Why No Stock Photo?

I’m often asked why stock images of people are not included in our flyers. There are a variety reasons why, so today I thought I’d answer this question for everyone.

Stock image companies (e.g iStockPhoto or DepositPhotos) restrict the resale of stock images. Under a “regular license” we may use their images for preview purposes, but we’re not allowed to redistribute them.

Redistribute = leaving the stock photos inside our templates.

As you can imagine, redistributing a stock image could harm the stock image companies’ business.

I can hear some of you thinking “But wait! What about Extended licenses?”, and you’re right to wonder.

We could buy an “Extended License” which would then permit us to keep the images in our flyers. But there are a few hidden strings and problems attached to doing this:

The cost

An extended license for a small image can cost several hundred dollars. We would also need to re-license the image every time we used it. Factor in the cost of our designers and suddenly every flyer in our Store costs hundreds of dollars to produce.

There’s no doubt about it, this cost would need to be passed on to customers.

A $6 flyer would suddenly cost $30-$50. This is too expensive. People wouldn’t pay $50 for a template and so, the price would need to stay high to cover costs (for the few people who would pay it).

Ironically, this price is much higher than the cost of the template + stock image purchased separately.

Not-so flexible licensing

After licensing an image for resale by purchasing an “extended license”, the terms of the licenses often still restrict it from being redistributed “as is”.

This means that we would need to “destroy” the image, for example by merging the photo into background layers.

By doing this you lose the ability to customise all aspects of the flyer, or use your own model photos.

Not everyone wants the same image

A vast amount of our customers are DJs and musicians. They don’t want to show a stock image on their flyer, they want a picture of themselves or their performers. This point is true for most bars and clients who request design work.

They have a main performer who they’d like to promote and that’s who goes on the front of their flyers.

No more all you can eat!

FlyerHeroes was the first website to offer hundreds of world class flyer templates with no download limits.

Due to the FlyerHeroes PRO all-access pass, we must pay our designers upfront to produce templates for the store. We don’t pay commission like our other template websites.

If we were doing this AND paying hundreds of dollars for stock images, your FlyerHeroes PRO subscription would likely not exist, be astronomically expensive or come with imposed download limits.

I am not willing to compromise on this.

Currently, for just $69, you can log into your PRO Account and download every template in our store.

That’s a valuable designer resource which would otherwise not exist as it does today – free of limits, low priced and incredible value.

So, to sum up:

  • Including stock photos in our templates would make them significantly more expensive. Too expensive, even.
  • Including stock photos in our templates would make them more expensive than buying the stock photo and template separately – which is kinda silly.
  • If we include the stock photo, it can’t be left editable. This defeats the point of an editable template.
  • Most people don’t want to use the same stock photo. Making our templates more expensive and compromising benefits such as our PRO Subscription. For just a small portion of users this is unfair and a bad business decision.
  • Including stock photos would make valuable resources like FlyerHeroes PRO impossible to offer.

Ok, I think that is everything. I hope this explains clearly enough why we don’t include stock photos in our templates.

I will update this article with any additional info should it be required.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

If you want to give us heat, please do and I will try to answer as thoroughly as possible.


  • Adam McIntyre

    Please leave any questions or feedback in the comments! Good or bad 🙂 I’ll try and follow up as best I can.

  • Hi Adam,

    Great explanation.
    Certainly the cost of $50 or $ 60 for a flyer would be unfeasible.
    I buy enough photos on PhotoDune, and really a full license is well salted, lol.
    Would find it cool, at least you add the image link used in the flyer, so who want to buy the same picture would be easier.
    But congratulations for the work and excellent flyers.


    • Adam McIntyre

      Thanks for the reply, @samiraugustobarbosa:disqus.
      We try our best to add image links where possible, and put them in the Documentation also to make it easy for users.

      • Very good. Success of his work ever!


  • jabo

    There are some restrictions when using images. Stock images are always copyrighted and a “personal” license needed for use. Assume that all Pictures on internet are copyrighted except when there is IPTC information states that a Picture is placed in public domain.
    The trouble is that’s easy to change this information and the safe way is to assume that the Picture still is copyrighted. Community sites like Facebook, Google+ etc contains Pictures without

    Stock images can be used in samples (small jpeg files) but not included in a template. Paying for a Picture that won’t be used is wasted Money.

    It might be possible to use low resolution dummy Pictures like this.

    Watermarking makes it “non commercial”

  • misaza

    Very reasonable and understandable, I just wish that you would include the link to image in PDF. You say you do but I have done tons of your flyers and only one has come with the link. I e-mail and get the link later and I appreciate it but that makes me loose sometimes a day when I need the flyer right away. So it would be incredibly helpful if you put the link to all available stock images in PDF. I have no problem buying stock photo separately so that everybody gets compensated.

    • Adam McIntyre

      You’re right @misaza, we have it on our to-do list to make a page which lists all our stock images. We also need to make sure all our links are updated throughout the site – thanks for making it known that this is an issue!

      • Richard

        I see this comment from 2 years ago. Are we to believe that all templates include links to all image resources now? Surely this was done by now? For me the purpose of buying the template I see and like is because I would like to adapt that specific template. I hope your answer comes back yes.

  • Steve Wolves

    Hi Adam,

    Clear & precise explanation, I always assume all picture on the web are copyrighted.

    Still lovin’ the flyers.

    • Adam McIntyre

      Thanks for the positive comment Steve!

  • Steve Wolves

    Hi Adam,

    Just a quick question about licences, I use Photdune for a lot of my pictures (regular licence), & a friend of mine does the same, once we have purchased the photo can we share each others photos?.



    • Adam McIntyre

      Hey Steve,

      I wouldn’t want to offer advice which is incorrect. For specific license questions like this I would recommend simply sending an email to PhotoDune’s support. They’ve always been quick to answer when I have emailed them 🙂

  • DjTrex

    The way I see it the biggest reason someone would want the image included is that they not only like the image but mostly they don’t want to go through the sometimes tedious task of cropping/masking an image with difficult HAIR. This part is a little OT but it seems relevant. Are there any services that offer QUICK turnaround masking/cropping out there for a reasonable price? I tend to get a pile of work all at once and struggle at times having to crop/mask multiple images in a couple days and then manage to create a design. I have come across a website that offered you to upload your image and it does it automatically but that seemed hard to believe?

    • Adam McIntyre

      I fully agree with you @disqus_Ld7pfPuQwd:disqus, which is why I wish we could leave them in.

      There are some services in Fiverr.com which will cut out images for $5. You can also hire people on websites such as oDesk.com which if you have a lot of regular work would probably work out more cost effective.

  • shaun

    hey adam,

    is this of any use to you its $99 for a year https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/Member/choose/plan

  • Kadai

    Where i can get missing fonts ?

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