Stock Photography

Stock photography is the creation, storage, and sale of photographs to clients who want to purchase already-made images. Photographers face various challenges in making a living as a stock photographer. Many stock photographers, if not most, do it as a part-time job. Stock photography’s origins began in the 1800s, but it has changed to reflect business practices and social values. This entry begins with an overview of the roots of stock photography and then examines modern stock photography agencies and the hiring of photographers to produce high-quality images on demand. Finally, the entry discusses criticisms of stock photography.


The roots of stock photography are visible in the manufacture of stereographs and the carte de visite of the late 1800s. These were photographic products for mass ...

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