Can Anyone Use Stock Photos?

Stock photography has become a staple in almost every type of media.

Can Anyone Use Stock Photos

From blogs to magazines, websites to social media platforms, stock images are everywhere. But does everyone have access to them?

Stock photography is a great way to save time and money. But before you start using stock images, you should know whether they’re free or paid.

There are two types of stock photo licenses: Creative Commons (CC) and Public Domain (PD). CC allows you to use the image without paying anything, whereas PD gives you full rights to use the image.

The most common form of stock photos are those that fall under the Creative Commons license. These can be used for commercial purposes as long as credit is given to the photographer. Here’s how it works:

  1. Find an image on
  2. Click “Use this image” next to the image you want to download.
  3. You’ll see a link to the license terms page where you can read more about the usage.

If you find a good-looking image but don’t like the licensing, you may still be able to get creative and make your own version. Just remember to give proper attribution to the original photographer.

How To Make Money With Stock Images

You can sell stock images on sites such as iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, GettyImages, Fotolia, and others.

Here are some tips to help you create a successful stock photo business.

1. Choose Your Niche

Choosing a niche will help you narrow down what kind of stock images you’ll need. For example, if you specialize in wedding photography, you won’t need any other kinds of stock images.

On the other hand, if you’re into landscape photography, you might not even need people.

2. Create a Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of all your best work. It helps potential clients decide which photographer they want to hire.

3. Start Small

It takes a lot of practice to build up a portfolio. So, try starting small by taking pictures of things around your house. This will help you improve your skills and gain experience.

4. Get Connected

Once you’ve built up a portfolio, you can start building relationships with photographers who share similar interests. They can provide you with feedback and advice on improving your craft.

5. Be Professional

Be sure to always follow the rules when working with stock images. Always ask permission before using someone else’s property. And never forget to properly attribute the source.

6. Don’t Give Up

Remember, there are no overnight successes. It took me years to learn how to take quality stock images. If you put in the effort now, you’ll reap the benefits later.

7. Keep Learning

Keep learning new techniques and styles, so you can keep growing as a photographer. Check out online tutorials and classes offered by professional photographers.

8. Network

Don’t just rely on word of mouth. Build your network through social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Join groups related to your niche and participate in discussions.

9. Offer Value

Offer value to your prospective customers by offering them something extra. For example, I often include a short video tutorial with my stock images.

10. Promote Yourself

Promoting yourself is one of the most important parts of running a successful stock photo business because it increases your exposure.

11. Charge What You Want

Charge whatever price you think is fair based on your skill level and time commitment. Remember that pricing should reflect the amount of effort involved in creating each image.

12. Set Goals

Set goals for your business. How much money do you want to earn per month or year? Are you willing to invest more time and energy into your business?

Once you have these answers, you’ll know whether this is the right way to go.

13. Have Fun!

If you love doing what you’re doing, then you’ll enjoy running your own business by creating your own stock images.

How Much Money Can I Make From Stock Photos?

Can Anyone Use Stock Photos

The average annual salary for a stock photographer is $38,000. However, some top-earning stock photographers make over $100,000 per year.

The highest paid stock photographer ever was Steve McCurry, whose work appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine.

He earned an estimated $1 million from his stock photos between 1990 and 2000.

What Else Can Stock Photos Be Used For?

Stock photography has many uses beyond being used for commercial purposes. Here are some other ways people use stock images:

  • Create presentations (e.g., PowerPoint slides)
  • Illustrate books, magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • Provide inspiration for websites
  • Document events (e.g., weddings, graduations, birthdays, holidays, etc.)
  • Record memories (e.g., family vacations, trips, etc.)
  • Produce videos (e.g., YouTube videos)
  • Teach courses (e.g., Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, etc.)
  • Write articles (e.g., blogs, magazine articles, etc.)
  • Sell products (e.g., T-shirts, mugs, posters, etc.)
  • Market services (e.g., web design, SEO, etc.)
  • Promote brands (e.g., logos, slogans, etc.)
  • Advertise businesses (e.g., billboards, bus ads, etc.)

Why Are Stock Photos So Popular?

There are several reasons why stock photos are popular. They are easy to find and purchase, they are affordable, and they come in various sizes and file formats.

How Do People Find Stock Images Online?

People look for stock images using search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and others.

People also visit sites where stock images are sold, such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, and Getty Images.

People can also find free stock images online through sites like Pixabay, FreeImages, Pexels, Unsplash, and Depositphotos.

A List Of Where To Buy Stock Images

You can buy stock photos at any number of places. Some of the best places to buy stock photos include:

  • iStockPhoto – This site offers thousands of royalty-free images.
  • Shutterstock – This site offers hundreds of high quality images.
  • Dreamstime – This site offers thousands upon thousands of royalty-free photographs.
  • Fotolia – This site offers thousands and thousands of royalty-free photos.
  • Getty Images – This site offers millions of high-quality images.
  • Pixabay – This site offers thousands of free images.
  • Freeimages – This site offers thousands of images for download.
  • Depositphotos – This site offers thousands of royalty-free images. You can browse by category or keyword.

How Many Stock Photo Licenses Should I Get?

It depends on how often you plan to use your stock photo(s). If you only need one image, then it’s probably not worth buying a license for that image.

But if you want to create multiple images with the same image, then you should get more than one license.

If you plan to use your images frequently, then you should consider getting a subscription. Subscriptions allow you to access all of their content, including new images, every day.

How Much Does A Stock Photo License Cost?

A royalty-free stock photo is an image that allows you to use the image without paying royalties. It does not require you to pay any fees when you use the image.

The cost of a stock photo varies depending on which site sells the image. For example, some sites charge $1 per image, while others charge $0.10 per image.

The type of licensing agreement you sign will depend on what kind of usage rights you want to give up. Here are three types of agreements:

  • Permission to use – This means that you have permission to use the image for personal purposes. You may not sell the image, but you can share it with friends and family.
  • Commercial use – This means that the image can be used commercially. You may not sell this image, but you can use it in advertisements, brochures, books, magazines, newspapers, websites, etc.
  • Non-commercial use – This means that no commercial use is allowed. You cannot use the image in advertising, brochures, books or magazines, etc.

What Are My Rights When Using a Stock Image?

When you purchase a stock image from a website, you usually receive certain rights. These rights vary depending on the license type you choose.

For example, if you select “permission to use,” you have the right to use the image as many times as you wish.

However, you don’t have the right to resell the image. If you select “non-commercial use,” you also do not have the right to resell the image.

You do have the right to modify the image. You can change the color, size, and even add text to the image. In addition to this, you have the right to edit the image so that it fits into your design.

If you select a license other than these options, you will have fewer rights.

For example, if you select a license that gives you the right to sell the image, you may lose the right to use the images for non-commercial purposes.


To conclude, anyone can use stock photos if they know where to find them. There are several websites that offer free stock photos.

Some of these websites include Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash, and Depositphotos. However, there are also websites that offer paid stock photos.

These websites include Shutterstock, iStockphoto, Fotolia, Getty Images, and Canva.

Many people think that they can’t afford to buy a stock photo license because they believe that they won’t make enough money using the images.

But that isn’t true. In fact, you can earn thousands of dollars each month by using stock photos for your own purposes.

Katie Dawson