Stock Photography- The Ultimate Guide No.1

Spread the love

What is Stock Photography?

Stock means to STORE something & Photography means to CAPTURE THE MOMENTS by using cameras. So, it means to store all the photographs in one place.


Accordingly, in 1920, a photographer named H.ARMSTRONG ROBERTS had started a business onSTOCK PHOTOGRAPHY by the name of the agency RETROFILE.

It is the 1st major Stock photography agency. Later, we will learn more about it.

Now following are the points which we will cover in this blog:

  1. History of Stock Photography
  2. Developed Technology
  3. Online Payments Option
  4. Advanced & Updated Technology
  5. Types of Stock Photography
  6. Trends & trait
  7. Frequently ask Questions
  8. QnA

History of Stock Photography(1880-1930)

In the 1880s a printer named HALF-TONE was invented which helped the printing press of that era to introduce attractive photos in newspapers & magazines for the first time in history.

Before the invention, line art was used to provide a picture of that scenario. In 1920 H.Armstrong Roberts an American photographer founded an agency by the name of RETRO-FILE.

1st major stock photography agency

It is the 1st major stock photography agency. In the year 1936 in New York a traditional stock agency is founded by Otto Ludwig Bettmann. The name of the agency is the Bettmann Archive.

In spite of this it has 19 million photographs & images. It also includes many images from Europe and elsewhere.

Developed Technology(1940-1980)

Since in this year’s so many new technologies had come into existence & so many new digital cameras were released by the different-different companies like CANON, NIKON, SONY, etc.

So many new instruments like Tripod, Memory card, flashlight, rechargeable batteries, Speed-Lite, etc all things were out at that time. Many stock photography agencies had started working with online mode.

In Addition for Stock photography

They started learning the use of the internet & with that they got the idea of shifting their business from offline mode to online mode.

Hence, they start making their websites finally. so that people who want to purchase photos from them(agency)people directly search their name on GOOGLE & google will show their website to people. Then People easily purchase photos from the website.

Online payment Option(1980s-1990s)

In 1991 there is another a big agency of STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY who sell photos for free loyalties.

The name of the agency is PhotoDisc & it is founded by Tom Hughes, Mark Callaghan & Mark Torrance. They started selling DVDs of photos inside it & if suppose you sell it to me then I can use those photos at much time as I want.

Getty Images

 Subsequently, a new option came into existence for all the photographers, for all who have websites, banks, etc. i.e. ONLINE PAYMENT OPTION.  This helped each & every photographer who has stock agency & selling their photos on websites & those also who will start this business in the future.

Company Merged

After this is working smoothly than in 1995 PHOTODISC merged with a stock company namely, Getty Images which is a London based company. Then in 1996, the Hulton Picture Collection was acquired by Getty Images with a price of   8.6 million.

There is an update that comes with the payment style in May 2000 A microstock company iStockphoto is mostly selling a free stock images website. But in 2001 it had updated its micropayment method.

Shutterstock Founded

It means a small amount of online transactions. Then in 2013, this agency started giving subscriptions to model for stock photos. That was a time where other many companies are struggling & doing their best at that time in 2003 Shutterstock was founded & it is giving 1 month of a monthly subscription.

Some stock photography company as follows:

source:Stock photography

For Example

If you have a website & it sells something on it then it is an advantage that you would go through a cashless & visa card, debit card, atm card, etc hence helps your customers to do payments easily.

Advanced & Updated Technology(After 2000)

In this era, many new technologies had come. Some old technology had updated themselves & made powerful. Many Networking companies, Marketing companies, licensing companies, etc came with more updates & easy to go.

Some this kind of companies are as follows:

1)  Corbis Images :

Product placement, influencer marketing & licensing company

2) Jupiter media Corporation

-: Provides business-to-business services for creative, business & information technology professionals.

3) stock.xchng

Website providing free use stock photos.

4) Citizen journalism

active role in collecting, reporting, analyzing news & information.

5) Initial public offering

It solds shares of the company to institutional investors.

These are updated technology with which customers can use it easily & technology growth is seen. With all these websites many more are there that you can find/search on google.

But these are the mains & in the past, they had made something in tech so they are on this list 🙂

Types of Stock Photography

For making pamphlets, publishing photos in magazines, Supply of photographs for advertising, etc. all this with their specific license is known  STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY.

So their are 3 types of Stock Photography

i) Macro stock-:

It is exclusive stock photography & price is also high. Also Known as traditional  Stock Photography.

ii) Midstock :

It is mostly used online.

iii) Microstock :

It is sell in larger volume & mostly stock agencies are working on it.

There are many online photo websites that sell photos by making unique software to search for fitting stock photos so that the search engine rank them at the top.

For example: If I’m the agency I made that kind of software that can show results of complicated keyword combination, colors, shape & mood, etc. So when you search these keywords I will rank on the top of that page.

In this era so many things are going on in trend. Even small things are becoming trends. Nowadays Microstock photography includes a lifestyle of peoples photographs.

What is TREND?

It is like a shoot of food, sports, & fashion. When something is developing in the general direction it is known as TREND.

E.g. Suppose I am Celebrity. I wear a t-shirt & pent. So wearing a t-shirt pent is TRAIT & if you all follow me then it is a TREND. If I say trait meaning in simple form then it is the quality which is distinguishing by a characteristic which is belonging to someone.

Frequently Ask Questions

In the end I would like to say that If you still have any doubts regarding fashion photography then read my one more blog on

 # in a new tab)

For marketing take online courses or many free courses are available on YouTube I will share the link of it.

Q. What is stock photography business?

A. It is a business which sell online all kind of photos as per requirement.

Q. How to Shoot for Stock photography?

A. This shoot is not different from other shoots. But in this we took topic for photographs & then we shoot. For this you should compulsory have  a DSLR or SLR camera, a model for shoot & a place where you will go & shoot. In beginning this is enough for shoot.

Q. Why stock photos are so expensive?

A. Because a photographer hard work, model acting, transportation cost, editing cost.  So if we add all this cost it goes high. Therefore it is expensive.

Q. What is Stock Photography?

A. Answer is at starting of the blog.

Q. Which is best stock photography?

A. Macrostock is best.

Q. Which stock photography site is best to sell?

A. Imagesbazzar is the best because 50% it gives to photographer & remaining 50% goes to company.

Q. What is stock photography site?

A.  It is the site where all stock photos are sold online.

Q. What stock photos are in demand?

A.  Stock photos are in demand for Lifestyle photos.To understand more read Trends & traits part.

Q. How much stock photography agency earns?

A. Depends on how much photos are sold in one day, month & earn.

Q. Difference between Stock photography &  Microstock.

A. Microstock is a part of stock photography

Q. Famous stock photography company of India?



Leave a Comment