Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Fine Art of Stock Photography

A company we know recently got in trouble with a VERY large stock photo agency for using one of their images without purchasing the proper rights to it. I highly recommend NOT doing this. Stock photo agencies do take usage rights seriously, so it is important to purchase your images and read the usage rights thoroughly, particularly when dealing with some of the larger agencies like Corbis and Getty. Corbis and Getty are the “Grand Poobahs” of stock photography, and their image banks consist of photos shot by professional photographers. Images can sometimes cost upward of 100s of dollars.

Other options cost far less than images on your Corbis & Getty-type sites AND can help your company from getting sued. A favorite around here is iStock photo, which is owned by Getty images. iStock offers an almost staggering amount of choices in just about any subject matter. Taken primarily by amateurs, iStock offers a strong selection and wide variety. Most images will run you about $15 for a reasonable print-size image. Just watch out for those VETTA images, they can get pricey. has a pretty decent amount of FREE images, an especially good choice if you don’t need a very large file (i.e. you’re not printing a HUGE poster or anything like that) and is great for web use! Dreamtime, Shutterstock and Bigstock are some other very low-priced options, with enough image choices to make your head spin!

Having trouble finding the perfect image? Think abstractly, stretch your creative muscles...think of the feeling you want the image to evoke, the idea behind the kind of image you are looking for. Think of the larger, more abstract concept you are trying to convey rather than being too literal. Have a sense of humor, don’t be so serious. Apply this theory to your stock photo searches - and to everything in life for that matter! - and you’ll be in good shape.

Questions about photography purchasing rights? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help you.

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