Stock photography is photography or other imagery of common landmarks, concepts, and events that can be used and reused for commercial design purposes. Book publishers, specialty publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, film makers, web designers, graphic artists, interior decor firms, corporate creative groups, and other entities utilize stock photography to fulfill the needs of their creative assignments. By using stock photography instead of hiring a photographer to perform on location shooting, customers can save valuable time and stay on budget. With a wealth of images, stock photography databases that may be searched online save photo researchers valuable time when they are looking for just the right image. With today's digital delivery methods, stock photography images may be purchased online and delivered via FTP or email, the very same day.
Stock photography is sometimes called a photo archive, or just stock photos. The term photo archive often refers to the website or physical location where the stock photographs are stored. Photo archives are also sometimes called image banks. As modern stock photography distributors often carry stills, video, and fun, what is ustrations, none of the existing terminology provides a perfect match for the state of the industry.