Stock Photography for Web Developers: Part 1 | 2
Stock Photography for Web Developers: Part 1
Is Stock Photography Becoming More Popular?
Stock photography is being widely used in all sorts of markets and the need is growing, particularly in the desktop publishing and multimedia markets. To meet the demand, stock agencies have begun to create alliances with one another to meet the demand.
To meet customer needs, stock-on-demand has come into being. This is where images are multi-linked between various agencies and it's possible to search for photographs through a single interface. A couple of companies that provide this servcice are ImageGrabber and our own JupiterImages division.
What Does Stock Photography Cost?
Pricing for stock photography varies widely. Generally, the price depends on what you're looking for, how you want to use it, and where it will be published. Other factors are how long the image will be used and how many copies of the image will be created (if for a book or magazine). An important factor is whether the image will be used for one purpose or multiple applications, such as a web site, book cover and/or brochures. All of these affect the price. Other issues are whether the image is rights-protected or royalty-free, but that's the subject of our next article.
One useful reference is the software application Fotoquote, published by Cradoc. This application is used by many stock professionals to determine image pricing. You can also get an idea of what images cost by visiting some stock photography web sites which have a pricing calculator built into their service. A good example is Index Stock. When you click on this link, you'll see an image that I've selected. Here, you can use the drop-down menus to get an idea of image pricing.
A new service that's come into play is a subscription service offered by several agencies, such as Index Stock and Comstock, where you can purchase a royalty-free license that allows you access to a wide variety of images over a prescribed period of time.
When Assignment Photography is an Option
There are many reasons for choosing assignment photography over stock image libraries:
1. Sometimes, even with variations, the available stock images are not what the client wants.
2. One of the problems with stock is the likelihood that many people will have the same image, used in different markets. While obtaining an exclusive license to an image decreases the possibility of that image being seen in one market, it doesn't necessarily prevent the image being seen in other forms of advertising, unless a license is drawn up to prevent that.
3. Occasionally branding, or the corporate image, is really important. In this case, some clients want their own images shot. This guarantees that no one else will have the same image.
4. Another option, available from some agencies such as OnRequest Images, is where you can order images shot to your specifications. After your usage, they then place the images into their stock library. To learn more about the options and their requirements, visit their web site.
In the next article in this series, we'll look at how you can purchase stock photography and what types of licenses are available. Topics include rights protected and royalty free images, stock-on-demand, exclusivity, restrictions on use, model releases and more.
About the Author
Nathan Segal is an Associate Editor for WebReference.com. He is an Artist and Writer who has been writing for computer and photographic magazines for 8+ years. His specialty is taking complex methods and explaining them in clear, easy-to-understand terms. To learn more about his work and background, click here.
Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: September 23, 2005