Stock Photography is not well-known by that name publicly, but what is the true difference between Stock Photography and Portraiture?
This is as basic as I can make it without getting into a bunch of tedious details:
Portraiture often if not always requires or at-least involves an existing emotional attachment between the customer and subject which was photographed.
Stock requires no emotional attachment to the photographed subject, but draws from interest in design, style or object. (Perhaps even an emotion but coming from a experience or time in a place and not a relationship with the photographed subject.)
Stock photography ranges from advertising art for retail stores to examples of the effects of dentistry cleaning products. It is used to illustrate the help or use of the product in your daily projects.
Blogging cooks use stock photography to show the completed recipe as many readers are visually motivated over reading or hearing.
As you can see with these two examples Stock photography appears in many places and we do not even take notice of the kind of photography.
Internet sales use a stock photograph of the product to show what the product looks like accompanied the functions of the product in written description. This is not false advertising because these mass-produced items are all made the same and function the same. On the other hand sites like eBay, and other auction sites very carefully manage their resources so as not to misrepresent the product they sell but also tell the customer that this specific product. The reason for this detail is for the purpose that the customer is aware of the precise condition of the product whether new, unopened, used, partially functional or non-functional.
Photography is used as a visual description sometimes because we have put great stock in the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Often pictures are used as the best way to communicate what seems to lack in word.