Articles offers subscription-based stock photography downloads. They are considered reliable, and feature a reasonable variety of images. However, for the professional who is looking to download photo objects for the purpose of building composites, there are better options available.

What Are Clipping Paths?
Okay. "Photo objects" are designed to be placed on top of secondary backdrops to create a custom image. They can be images of a ball, a dog, a plant, which have been individually photographed on a perfectly white background. So, you've got your photograph of your typically gorgeous beach. Pretty, pretty, but it looks lonely. Grab your photo object of Hot Chick in Bikini #24343, and lay it upon the no-longer-empty-looking beach. Voila. Assuming you've paid attention to perspective, the photo object should look great, right? Well....

With photo images from, the objects are intended to be laid in via "clipping paths"--an industry term for the edge around which one "cuts" to lift the image from its original source, and then lay it in to the new one. Unfortunately, photo images manipulated via clipping paths look pretty much as good as that picture you cut out of a magazine with safety scissors in second grade. If you've ever observed a Weekly World News cover, featuring a ridiculous pairing, like, say, Princess Diana sharing an ice cream cone with an Alien, and even your four-year old said, "Mom, that looks fake" you have witnessed the remarkable results that clipping paths deliver.

Opt for Alpha Channels
Much more effective are photo images with an alpha channel "cutting" system. Alpha channel images have delicately feathered edges, which allow users to lay them in as invisibly as possible. does not offer alpha channel photo objects. But others do.

One very popular source for alpha channel photo objects is PhotoSpin, a recognized trend-setter in the image bank business, offers photo objects with either clipping paths or alpha channels-- and both at prices more affordable than their competitors. You can, of course, choose even if you do insist on using clipping-paths. Just don't blame them when your four year old can't stop giggling at the result.