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Where Are Stock Photos Used? A Comprehensive Guide

Stock photos are as necessary as the air is on Earth – for some, who are looking to save time, slice down on their budget, and be savvy with their resources. Then again, who isn’t these days? With the access of the Internet made easy, it’s safe to say that stock photo libraries are one of the most used image collections around due to the convenience factor.

Generally, most people have a general idea that stock images either don’t make sense or are downright weird. Comments like ‘who on Earth would buy this?!’ would definitely surface if one runs a search for stock photos on the Internet. In all honesty, weird can be good. Normal has its pros and cons, too. Staged shots have their own uses, especially when merged and edited with other photos to create a complete piece. There are intended concepts for every stock photo that you see.

Every user’s need for stock photos will vary. That’s why a broad variety of themes can be found within every stock image provider’s library.

With themes that widely range from people, fitness, food to travel shots, stock photos undoubtedly follow photography trends. While flat lay, street photography, drone captures and macro shots remain popular, there are a plethora of other ways images are created. After all, there are millions of photographers out there who have their own style of photography.

Where There’s A Need, There’s A Product

There will always be a need—not just for stock photography, but for stock content as well. (Think vector art, footage clips, and audio tracks.)

  1. People of the world will continuously churn out business ideas, which then flourish into companies or startups.

  2. Then comes branding and corporate identity, where most businesses will have a need for things such as business cards or logos (here’s where vector illustrations come in).

  3. Next, marketing and communications would require videos and audio jingles or soundtracks to create a commercial advertisement, for example.

  4. While they’re at it, their creative team or hired agency would probably be looking for photos to make a billboard ad, or to add to a brochure design.

Did you know? Blockbuster movies and films use stock audio and footage, too. A quick 3-5 second clip of an airplane on a runway with the appropriate sound effects are much easier to purchase from a stock content provider than assembling your own production team to shoot that.

The use of stock content can flow down to the end products—take packaging design in the food and beverage industry, for instance. A popular brand like Kraft would use stock images or vector illustrations as part of their packaging design for one of their cheese products. In order to market their products to the masses, brands will use visual appeal to affect consumer choices.

Corporate giants and small enterprises aren’t the only client audience that stock libraries cater to. Social media influencers can use stock content to market themselves, too. For example, regularly maintaining updates on Instagram to build their followers and promote their account. These updates would require some form of content to boost their follower engagement—possibly in the form of a short video clip or a static image slideshow.

Here’s Where Stock Photos Can Be Applied:

  1. Resellable merchandize (phone covers, t-shirts, greeting cards, notebooks and the like)

  2. Printed advertorials (billboards, lightboxes, brochures, posters, in-store layouts or decoration)

  3. Online marketing and communications (online ads, web design, corporate identity/branding – Instagram layouts, business cards, and packaging design)

Explore our visual below! Pin or share it with your followers to help them understand how stock photos can be used.

123RF Blog - Where Are Stock Photos Used? A Comprehensive Guide

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