Stock Photo

What Does Stock Photo Mean?

A stock photo is an electronic photograph used for creative or business purposes in lieu of hiring a photographer for a given project. Users retrieve stock photos from stock photo websites, which often license images for designated one-time uses, or sell royalty-free rights to photos that can be purchased once and used repeatedly.


Techopedia Explains Stock Photo

Stock photos are shot by professional or semiprofessional photographers and are usually contained in searchable databases. Stock photo agencies purchase stock photos from private photographers, typically on a contractual basis. Microstock photography services offer a less expensive type of stock photo, but they must be purchased in large volumes and they are always royalty free. Stock photo agencies that offer lower resolution photographs for free in exchange for advertising also exist.

The stock photo industry has been turned upside down as a result of the Internet. It used to be that only large news organizations could afford to purchase photos from a small number of stock photo companies. After the Internet lowered the barrier to entry, the dynamics of the business were changed completely.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…