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Stock photography: Stock Photography and Royalty Free Stock Images

Updated on June 27, 2016

Beautiful butterfly on yellow flower

Beautiful butterfly on yellow flower
Beautiful butterfly on yellow flower | Source

Websites to get free stock photographs

There are a number of websites to get free stock photographs some of which are listed bellow

1 Wikimedia commons – free license use

2 Flickr: creative commons -same as above

3 Morguefile- free- credit image creator

4 Stock.XCHNG- over 400,000 images

5 Imagesbase:Free stock photographs-Allows commercial use

6 Pixabay- High quality public domain images

7 Freephotos.com

8 Freerange stock photographs- Allows commercial use

9 Free stock photos- used under license

10 Stockvault.net

11 Unprofound.com –Non profit organization

12 Public domain clip art

Stock photography

Most online creative assignments need stock images to give them some additional depth, appeal and professional look. More so creative writers, either fiction, news, poetry or fact based. Webmasters and bloggers also need to introduce imagery and photographs to enhance the readers experience by bringing the words to life.

Stock photograph have become one of the most sort after and important tools needed online today, they are used on blogs, websites, magazines, newspaper articles, article directories, books, posters and handbills.

In the stock photography world there are high cost stock photography, low cost paying/buying photography and mid ranged costs depending on the trading stock company. Stock photography might be offered to paying customers through agencies at a price or downloaded free of charge.

Some stock companies create their stock photographs by using professional models and photographers, who create high quality images. Such companies own the license of the image but sell the image either as a one of transaction, or for a limited period with strict rules and regulations, on distribution, use, and attribution.

Other stock photography agencies use both professional photographers and models and also receive member images from armature photographers. In this arrangement the armature photographer might retain his copywriter to the images unless otherwise specified, so stock photography is photographs that are purchased through licensing for specific usage that cover a wide range of topics.

Pixabay is a free stock photography website

Pixabay is a free stock photography website. image in sand
Pixabay is a free stock photography website. image in sand

Types of stock photography websites

There are basically three types of stock photography macro stock and micro stock photography agencies; you can also include mid-range stock photography and free stock images. The tradition stock image agencies come under the macro stock and they provide both high prices as well as low prices depending on the volume, size and usage.

Macro stock photography

Macro stock agencies offer professional taken photography and could attract a high premium price, they are high priced and licensed to a particular person or group. They are the most common type of traditional stock photography having a very large data base covering any topic imaginable.

The leading tradition stock photography companies include, Sipa press, Corbis and Getty image, each owning the licensing rights to their stock photographs.

Camera

Cameras are very important when taking micro stock photographs
Cameras are very important when taking micro stock photographs | Source

Choose your favorite stock photography website

Which type of stock photography website do you prefer

See results

Micro stock photography

Micro stock photography agencies use both professional photographers and armature photographers; most of their stock is strictly for commercial purposes. Micro-stock websites sell royalty-free images, animation images and vector art.

Some top micro stock websites that accept both armature and professional photography are Dreamtime, 123RF.com, Shutterstock, and Fotolia, they offer extended licenses fashion on pay per download. Subscribers who have their photographs priced using special algorithms or the person might be allowed to set own price depending on the agencies rules and licensing. They are given commissions in certain percentage according to the number of downloads.

Uploading and posting photographs in micro stock agencies is free and their pricing and payment structures might differ but each photograph uploaded goes through intense scrutiny and review before accepted or rejected. Advancement in digital technology and cameras makes photography submissions easier and readily available to the common man.

The subscribers to a micro stock company are allowed to create a body of work (portfolio) which is offered for sale; once the license is paid a percentage is given to the contributor.

Stock images come in high definition

Image of a tiger. stock photography covers a wide range of subjects
Image of a tiger. stock photography covers a wide range of subjects | Source

vector image. Cerchi Colorati

Vector image of cerchi colorati
Vector image of cerchi colorati | Source

Images found in stock photography

Stock photography covers several niches from still-life, abstract, architectural, animal, plant life and nature. Other popular topics highlighted in stock photography are human moods and behavior such as gesticulation, emotion, family, fashion, traditions, object art or photography is also popular.

Acceptable image sizes could be between 800x600 pixies, and should not contain recognizable people unless certain permission is granted, and contributors have to add keywords.

Vector graphics

Vector graphics can be said to be strokes, lines and curves through the use of computer graphic to create an image that retains clarity when magnified or scaled up. Almost all vector formats support simple objects, text, color, meatballs and other elements. Vectors can mirror an image, stretch or use positioning.

Royalty free images

Many people mistakenly think royalty –free images mean the images are free to use, but they are wrong. Royalty-free images are not free images and they attract a fee to down load such images. Many of such images are protected with bold visible water markers which indicate that the licensing of the image comes under that company.

The copywriter protects the contributors or authors’ works as well as the service provider under literary and artistic works.

Royalty free and free image websites

free stock photos
royalty-free
 
Imagebase
shutterstock
 
freedigitalphotos.net
dreamtime
 
morguefile.com
123RF.com
 
pixabay
fotolia
 
stockvault
 
 

Stock photography tips

Copyright infringements on stock photographs

Copy write infringement might be unauthorized use of image, resizing or adapting image without the creator’s permission and duplicate copying. Other copy write infringements are not following the licensing rights and wrong attributions not permitted by the author.

Liability of stock images copy write can fall on the publisher of such unauthorized image, an unauthorized user or group which may incur stiff penalties and legal fees. Most stock companies offer licensing agreements that adequately protects the buyer, but there are few exceptions.

How to take acceptable stock photographs

There are many people joining stock websites to showcase and earn a small income through downloads, it is not an easy venture like most serious ventures but with time like every online endeavor pays eventually.

