Stock Photography – Defined
Stock photographs are images of nature, landmarks, events, people, or virtually any other subject that are available – for a nominal fee – for use in commercial design purposes. The photographer or distributor normally retains ownership of the images and the commercial designer has some specific and limited usage of the images. Stock photography is a relatively low cost means by which designers can obtain professional quality photos without the costs and time associated with hiring a photographer directly.

Stock photographs are often classified into two broad categories: Rights Managed (RM) or Royalty Free (RF).

Rights Managed (RM) Stock Images – Defined
The simplest way to think of Rights-Managed images are as “rented” images: the user “rents”, through purchase of a license, a specific image for a specific purpose and at a negotiated price. Factors that influence the negotiated price include the nature of the intended use, the duration of the use, geographic distribution of the use, size of reproduction of the image, medium type, and the degree of exclusivity required. Once you negotiate a fee for your specific use, any other use of the image is subject to an additional fee.

Royalty Free (RF) Stock Images – Defined
Royalty-free stock images are normally licensed just once (per user) and normally for a fixed, non-negotiable price. They may be used for multiple projects for an unlimited amount of time. While there are some limits to how the image may be used, the rights granted tend to be very broad. They are licensed on a non-exclusive basis and other licensees are entitled to use the images under the same broad usage rights. Consequently, a user of RF images must be aware that the very same image they have selected to use may be used by others in a manner which conflicts with their intended use.


Stock Photos with AWD Photography are all Royalty Free (RF) Stock Images.

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