Commercial Image Providers

Stock Photo Agencies: 

Commercial stock photos are typically acquired in 2 ways: through licensing, or through royalty-free purchases. Licensed materials usually involve a fee for each use and can designate how, where, and how the materials can be used. In contrast, for the price of a single purchase, royalty free stock footage can be used as often and how the purchaser chooses.

iStockphoto Purchased by Getty in February, 2006 iStockphoto offers images at very affordable prices.

For years, two of the biggest players  in stock photos were Corbis, a company owned by Bill Gates, and Getty Images, a company founded by Mark Getty. Through buyouts the two had bought themselves into dominance.  But in 2016 a Chinese company, Visual China Group,  bought Corbis Images.  Getty Images will  now distribute the Corbis content.

Corbis  had  focused on the consumer markets and print media, more on real people and historic events, rather than conceptual stock photos. Its collection included 30 years of UPI photos, a variety of single images, photo CD collections, and  a series of limited edition prints and Ansel Adams images for sale. In contrast to Getty, it owned its archival assets.

Founded by Mark Getty, grandson of J. Paul. Getty Images sells mainly to the advertising and editorial markets. Getty usually manages usage rights and pays photographers rather than owning stock images outright. The images may be famous, but not of famous people. Here you can search multiple sites, for licensed and/or royalty- free images. Getty is a huge. It encompasses Allsport, Artville, Bridgeman Art Library, Energy Film, Eyewire, Food Pix, FPG, Hulton/Archive, Illustration Works, The Image Bank, The Image Bank Film, The National Geographic Image Collections, Photodisc, and Stone.

Getty Images now allows free embedding of its photographs. You have to be online to use them and you can't use them for commercial purposes. See their terms of use for more information.


The Rest Alphabetically:

AnthroArcheArt Anthropology, Archeology and Art

Artbeats Digital film library-digital stock footage, royalty free "the one source for the best footage available anywhere: the only place ad, film, TV and digital video pros can instantly search for FREE the footage trade's best stock, archival and news footage databases all at once." Aimed at commercial producers, the materials are probably too expensive for educators.

FOTOSEARCH " over 50 stock photography, illustration, and video footage publishers at one site..."

PhotoAlto A variety of single images and photo CD collections  Bargain prices. EDUCATORs check this out.

PHOTOVAULT  These folks have discounted pricing for educational/ institutional web sites.

Public Domain Images 
Public domain photos. Some freebies but the site is largely promotes a book and search services. (from Knight (1998).
Unprofessional web site design.

Rubberball Productions Search and purchase images to download.

Visual Language "A unique resource for rare and beautiful imagery" aesthetic antique maps and illustrations

Other Fee Based Providers This is a list of stock photo suppliers compiled by

Google A Google search for "stock photos" provides a list of potential vendors for stock photos.

Time Life Pictures