“Stock photography” refers to photographs offered for use by agencies, usually in return for a fee, and sometimes a royalty payable each time an image is used. It is often cheaper for a web designer or commercial artist to buy stock photographs, rather than have to hire a photographer and, if people are the subject of the required image, pay a model as well.
Digital cameras have revolutionised the stock photography business, because it is possible to search through millions of pictures for exactly the right image for your needs, and then to obtain the photo electronically via the internet. Images are usually classified into categories and then displayed as thumbnails within the category.
“Royalty free” means that after paying a fee there is no further charge for multiple use and no time limit on when the image can be used.
“Rights managed” means the agency issues a license for the use of an image and sets the charge according to the value that the buyer is going to get out of its use. If it is important to you to have exclusive use of the image, then a rights managed deal could ensure this.
Some agencies also offer video and audio tracks on a similar basis, and if it is more suitable for the designer’s needs to use an artist’s illustration or moving flash rather than a photograph, these are available as well. “Vector art” or “vector illustrations” are scalable graphics by computer artists which can be downloaded as pictures or backgrounds, but you need appropriate software to handle them.
Documentary photography usually refers to a type of professional photojournalism. Usually such photographs are meant for publication.
Fashion photography is a genre of photography devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items.
Still life photography is the depiction of inanimate subject matter, most typically a small grouping of commonplace objects.
Wildlife photography is regarded as being one of the more challenging forms of photography.
Nature photography refers to a range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements.