that provides photos, vectors, illustrations and videos from contributors around the globe.

  • Stock.XCHNG
    The website is a community where people can exchange their photos for personal and commercial use. Account registration is required to join the community.

  • Think Stock
    The company provides royalty-free photos, vector images and illustrations that are selected from other stock image providers around the globe.

  • Veer
    Offers royalty-free images, vectors and fonts for professionals who work in the field of creative marketing.

Stock Images Web Directory

Stock images are images created by professionals for professionals. These images are taken by professional or advanced amateur photographers, submitted to a searchable online database owned by a photo stock agency and made available for small business start-ups, bloggers, web designers, multimedia professionals, commercial magazines, journalists or anyone else who needs a high quality photograph fast and at a low price. These photographs are mostly licensed for a specific use, although photo stock agencies keep collections of free-to-download images as well.

Stock Photos
A stock image example (

Stock images save time and money because they enable a journalist or a web designer to buy a photo online in just a few seconds. With millions of online stock images, there is no need to hire a photographer, which of course cuts the costs and speeds up the whole creative process. From a photographer's point of view, the process of submitting is quite rigorous, as the photograph must satisfy strict conditions and standards in order to get accepted by the photo stock agency and uploaded into the database. Even the smallest glitch can result in denial.

Stock images mostly display commercially desirable motifs, such as stereotypes, photos involving people, common emotions, tourism or travel. There are three types of stock images: macro stock images (high-end exclusive images), mid stock images and micro stock (cheap and inclusive images). Stock images are sold and distributed by photo stock agencies under several types of licenses: royalty-free license, limited royalty-free license and rights-managed (licensed images).

If a stock image is sold under royalty-free license, a buyer can pay the image only once, and then use the image multiple times and when he likes it, without paying a royalty fee each time he uses a given stock image. Licensed (Rights Managed) images on the other hand, are stock images which are valued based on their use. The price of the license itself is determined by the industry covered by the license, image size, territories covered by the license, exclusivity (exclusive or non exclusive), print run, duration or specific use.

Micro stock photo agencies have perfected selling large volumes of stock images at once. For example, you can purchase 50 images in a package for $49. These photos can go as low as 20 cents for a single image. Stock photography is not about creating beautiful artistic shots per se; it's more about creating bold concepts that will potentially sell to clients. When a client buys a stock photo, he/she does not buy the actual image, but the rights to use the image for a specific number of times. This means, that the very same stock image can be sold thousands of times to thousands of different clients.

A perfect stock image should be very simple, yet obvious. For example, a businessman holding a laptop (stock images and cliches work great together). The most popular type of stock photography is micro stock, as it enables the client to buy royalty-free images at a low price. Rights-managed stock photography on the other hand, is slowly but surely getting smaller and losing its market share.