The trend of using stock photos has seen a huge surge in the last two decades. With the advanced professional DSLR cameras, a lot of high-quality pictures are clicked every day either for personal collection or for stock photography. Not many people know that stock photography is not a new concept but has been in existence since the 1920s.

Yes, far longer than Facebook and Instagram. Stock photography, in general, can be understood as a library of photos of different categories available for public use under varying licenses. Many websites provide free stock photos or paid stock photos based on quality and availability. A user can either opt for free stock photos or paid ones and can use them for personal work or professional project or commercial use.

The reason why the post year 2000 stock photography got popular because it saved a great deal of time. Stock photos are already created or post edited so all that the user has to do is to download the photo and use it. Besides this, stock photos are very economical because instead of hiring a professional photographer the user gets access to any kind of photo either for free or as paid. Even if a user opts for paid stock photos then also the cost is much, much lower than the hiring services of a professional photographer.

The stock photography concept was started by H. Armstrong Roberts to help publishers get easy access to photographs for their advertising needs. This concept became quite popular in publishers because it saved them a great deal of money which they tend to invest in hiring a professional photographer.

Even today, stock photographs are used in all sorts of
commercials and artistic endeavors. So let's have a look at the endless potential uses of stock photos:

Commercial Usage:
Stock photos are widely used for commercial purposes where the prime objective is to earn a profit. Stock photos eliminate the need for hiring model, property, professional photographer. All the rights are already cleared. Commercial use of stock photos can be divided into many sub-categories for instance:

1. Branding
2. Online promotions and Social Media
3. Marketing and Advertising
4. Resale of Products
5. Business Presentations
6. Artistic Productions
7. Decoration or Creative Projects

All these are just a small hint of the scale at which stock photos are used because they can be used for promoting anything.

Editorial Usage:
Editorial usage of stock photos is not generally related to earning profit. There are many ways stock photos are used in this category.

1. Articles for Magazines
2. Textbooks
3. Blogs
4. Newspapers
5. Illustrations
6. News Reports

Generally, editorial stock photos are not meant for generating revenue and used to represent editorial content.

Because of the widespread use of stock photos, there are various sources through which you can get stock photos. There are popular online stock photo websites that provide tons of photos in a wide category. So whether you need a photo for commercial usage or looking for an editorial use then visit any of the stock photo websites which provide stock photos either for free or as paid.

Author's Bio: 

I regular write on tech, auto, health and lifestyle.