Since I discovered the unique photo-sharing site Flickr last fall, I have found more and more things to like about it. Recently, I have discovered its value for finding "stock" photos for projects. I had been working on a photo-biography for a good friend's 40th birthday, and while I mostly used my friend's personal photos, there were a few spots where I wanted a few other photos for particular scenes (e.g., his college campus, places where he worked, etc). Using a combination of Flickr's tag/keyword searching and its geographic searching, I was able to find some very cool photos for my purpose. I could easily drop a line to the photographer to ask their permission, and everyone was very cool about letting me use their photos for this personal purpose.
Now I find that even professionals are seeing the same utility. A few weeks ago, I got an email from a travel site letting me know they'd like to use one of our vacation photos in their Edinburgh Guide. I gave them permission, and now our vacation photo is being used to show the B&B that we stayed in on the Schmap Edinburgh Guide. Very cool!