Stock photographers are those artists that capture images for the benefit of others at a very minimal fee! Each and every shot is imagined, framed and shot with the end-user (designers, advertisers, editors, etc) in mind! We are an unselfish lot, hard working and sometimes live dangerously at the edge of the law :), pushing the envelope of where, when and how to get our photographic equipment into any place to capture the most amazing picture.
Take Mr. Jdanne for example! Can you imagine the effort he put in to capture this image!
Imagine him crawling on his hands, searching for a stable hold for his camera & then waiting patiently until the perfect moment to trigger the shot (He have to wait for all those pesky tourists to get out of the frame!). That is what we call a photographer!! Dedicated and committed to bring the best for his end-user's pleasure.
And I can tell you that it's no horse-shit, when Mr. Jdanne does all this for a meagre USD0.35 per image download.
Let's put it this way! Stock photographers effort and ingenuity may be the power that supply the designer.... at least part of it (Ok! The designers are great people too, with great creativity ~ Ahem... this is part of the unashamed shoe polishing exercise, so that designers would look at our portfolio and purchase some of our images!! Please do....)
So your image is indeed your image! And the axiom of "You are what you eat!" indeed do apply to us photographers but as "You are what you photograph". It does show in our image how much effort is put into capturing an image :)
Me? I'll go now to my retreat in the middle of the jungle hoping to catch some image of mosquitoes! Ah! That is sacrifice too...