So youíve decided to take the plunge. You know that stock photography is an effective tool for your web business, but where do you start and how do you choose the stock photo thatís right for you. Here are some tips to get you started so that you are happy with your choice.
1. Decide where you want to purchase your stock photography. There are large agencies and small independent photographers. While the agencies will have more to chose from and sometimes lower prices an independent photographer will offer more personalized service and opportunities for you to have custom work done, if that is what you need.
2. Donít go in expecting to find an exact image that is in your head, a large agency or an independent photographer will not have the man in a blue suit, holding a cell phone, next to the white blinds nor will they have the beach landscape with the green and white striped chair. You need to have a clear idea in your head of the message that you want to convey and search for an image that creates the message that you want. (If you want something specific youíll have to pay for a photography to shoot to your specifications.)
3. Make use of a free comp image to try out the image and make sure that it fits with your project or web design. Most stock agencies offer some sort of free comp image for position only so that you can make sure that you like what youíre going to buy. Please use this option, if available, and make sure that the image is going to convey the message that you want it to.
4. Pay for what you need. Donít pay for a 300 dpi image for a web design, and donít buy a 72 dpi image for something you intend to print. Make sure that the agency or independent photographer offers at least a printable and a web version of every photo. Buy only the size image that you need for your job.
5. How much do you want to pay and for how long to you want to use the image? This comes down to royalty free or rights managed. If you donít want the chance of your competitor using the same image or you plan to use the image on or for a product you may want to look at rights managed. This will cost you more but it will lessen the chance of your competitor using the same image. Keep in mind that if youíre using the image for an extended period of time you will have to pay for the use of the image every year or so. If you donít feel that your competitor using the same image is a threat or you donít have the money for rights managed photos look into royalty free photography. This product is also great if youíre planning to use the images for an extended period of time.
These tips should help get you started in choosing stock photography for your web site, business, or product. Remember to shop around and look for what you need. Also if an agency or photographer doesnít have what you need ask, you may be surprised how helpful they can be even for specific requests.
About The Author
Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com).