Home Business Insights & Advice Stock images: Why are they so important nowadays?

Stock images: Why are they so important nowadays?

by Sarah Dunsby
25th Jul 18 7:58 am

If you have ever expressed an interest in your designer friend’s work, you will have likely come across the term “stock photo” or “stock image”. Perhaps you are a designer yourself and know how vital this media source is to a wide range of industries and businesses.

For those who are not familiar with stock images, they are essentially quality photographic images which are used in a variety of designs and literature. They are ubiquitous in sales and marketing, media, business, and a whole host of other areas. There are a number of companies which provide these images to customers on license, like on the web address Depositphotos.com, giving businesses a vital resource to target their audiences.

Providing you have paid the license or subscription fee, you will then have use of the images, according to the appropriate terms and conditions of use. Why many businesses prefer to use stock images is down to the quality of the photos, which generally cost a lot less than hiring a photographer to do the work.

Stock images are widely used

In marketing, sales, and advertising, stock photos are widely used. Think of the numerous commercials and brochures created to sell a product. Stock images can be found in everything from the product packaging to catalogues and branding material. The promotional literature can expand to posters, flyers, magazine ads and a whole host of other areas.

It is not just in the promotion of sales material where you will find this imagery. Charities, medicinal companies, the military, and public transportation companies also widely use stock imagery. Unbeknown to many, there is a litany of stock photos around us on any given day.

How much do stock images cost?

This will typically come down to the company you use for the images and the type of license associated with the stock photos.

The two most common licence types are:

Royalty free – These images carry the smaller restrictions of the two. Royalty free images are effectively non-exclusive licenses which has minor limitations on usage, which essentially makes them cheaper to buy. These photos can be bought under a subscription or individually, with the most common sales price per photo setting you back anything from 80c to $20.

Rights managed – These are sold on a more bespoke basis, with a specific usage requirement catered to, depending on the client’s needs. Image size and the resolution of photos can also be requested. These photos can cost up to thousands per image, so they would probably not be ideal for small to medium businesses.

How important are stock images?

Given their use in a wide range of industries and for a large number of reasons, there is no doubt that stock images are very important. They can be extremely useful to designers and businesses, as a picture speaks a thousand words, or so the saying goes.

With digital marketing and advertising continuing to grow in today’s society, it is pretty good bet that stock imagery is here to stay.

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