This archive is unique worldwide -- we are the only specialized source of photography of the US armed forces designed for advertising and publishing professionals.
We seem to be the only vendor of original (not DoD public domain images as at other agencies) imagery of the men and women in uniform, their missions and systems anywhere. The photographs of Navy SEALs, Recon Marines, of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and "Coasties" were done through special authorization of the US armed forces. In addition, we make photographs designed to comply with DoD regulations and requirements for advertising and promotion, another unique service of this agency. You may find a few images of military aircraft, people, and systems on other sites but with few exceptions these are the free images the Department of Defense allows anyone to download and use without restriction.
I'm Hans Halberstadt and I made most of the images on this site, the result of over 60 books and many years of coverage of the US military. My first photographs were made in combat long ago, back in the 1960s. I was an 18-year-old Army helicopter door gunner at the time and had been loaned a Rolliflex camera when I was sent to Viet Nam. Later in life I became a documentary film maker and then an author of books about the modern military. The books were heavily illustrated, mostly with my own work, and the books opened the door to military communities like the Green Berets and SEALs that were strictly off-limits to normal journalists and authors.
It turned out that those photographs were often unique records of what the men and women in uniform were doing and beginning about 1990 they were included in stock photo archives. That was so long ago that 35mm slides were shipped to photo researchers and publishers by FedEx. Until about 2000 I relied upon larger general agencies to represent my work but about that time I started a dedicated rights-managed stock archive specifically to market these images and the result has been extremely successful.
MSP has been successful for several basic reasons. One is that the photographs here of SEALs, Apache helicopters, Green Berets, Recon Marines, and many other subjects, cannot be made by typical stock photographers. Because of my credentials as an author of dozens of books on the US armed forces I have been given special access to SEALs, snipers, infantry, Marines, and other communities and have been allowed to document them in detail. There are virtually no other stock photographs available depicting many of these subjects.
Another reason is that when a photo buyer contacts MSP, he or she ends up talking to the photographer and I get to know what buyers need. Since I am able to go out and shoot photos that meet those needs, the archive is now tailored to meet those requirements.
A common requirement is for photos that are model-released for advertising and promotion and that also meet US Department of Defense guidelines for advertising use. Those guidelines are not well-publicized and buyers are often confused about what can and what cannot be used in an ad. We work closely with DoD and can help graphic arts professionals comply with the guidelines.
The MSP collection now includes the work of several other accomplished photographers. Robert Genat, author of several excellent books, has provided superb coverage of SEALs and submarines. Phillip Bond, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, is providing studio and lifestyle coverage that has been very popular. Erik Halberstadt and Mike Halberstadt also contribute photographs of people designed for advertising and promotion.
We have an active photography program and are generating new material every few weeks. We have a large supply of modern military uniforms, radios, weapons, and similar gear, and access to privately-owned military vehicles. We also have a stable of prior-service military men and women to use as actors and role-players so if you have an idea for a photo and can't find it on the site, give us a call and perhaps it can be made to your specifications.