Whether you are a web designer, a blogger or a marketing executive, one thing you will need are images. Photos are a huge part of nearly everything on the internet and every statistic you read says that anything using good images gets a better response than those without them. There are also a huge number of stock photo sites available so how do you know which are the best and how to get the most from them?
Dos and don’ts of stock photo sites
Before we look at individual sites, let’s take a peek at the industry as a whole. Stock photos are crucial for any internet based business and that means there are plenty of companies who are happy to provide these images. But there are also pitfalls with some of them that can land a business into trouble for using images incorrectly.
First there are royalty free images – these don’t mean that there’s no cost involved but it means you don’t have to pay any royalties to use the image. Then there are creative commons images such as those found on Wikipedia. These can be used without need to pay for them though sometimes the creator of the image asks that they are credited for the image somewhere on the site. Similar licenses are available on sites such as Flickr.
Paid stock sites
There are loads of websites to find stock images, some of which offer them free of charge while others charge either a credit fee per image or need a subscription to download and use the images.
iStock is an example of a site that offers millions of high quality images but that require the purchase of credits to download. The site sells these in pre-set packages with the more you buy, the more you save method employed. Searches can be done for keywords on the image as well as browse by category if you are unsure what you want.
Getty was the original company to offer license free images and has millions of images as well as thousands of hours of video to download. Each image or video has its own price depending on its content and you can also sign subscription deals.
Adobe is one of the big names in photo editing with their Photoshop software and its many off-shoots. They now also offer stock photos with their Adobe Stock site. The great thing about buying these images is that they are designed to work with Photoshop and their other software for great customisation.
Free stock sites
Pixabay is one of the biggest free photo sites that allow you to download as many images as you want, free of charge. There are some superb quality images on the site, most of which require no attribution at all and there are also graphics available.
MorgueFile is one of the most streamlined, easy to use free stock photo sites and requires no attribution on the images. It doesn’t have as many images as Pixabay but does cover a wide range of topics.