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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 (opens in new window) 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(opens in new window), bought Corbis Images. Getty Images will now distribute the Corbis content.(opens in new window)

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.

gettyimages(opens in new window)
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 (opens in new window)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(opens in new window) for more information.

The Rest Alphabetically:

AnthroArcheArt(opens in new window) Anthropology, Archeology and Art

Artbeats(opens in new window) Digital film library-digital stock footage, royalty free

Footage.net(opens in new window) "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(opens in new window) "...search over 50 stock photography, illustration, and video footage publishers at one site..."

PhotoAlto(opens in new window) A variety of single images and photo CD collections

Photospin.com(opens in new window) Bargain prices. EDUCATORs check this out.

PHOTOVAULT(opens in new window) These folks have discounted pricing(opens in new window) for educational/ institutional web sites.

Public Domain Images (opens in new window)
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(opens in new window) Search and purchase images to download.

Visual Language(opens in new window) "A unique resource for rare and beautiful imagery" aesthetic antique maps and illustrations

Other Fee Based Providers

PhotoGraphicLibraries.com(opens in new window) This is a list of stock photo suppliers compiled by PhotoGraphicLibraries.com

Google(opens in new window) A Google search for "stock photos" provides a list of potential vendors for stock photos.

Time Life Pictures