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Is this a serious question? Every ad agency (like 6 said), journalistic outlets, and thousands (if not millions) of other sites use them, and I'm not saying this because I happen to be a stock photographer. There are many kinds of stock photos. If people never had need of stock photos, there would be no profit in being a stock photographer.

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A stock photographer takes photos of things and uploads them to stock sites like Getty (and its subsidiary, iStock) and Bigstock. Simply put, if a photographer takes an image of a recognizable person, a model release must be signed by that person. If a brand appears in a photo, a property release is required. The same goes for certain major landmarks or monuments. If neither can be obtained, it is for editorial use only. OP most likely signed a model release.

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