How Does Stock Photography Work? | Bethany Lavin Photography

How Does Stock Photography Work?

How Does Stock Photography Work?

In this post I’m going to be de-mystifying what stock photography is and how the process of using it works.

hand writing on page flatlay with laptop and iPhone

so what is stock photography?

Stock photography is essentially a hub of images taken by photographers from all over the world. These images range by industry and genre, from architectural photography to food photography, from portraits to pets – you name it. Stock photography is available for anyone to purchase, download and then use in whichever way the user sees fit.

the process

Say you’re looking for an image to use for your business. Let’s say you’re a vet looking for images to use on your website. You would go to somewhere like Adobe Stock, ShutterStock, Stocksy – anywhere that sells stock imagery. Then you would type in a keyword that matches what type of images you’re looking for. So in this example – your keyword would be ‘vet’ or ‘veterinarian’.

Then you would scroll through to find an image (or more) that you like and think would fit well on your website. Once you’ve found some images you like, you’ll then be asked to click on what license you’d like to purchase and away you go. Depending on what license you’ve bought, you can use the images for social media, website and maybe even in print. But do read the fine print about licensing and what it all means so that you know you’re getting your monies worth and so that you’re not breaking any licensing agreement.


There are SO many options when it comes to stock photography and what’s great is that stock doesn’t just stop at images. You can search for illustrations, videos, graphics – any creative visual medium you can think of.

Another great tip if you’re a start-up or a small business that doesn’t have a huge budget to pay for stock photography, then check out Unsplash. Unsplash is a completely free stock photography website. And the photos are beautiful.

The great thing about stock is that you can tailor it to your business specifically by hiring a photographer whose style you like and fits well with your brand. By doing this, you’re guaranteed consistency across all shoots by working with the same person. There’s nothing worse than finding a website or Instagram feed that has lots of stock photography on it that shows lots of different photographic styles – this ends up looking worse than an amateur photographer with an iPhone.

how i can help

If you’re interested in having a chat with me about how I can help you with your stock photography then please book in a clarity call. I love chatting via Zoom so that we can get a good feel for each other and I can understand exactly what you’re trying to achieve with your images. No strings attached! 🙂

I also have my own styled stock library where you can purchase and download my images to use on your website and social media. Head to the gallery here to have a look!

I hope you’ve found this blog post useful and be sure to check out my other stock photography posts for more tips and ideas.

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