Off-the-Rack Stock Photos
Imagine all the energy and time invested into the creative writing, only to have it minimized by a duplicate image by another writer. Stock photography can be a useful tool, but knowing when to use it is beneficial. I've seen the same image on a book cover used in brochures, displays, CD covers, etc.
Stock images are cheap - as little as $1 per image from companies such as iStockphoto, Fotolia, Corbis and Getty Images. Many stock photo companies will let you pay extra for a licensing agreement or a copyright buyout that will give you exclusive use of a photo going forward. But anyone who has alread downloaded the image, can continue to use it fair and square. They also offer services that stamp each image with the number of times it has been downloaded, which can help you decide whether the exclusivity is worth the extra expense (Inc.com Magazine, April 2007).
Note: The images on the left were found on Gettyimages.com or corbis.com