Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Anthony Pierpont, The Everyday Photographer: Navigating Stock Photography Sites

Finding high-quality stock photography on-line is easy to do. It’s more difficult to find good stock photo images that are available to use.

What you need to know before you visit a Web site to find free stock photos.

  • Royalty free stock photo images aren’t free, but you only have to pay once to use these stock photos again and again. Avoid stock photography Web sites that charge royalties- they’re difficult to navigate and you’re responsible for making sure the stock photos are used properly.
  • Verify that there are no licensing issues with the stock photography you want to use. Sometimes there are rules to follow, including attribution and limited usage in addition to a fee to pay for online stock photos.
  • Buy the high-resolution and low resolution stock photo images if you can. That way, if you need to use the online stock photos for print, you already have them on hand.
  • At royalty free stock photo sites like stock xchg, you’re asked to leave a comment explaining where the stock photo images are used. Make sure you do- the photographers’ comments indicate they use this information for their portfolios. When you use the photo, credit the photographer and the source Web site as appropriate.

Find the best personal use and royalty free stock photos Web sites.

Check out sites like Getty Images, Corbis, Comstock Images and Stock XCHNG for some of my favorite online stock photos.

Everyday Photographer Tip of the Day: Be careful to avoid overused stock photo images- you don’t want a photo on your site that’s used everywhere else, too. You might just want to take your own.