If you are an artist or graphic designer, if you’re just need images to use in different projects, you must have come across the term stock images or stock photos. But what are stock images? How can we use them?

Stock images are a resource to get best quality and cheap photos that we can use in our designs. Like for marketing and advertising, promotional work, personal or commercial projects, publishing, websites and blogs, and much more.

Stock Photography

A stock photo is an electronic photograph that are already created and made available for license by paying a fee to both the artists and the agency who managing them. After paying the fee you acquiring the right to use them legally in different ways, while the artist retains copyright of their work. Users buy stock photos from websites, which often license images for designated one-time uses, or sell royalty-free rights that can be purchased once and used repeatedly.

Stock Photo

Stock photos are shot by professional, semiprofessional or amture photographers. Stock photo agencies purchase photographs from these photographers, but they must be purchased in large volumes. Stock photo agencies that offer lower resolution photographs for free in exchange for advertising also exist.

The Benefits in Stock Images

Stock images has many benefits for businesses and creatives, but the main, most evident benefits are the time and money savings. Hiring a photographer or graphic designer is expensive and time-consuming. Not only a professionals’ fee can be high, but also the estimated times of hiring and delivering of the final images can be of weeks or more.

As you just know, stock images are readily available to use. Just after paying a license fee, you can download them and use them within the accepted terms. Plus Royalty Free is a one-time-pay license model with very flexible usage rights, and the price falls at way under $10 per image

How Can you Use Stock Images

You can use stock images for commercial, editorial and personal use. Royalty Free images allows for a wide range of uses. Rights Managed images enable pretty much the same possible uses, but limits it to one use per license. You cannot display the image just as you downloaded it, but rather edit it and modify it, customizing it to your project.


How are Stock Photos Used?

Commercial Use

Commercial usage of stock photos refers to any project where the main goal is to generate profit. But how to make money with stock photography? Some of the most common commercial uses for stock photos are:

Marketing and Advertising

  • Commercials — TV, Web, Commercial displays and more
  • Printed materials
  • Product packacking
  • Film and video
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues


Entertainment and Editorial

  • Book and eBook covers
  • Book and eBook illustrations
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Blogs and online publications
  • Broadcast
  • Video
  • Theatrical presentations
  • Newsletters


  • Graphic design
  • Web Design themes and elements
  • Digital wallpapers
  • Decor – home, office or any public space



Personal use (not for sale)

  • Posters
  • Prints
  • Reproductions
  • Art

Promotional (not for sale)

  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Greeting cards
  • Postcards



When you buy a stock image, you’re only buying a license to use the image in certain allowed ways. You are NOT acquiring the ownership of the image. The author still owns it, you’re just paying for the right to use it.. 


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