The Non-Photographer’s Guide to Working with Stock Photography
distinctive photographs are hugely important for developing your
brand’s visual language. Stock photos create a level playing field
for integrated marketers, allowing businesses of every size to obtain beautiful
images without the costs of original photography. Here’s what you need to know
before you go on a shopping spree at Getty Images.
to any stock photo site, and you’ll have the option to search through photos
that are either:
- Royalty-free images. You pay a flat fee for an image
and can use it as many times as you want, wherever you want, for as long as you
want. If you want to use it on social, online, or enhance
it with motion effects to put it in an interactive
brochure, knock yourself out! Unfortunately, anyone else can
purchase that same image – so your “customer service guy” could turn up to
illustrate a magazine article about violent criminals or in other unsavory
- Rights-managed images. These images cost considerably more,
with limitations on where, when, what kind of media, and how long you can use
them. You pay more for greater exclusivity: you can pay for category or
complete exclusivity, so no one else can use the photo for a specified period
of time. Famous photographers often make their images available to license on a
rights-managed basis, so if you’re looking for something prestigious, this may
be a good option.
Right Way to Get Free Images
you “grab” a photo from the Internet or screengrab something from a
photographer or stock house, it’s actually stealing, even if it’s just for internal
communications. Not to mention, the image won’t be at high enough resolution
for you to use in most applications.
you need photography for free, look into creative
commons (CC) images, the public domain of photography. Getty has a CC site
with 35 million images (and extensive guidelines for how to use them). You can
also try Flickr: an artist or photographer may grant you usage in exchange for
credit or acknowledgement.
You Don’t Have to Do
All the big stock houses have websites that let
you get super-specific with your search, but they also have actual human
representatives who can help marketers. For example, if you find a style or a
photographer you like, a rep can help you assemble a complete image library.
Better yet, get some good
creative design help, so you’ll get guidance from someone who knows
just what to look for…and how to use it.