Stock Photo - Mosaic with pictures of holiday

Before we begin, you should know that this article has nothing to do with investing stock or Wall Street. But if you are an avid user of stock photos, you would be investing in someone’s work – in a way. So…

Stock Photos. What are they?

Techopedia explains: “Stock photos are shot by professional or semi-professional photographers and are usually contained in searchable databases. “

 And it is through these stock databases, or stock libraries that are able to contain an endless selection of royalty-free content suited for advertisements, books, fliers, or any project on hand. Think of these libraries as a one-stop solution for creative minds who are looking for high-quality photos on a time crunch.

 Yes, we understand how agencies work. Seriously, if you had to schedule a photoshoot just because a client needs a shot of a pseudo family jumping in the air having a whirl of a seemingly fun time, you can imagine how long it would take to complete a project. Not considering all the editing, cropping, reshooting that still needs to get done.

 And what if at the end of the day you realized, the photos you took just doesn’t jive with the overall design you had pictured? Back to square one. Still need convincing? Let these 6 reasons tell you why stock photos can rock your world.

1. Time-Saving

As mentioned above, coordinating a quality photoshoot takes time and advanced planning. If your stock photo needs are urgent and specific, such as travel, location-based or unique model photos, stock photo libraries are the perfect time-savvy option. So not only do you avoid scrambling to meet tight deadlines, browsing stock photos can also give you a better idea of what will or will not work for that project without having to spend money for a shoot that might not produce the desired results.

Stock Photo - Save Your Time Button on Computer Keyboard. Business Concept.2. Variety

 Speaking of browsing, stock libraries have such a wide variety that finding the perfect one you need – using the right keywords –  is a breeze. Many stock photo libraries these days have millions of stock photos in their databases and where else can you get a massive selection like this! 123RF, for instance have thousands of contributors and more than 35,000 images updated PER DAY including vector designs for every idea imaginable!

Stock Photo - Multimedia world - girl with photos from her travels shooting from phone3. Cost-Effective

 First of all, you might be thinking, “Wouldn’t using our own photographers be more cost-effective than purchasing stock images?” Not really, considering the fact you still need to purchase props, hire models and so on. On the other hand,  using stock photos are not as expensive as you thought it to be and you can choose from a variety of budget-friendly plans depending on your requirements. If you need lots of images for print or online, you may want to subscribe, but if it’s just those occasional shots, buying credits will allow greater flexibility.

Stock Photo - Saving4. Quality

So if it’s low cost, it must be low quality as well right? Far from it! Stock photos have to undergo rigorous reviewing and editing procedures before earning their spot in stock libraries. This means that out-of-focus pictures of your pet or badly-composited shots of family portraits are a no-no. In most cases, stock photos are of even better quality than those shot on assignment! After all, some of these collections are truly shot by professional stock photographers.

Stock Photo - Photo reporters working in office5. Licenses

 Now let’s talk about something on a more serious note. Firstly, have you ever taken photos online and used them without acknowledgement to the owner or proper documentation? (Hello, Google Images). Well, don’t. Not only is this unethical, it could also have you tangled in a legal battle – totally not worth it for just ONE image. Buying photos via a stock photo site, however, will assure that you can use the content legally as you have purchased the rights to do so and thus, already protected by standard license agreements.

Vector - COPYRIGHT. Highlighter over background with different association terms.6. Releases

Since we are on this topic about copyright issues, purchasing a royalty free stock photo also comes with the necessary model and property releases. Basically, these are legal agreements from the property owners or models stating that they agree to their image being used under standard conditions. So besides getting protected with proper licensing, you are also covered for any advertising or marketing campaigns.

Stock Photo - Directly above photograph of a model release form.So there you have it! 6 reasons why using stock photos can be beneficial in your work and oh, did I mention that registering on a stock photo site is free? We’ll talk more about the dos and don’ts of using stock photos in the next article. Check back real soon!