Whether you’re creating content for your website, social channels, email blasts, newsletter or print piece… including great imagery is usually a recipe for success. But what happens when you can’t take your own aerial shot of Chicago… or need 10 photos of people doing yoga within the hour? What you should definitely NOT do is use Google images and use whatever image you find. There are companies using machines to crawl the web searching for images on people’s websites that aren’t licensed just so they can bring legal action which could end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead, turn to stock photography.
If you don’t know where to look… some stock photos can be very expensive. Sites likes Getty Images sell photos for $575 a piece. You do get a great selection… but if you need multiple photos a week, that will add up very quickly.
If you shop around, you can usually find more competitive pricing… but even then, it’s important to understand the restrictions of your license. Also consider the size of image you need.
Some sites offer monthly plans… which are great for companies who regularly need images. I suggest signing up for a site with a great deal of images… to increase the likelihood they will have what you need. At Workspace Digital, we use Adobe Stock and pay $29 for 10 images each month.
My favorite new paid site is Envato Elements… for around $20 a month you get access to a huge range of assets… stock photos, videos, design templates, fonts and more.
For those of you who want to pay nothing… I have great news. There more great options today than ever before.
And here is the key – Creative Commons Zero … or CC0 licensing. This means you are looking for images that are free for both personal and commercial use… and do not require attribution (or crediting the artist where you use the image).
One of my favorite sites is pixabay.com – mostly because they show the CC0 license right next to the image. As a brand marketer, I want to be able to show I have the right to use the images on my site. So I actually take a screen shot of the image and the license next to it…. Which helps me rest a little easier at night.
Here are some great options…
Hopefully this information and these great websites will be the tools you need to take your digital presence to the next level.