You cant get rich selling stock photography but can earn a fair wage while having fun, after signing up to a royalty-free website, the main challenge is getting the image accepted. Every stock website is guided by its on rules on composition, and they reward creativity.

Positioning of the subject matter is important while taking your creative composition, remove any logs, advertisement, street names, product branding from your composition.

Certain sizes are acceptable over others, no recognizable person, negative themes and so one, it is important to go through the legalese, rules and regulations before submitting any original composition to a royalty-free stock website.

Alternatively start your own stock photography website using acceptable good practices, images and getting your own water marks and licensing

How to sell stock images

How to use stock photographs

Stock photographs add value to your blog, website, and article or book publication; can you imagine a newspaper or magazine without any photographs? They make otherwise bland content come alive giving the audience a visual representation of the topic, high quality stock photographs don’t come cheap so adequate budgeting and planning is necessary.

How to sell stock images

To start selling stock photographs you need to signup with a reputable stock photography website, joining is free and can be done rather easily. Build up a portfolio using creativity, following the rules, dedication and hard work while learning photographic techniques and ideas.

Do your best work to produce high quality images that would be readily approved and earn steady wages of royalties as high as fifteen percent (15%) per download. Stock photography websites use the pay per download or pay as you go format, and making as high as forty five percent (40%) in some cases like istock when you have exclusive status.

Stock photography websites have forums that help new members, articles, stock apps, contributor lounge and referral programs, the also have tutorials covering licensing, selling stock, subscription, and legal.

Creative commons licensing

All creative commons users most attribute (credit)any creative work they intent to use in the proper way stipulated by the type of license provided, the licenses include attributions such as CC BY, allows commercial use, redesign, remix, and distributions. Attributions under the Share-Alike which is CC BY-SA that allows redesign, remix, to organization use they type of stock images.

Attribution-No device CC BY-ND does not allow changes to the creative work or photograph to be used but it can be used both for commercial and non commercial purposes. The attribution Non-Commercial CC BY-NC is clear enough but it can be used for wedding anniversary, birthdays and engagement cards or brochures.

The creative commons attribution –Non commercial- Share Alike also has a non commercial tag but credit is necessary and important. The Non-Commercial-No-Device covers more stringent rules allow only downloading and sharing, and the creative works most remain unchanged.

Creative commons

Creative commons is all about free legal licensing, they are a non profit organization that share and use photography, university course materials, use and remix royalty-free images. They have different copy write licenses under the creative commons license while keeping intellectual right of contributor.

Creative commons grant special licensing Permissions to edit, expand, redesign, remix copy and distribute creative work, the contributor has the say in the kind of license and mode of usage.

There copywrite provisions are easy to use with some rights reserved for the creator and the general public with a view to use and share creative work like, visual, song, publications and photographic images. Creative commons allows publishers use and share and sometimes modify creative work for free under specific licenses.

The work might include blog content, articles, photographs, images, academic work, songs and streaming videos, creative commons is an alternative to regular copywrite as to permissions and usage. They offer an easy standardized way to grant users copywrite permissions

Totally Free Photographs

Button with the inscription free
Button with the inscription free | Source

Free stock images

There are free stocks images that you can get legally that have copy write automatically generated in favor of the image creator.

About free images

1 the quality of free images are poor in relation to professionally stock images

2 the copy write for free stock images are automatically generated to the original creator

3 Recognizable images such as side or full frontal is not used because of litigation.

4 Free stock images are usually devoid of any legal backing

Totally free photos and Public domain photos

Yes you can get totally free photographs to use on your articles, blog, website, hub, advertisements and promotional, they can be used in a commercial and non commercial project. Although the images have automatic licensing to the creator the user should attribute-credit the image out of courtesy and good practices. Some free stock photograph websites are particular about attribution/credit while others on this platform advices the user to always attribute images.

The images on free photograph websites provide user rights, and contact with creator of image might be necessary for certain commercial projects.

Public domain works

Public domain works are usually protected for an extensive period usually running into several years but become public property after the demise of the original creator after a period for public use. They become public work when their intellectual property right expires and are subject to certain rights.

Public domain works cover photographs, publications, content, music, movies and multimedia, others are visual arts and imagery, some public domain websites under multimedia and movie are Movie image achieves, and American memories collection.

Image and visual arts has websites like Art library society of North America, galleries and museums under. Org or .edu, public domain Sherpa, and the U.S Government official images web search. Others are U.S Government photos and images, Wikipedia Commons and Flickr Public domain.

Jagged Rocks

Jagged rocks
Jagged rocks | Source

Conclusion

There are many stock photography websites online that allow usage either for commercial purposes or private. You can either buy stock photographs from macro stock websites or micro stock websites which are cheaper.

All images used online should carry one type of licensing or the other and publisher using such creative work should credit the source according to the license it carries. If you can take your own images the better and only use images you have the legal right to use.

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    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Great hub! So true, images are so important these days they really catch the eye. You have to be careful though in what you can legally use. These are great tips for finding usable photos for hub pages and other websites.

    • tony55 profile image
      Author

      femi 3 years ago from Nigeria

      Wiccansage, thanks for the comment.

      Image use and copy write is serious stuff, it can cause litigation if rules are not properly followed.

    • galleryofgrace profile image

      galleryofgrace 3 years ago from Virginia

      We "write" articles and have "copy rights". This is good information.

    • choosetolive profile image

      Ravi and Swastha 3 years ago from London, Canada

      Very informative article ! Thanks for sharing. Voted up !

    • Danext profile image

      Dan Lema 2 years ago from Tanzania

      Very great article, has in-depth information about the subject...great work

    • tony55 profile image
      Author

      femi 2 years ago from Nigeria

      Thanks very much Danext

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