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How microstock was born

Microstock (microstock) – the budget segment of the stock photos, offering quality images for a penny, is rapidly gaining momentum. What is not surprising: such a cheap and affordable quality photo has never been before. Today, in microstock, photos are bought not only by regular customers of photobanks, but also by those designers who have not even looked in the direction of purchasing legal photos before. It is logical: before they could not afford it. Now it is available to everyone.

Stock photo and design – mesalliance or happy marriage?
By definition, design is the creative process of creating an object, an image, an object, and so on. But it is not always advisable to create a design from scratch, personally developing all its elements. There are many bricks, of which, provided the layout is correct, a good design can be put together. One of these building blocks is stock photography – images that are ready for use in any section of graphic design: newspaper and web design, packaging and poster design, corporate identity, TV shows and other media products.

CLASSIC PHOTO
Photobanks – intermediaries between the photographer and the buyer of photos – appeared in the 60s of the twentieth century, when the market of professional image buyers (advertising and publishing industry) realized that buying a finished photo is cheaper than ordering photo shoots, and the exclusivity inherent in an individual session is not always advisable.

Before the advent of the Internet, the photobank’s interaction with the client was rather laborious: the image was selected to order by photobank employees or by the client in paper catalogs (electronic media are now used), the acquired photo was provided in the form of a slide, which was supposed to physically come to the client.

Until recently, a finished photograph could only be bought in traditional photobanks at a price commensurate with its use (carrier, circulation, industry). Prices started from a few hundred dollars and reached mind-blowing sums of tens of thousands of dollars for a license.

APPEARANCE OF MICROSTOK
But the development of the Internet has also influenced this industry, giving rise to the emergence of a new market segment – micro-tape photo banks or microstock, where you can buy photos at a price of several tens of cents.

Low price is achieved due to several factors:
• Type of license. Images in microstock are licensed from Royalty Free, a non-exclusive license that is paid for one-time without additional fees. Royalty Free allows you to reuse the image without restrictions on the industry and territory and with very democratic restrictions on the circulation (rarely less than 250,000 copies on the media). Royalty Free is a general type of license, the details of licensing in different photo banks may differ slightly.
• Self service. Microstock is an online store where the user himself searches, buys and downloads an image, turning to those. support only in case of problems.
• High market competitiveness. As in any other segment of the Internet business, microstock competitors are “just a click away”, which forces market players to constantly work on their competitive advantages, including pricing.

The emergence of microstocks has fallen on the fertile ground for the growth in demand for cheap images, caused on the one hand by the Internet boom (each website should be illustrated) and the financial crisis of two thousandths, on the other hand, which provoked the outflow of funds from traditional advertising and, therefore, from traditional advertising photography.

What is interesting for microstock designer
Microstock photobanks are a cheap, fast and convenient way to get high-quality images. Just go to the site, choose the desired picture, pay (prices start at forty cents), download and you can continue to work – to introduce photos into the project. The purchase process, when the photo is already selected, takes about fifteen minutes, not more.

WHY TO BUY, IT IS POSSIBLE TO DOWNLOAD FROM THE INTERNET! ..
Each image has its own author and is protected by copyright law. The right to virtually any use, including editorial, commercial and even non-commercial, must be documented.

If you have CDs with clip art, but there is no documentary evidence that you can use them in commercial or editorial activities, such use of these clipart is illegal. Using images from resources that provide stolen stock content or any other sites, unfortunately, is also illegal.

Stealing photos is not worth it for several reasons:
• for this threatens administrative and criminal liability;
• this is not ethical with respect to the customer of the design – you make him an accomplice of the crime, pushing him into the legal “minefield”;
• This is not ethical with respect to the brothers in the workshop – photographers and illustrators – whose work should be fairly rewarded.

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