Christopher H. Sterling
Photo agencies (a category of companies known by several different titles) provide photographs for commercial users including news media, both print and broadcast. Such companies usually make, collect or archive, and distribute photographs for a fee, either on a subscription or perphoto basis, the price depending on the use of the image. Many photo agencies use their own photographers and distribute images shot by others (including smaller photo services and independent photographers). In recent years, declining media use and consolidation has changed the face of the business. While magazines and newspapers long used their own staff photographers, what would become the professional news and photo service developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The work of such famous Civil War photographers as Mathew Brady had appeared widely, though often without the photographer's knowledge, let alone permission. In 1895, photographer George Bain began his Bain News Service, one of ...