Let’s face it, photography has changed dramatically – no one would argue that now. Once upon a time you would have to finger through catalogue after catalogue of stock photography to find what you wanted. Agencies and publishers would be moving prints and transparencies across desks and ordering couriers to send satchels somewhere across the country for proofing or consideration. Stock photography is now another ‘kettle of fish’ and it’s just going to get better and better.
The Digital Age.
High speed Internet. royalty-free stock. CD’s. Search-able Archives. These elements have altered the face of communication design forever. The quantity, quality, pricing and accessibility of stock photography have made it the resource of choice for many organizations.
Choice: Searching “stock photography” on Google delivers more than 2,000,000 results. You can find anything you want. This is one alternative that allows you to sell you photos with you own stock photography store front.
Storing: Many companies even keep a record of your buys that you can re-download whenever you need them. To use this resource effectively, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Speed: We can never have enough of it. Download. Search. Import. It’s here to stay. Speedy access to search-able archives of good images are numerous.
Cost: While there are free resources, unless you are doing a school report, you may need something slightly more exclusive. Also, many free images are only good enough for display and the selection is limited. Rayalty-free images are reasonably priced, you pay for only the size you’ll use and images can be used as needed with no extra charges.
Practicality: Images at the ready are good for both the end user and the photographer. The photographer can consistently supply stock photography houses with sale-able photos and the user or the client doesn’t have to go through the endless parade of proofing the models for poses and relevance. Setting up for a model shoot is time costly but if the photographer has supplied plenty of images already as stock photography, chances are there is something there to be used immediately. Many skilled photographers know how to set there shots up quickly with control of their models portrait poses and can organise a bundle of stock in as little as one day that will reap rewards.
Versatility: Image selections can be grouped, saved and emailed to others in the review cycle. People in different locations can simultaneously review ideas.
Planning in advance: The low cost of “low resolution” images can leave you with costly mistakes. Images need to be 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the size they will be printed. Will you ever need the picture to be printed?
Low-cost trade-off: Pictures are now so affordable, everyone’s buying them. That means your image could show up in your competitor’s brochure. Some projects call for more exclusive imagery.
Availability: Good images still cost money. Firms have images on file, but you shouldn’t expect a creative designer to have a database of images right for your project.
Image-improvement: When something unique is needed, such as a product as the subject in the shot, it may be more cost effective to hire a photographer than to have a creative designer spend endless hours in Photoshop.
When searching on the web, search for “stock photography” rather than doing an image search in Google or another search engine. Google returns all images from the web including the property of others and not legally usable.