What Are Stock Images? Everything You Need to Know

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CLAS006595 – ClassicStock / TopFoto

Images are incredibly essential to a website’s success. In the UK, 20% of British content marketers used visuals in 91-100% of their content.

A further 40% went to list stock photos as their top source of images for their website. Stock photos are available through several sources, so if you’re new to stock images, this is the article for you.

Keep reading as we answer the question, “what are stock images?” as well as everything you need to know about using stock photos.

What Are Stock Images?

Stock images, or stock photography, is a field that creates, produces, and sells imagery. These images can be in a few forms:

  • Photographs
  • Digital Illustrations
  • Videos

These images depict various subjects, typically reenacting a scene—for example, a child blowing bubbles or someone pouring coffee.

Types of Stock Images Explained

Stock images can be separated into a few categories. First, there is macrostock, then midstock, and microstock photography.

Macrostock, also known as traditional stock photography, costs the most to buy the rights. Macrostock images are usually somewhat exclusive or may only come out in a limited number that customers can purchase. If you want to make your website stand out, macrostock photography is the ideal option.

Midstock photography tries to bridge the gap between offering limited edition runs of images for exclusivity with the lower model range of microstock photography.

Microstock photography typically has no limits to how many copies of the same image can be purchased, so they come in at a much lower price point. As a result, this may be an ideal option for people just starting without a large budget.

How to Use Stock Images

There are several licensing options for buying and using stock images. You get public domain, royalty-free, and rights-managed.

Public Domain: This license means there is no cost attached to using the image for personal or commercial purposes

Royalty-Free: This license means the image is bought via a one-time payment and then is free to be used numerous times (sometimes with minor restrictions)

Rights-Managed: This license means the image comes with one-time use rights, and additional licenses will need to be purchased to use the image again

Where Can I Find Stock Images?

While there are several places to purchase stock photography online, TopFoto offers you only the highest quality images. Our Curated category has images covering everything from the British Army to Queen Elizabeth II. We also have a category for Easter.

Additionally, our catalogue includes more than 3,000 negatives and prints taken by Ken Russell, a filmmaker in the 1950s and iconic cartoons from Punch Magazine, founded in 1842.

Never Use Low-Quality Images Again

Now that you know more about stock photography, you’ll no longer be asking, “what are stock images?”. Stock images are a great way to add professional-quality visuals to your publication or website. You can find the perfect stock image for your needs with some research.

View our curated gallery and start adding to your cart if you’re looking for affordable stock imagery. Your site will have that professional touch in no time.


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