Anyone who has visited a single website on the Internet will have seen a stock photo at some point, but many people may not know what a stock photo is, and will assume that the picture they see is a unique one…until they visit another website that has the exact same photo. So what exactly is stock photography? Simply put, it is a practice of creating an image (either via professional photography or graphic design to create vector images) and selling the rights to use those images to buyers or licensees for either a set fee, or a commission. Because these images are sold over the Internet and can be used by anyone willing to pay for them, they tend to be quite generic, and do not refer in any particular way to any one thing – though they usually do have a central theme that makes them applicable in a wide variety of cases (which is what makes them so profitable). The most common reason for using stock images in a campaign, presentation, blog post or advert is because the cost of replicating the image independently by hiring a photographer and setting up a photo shoot may be too much effort, to simply not economically viable. So, companies without their own photographers and studio setups tend to use generic stock images for the sake of convenience or to manage expenses. However, by doing this, these companies risk getting lost in the sea of media that is available to consumers, and will tend to be less memorable if they happen to have the same or similar images on their websites. if you want your website to be memorable, you will want a picture on it that is completely unique, one that your visitors will recognize immediately. Another downside of using stock photography is that the images tend to be watermarked to avoid having copyrights infringed, so if you do use one, prepare to have the watermark potentially disrupt the power of your page. Removing this watermark is also dangerous because then you put yourself at risk of potentially infringing on copyright, which is quite unnecessary considering how important the image may be to the validity of your post. The most important thing to take into consideration when deciding on whether or not to use stock images is the following: if you are looking to create a unique advert or Internet post, and you have the resources to get your own unique images created, then you will quickly find your posts being more memorable than your competition, as long as your creation is relevant to your post (which in some cases stock photography simply cannot capture completely). If you are going to use stock images, do so sparingly, and remember that they may tend to add a generic feel to your campaign or website. Using stock images is simply a means to capture the attention of the audience, so make sure that your content makes up for the fact that the image being associated with it may also be associated with another post on the next website over.