Working on commercial projects, you have to be as creative and authentic as possible to attract an audience and keep them interested. Striking, high-quality visuals are one of the main aspects to consider for such tasks. Stock image websites feature numerous files available for instant use in your designs. Moreover, they are a great and cheaper alternative to hiring professionals to create needed visuals.
Read further to discover the basics of using licensed stock photos and the top source of HD content for commercial use.
What are stock photographs?
A stock photo is a digital picture that you can download on a free or paid stock platform. Images can contain people, objects, animals, and other graphics. You can use these visuals for personal and commercial purposes, as they are always properly licensed.
Using high-quality stock photos can benefit you in many ways:
- You save the time and money you would spend hiring a professional photographer or illustrator.
- You don’t have to wait for results: it takes a few seconds to download a stock photo you like.
- You immediately see what you’re getting, which isn’t always the case when you hire a photographer. This way, you avoid any unexpected photo issues and extra edits.
Where can you use stock images?
You can use visuals downloaded from official stock content platforms for the following commercial purposes:
- marketing materials, such as social media designs and branding;
- promotion flyers, posters, and brochures;
- creative projects, like collage art;
- website design: as a background or to illustrate certain elements on a site;
- clothing prints and other commercial prints.
Common license types used in stock photography
To ensure you won’t face legal issues when using online downloaded visuals, you need to understand what license types image stocks use. Although websites offer different licensing terms, two most commonly used types of licenses are Royalty-Free and the Rights-Managed.
Royalty-Free License (RF)
When you download a photograph under a Royalty-Free License, you can use it multiple times for various commercial and personal projects without a license expiry date. RF has two types—Standard and Extended. They differ in image distribution limitations, e.g., the number of copies.
A Royalty-Free License doesn’t grant you exclusive rights to the photo’s usage. Other agencies and individuals can download the same file and use it in their projects.
Rights-Managed License (RM)
This license allows you to purchase exclusive rights for image usage, meaning no one else will be able to legally download and use it. The RM licensing fee usually depends on the project and the time period you’ll be using the visual. For instance, if you plan on using a picture in your branded packaging material, you’ll have to pay a significant fee. But the license will cost much less if you need to use a photo in your marketing campaign covering several thousand copies.
How to pick an appropriate license
To choose the best licensing option for your specific needs, consider the following questions:
- How many copies of material do you plan to make? Standard Royalty-Free License can limit the number of copies to 500,000 on average. So if you need more, you should consider purchasing an Extended one.
- Where will you use a visual? Will you be creating items for resale or free distribution using the image? It’s better to choose the Extended Royalty-Free License to make sure you won’t break any limits.
- Do you want exclusive rights for a picture? If so, Rights-Managed will be your go-to choice.
The best online platform to buy stock photos
Depositphotos is one of the biggest international stock content marketplaces. Their library contains over 230 million high-quality files, including royalty-free photographs, illustrations, vector art, music, and videos. Browsing depositphotos.com/stock-photography.html, you can discover thematic image categories and trendy collections where you can look for visuals on specific topics like weddings, holidays, healthy lifestyles, and more. Thanks to a smart web interface and advanced search filters, finding the right image for your needs is easy. Select portraiture, point of view, date, orientation, color, and other filters to get the best results. You can also try the Search by Image tool to look for licensed pictures using a reference file.
Depositphotos offers free and premium images. Free files can be downloaded without watermarks and are available for commercial use with attribution. To avoid crediting the source, you can buy a monthly or yearly subscription or on-demand plan. The prices depend on the number of images you plan to download and on the type of Royalty-Free License you want to use—Standard or Extended. Note that the Extended RF License can be applied to On-Demand downloads only. Nonetheless, custom and enterprise plans are also available upon request.
To sum up
Stock images are an excellent solution for creators who cannot always use the services of professional photographers, illustrators, or designers. To pick the best stock photos for your specific needs and comply with copyright, carefully study the licensing options and determine which one matches your goals. Depositphotos offers a variety of high-quality stock visuals for any occasion and makes your image search simple due to the platform’s intuitive interface and AI-based search algorithms. Find licensed HD files online and create striking design projects with ease.