Table of Contents:
Do you know where do all those nice photos used in commercials and websites come from? Some time ago, entering the website a thought –
“Wow! Those photos and pictures are so cool. The website creators must’ve been working with photographers a lot to get such a gorgeous result!”.
And then I learned what stock photos are and that knowledge was an eye-opener for me. Only the biggest companies work with photographers to fill their website, most of the others just use ready-made pictures.
That is a really big and essential part of the design creation process, so let’s talk about it a little.
The stock is a website, where every photographer could come and present his photos.
The details of selling procedures could differ according to the stock politics, but in general – the artist gain money when users buy his pictures.
Easy, isn’t it?
There are millions of photos on the stocks, so it is profitable for both sides – photographers could get payments for their work and users could find almost any photo they need for a website, banner or advertisement.
It could be surprising, but online photo stocks are not the traditional ones. The first stocks appeared in 1920 and they stored real photos that newspapers and advertisement companies may use. Nowadays such stocks are called “traditional” or macrostocks. The photos there are exclusive and expensive (from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars). On the other hand, modern online photo stocks are called microstocks – they sell the items online only, those photos are cheap and every item is sold lots of times. Besides these two there are also midstocks, an intermediate link between the two others. They sell photos online, but the items are more exclusive and costly than microstocks have.
Basically, there are two types of stock photos available for users: right-managed and royalty-free ones. Other variants do exist too, but they are not as popular as those two mentioned.
Rights-managed stock photos are high-quality and costly. To purchase one, you have to pay lots of taxes, which means it will be more expensive. However, it will be a really great product that you will be able to use without limitations. The number of publications, the way it will be used in your project – that is all up to you. Purchased item is completely yours to put it wherever you like.
Royalty-free stock photos are much cheaper, but they have some limitation in use. As its title says, to get this item you don’t have to pay different taxes, only a single payment. However, you won’t be able to use it everywhere you like – the number of publications is limited.
This question could sound a little childish and fun, but think about it for a moment.
Users always seek some profit; stock photos won’t have been so popular if there were no reason to prefer it over the pictures created by a photographer as a private order.
There are two main issues the stock photos solve:
Time. To create astonishing photos specialist has to go through some sufficient preparations – choose a place, models, equipment, light, move all the stuff to the chosen place and finally do the shooting. And after that the process doesn’t finish – there’s plenty of work to process the pictures with Photoshop. On the other hand, it will take only about a minute to buy and download the photo from stock.
Money. Photographers work costs a lot. You can’t make someone do so many preparations and then pay only for one photo you needed. So, when you don’t need a big and expensive photo session it is wiser to use stock photos.
Of course, as anything in the world stock photos has cons, but if you know about the problem you will be able to solve it.
Not every website needs stock photos, the features I’m going to list could be drastically important to your business.
Now, when you met the cons, let’s take a look at the pros. This could change your mind if you are not sure about stock photos and overlap the disadvantages. The benefits may even make you abandon the idea of finding a photographer for a custom photo session.
The quality of the visuals is extremely important for your project’s efficiency. The users are very sensitive to the photos they see and when some of them are not really good or fitting – the response you want to achieve may be opposite. You may have noticed, that lots of modern sites look subtly similar. That is because lots of stock photos are made according to some standard cliché. Every photo stock has a few types of photos that have to be an absolute taboo if you want to create something up-to-date, more or less original and impressive. I’ll list them for you to make sure you will recognize them at sight.
Those are very easy to identify.
A group of people, dressed according to the business dress code, with happy faces and doing something together – I’m sure you saw something like that for dozens of times.
Have you ever seen a company where all the employees wear suits and are happy all the time?
It is very unnatural and doesn’t make viewers believe the “happy corporation” picture anymore.
Lamps, clouds, 3D figures, and exclamation points – all those things smell the times when the internet was young and designers created websites without photos at all.
Come on, there could be hundreds of other ways to show your team is creative and come to excellent ideas!
Such trivial symbols make people feel bored and won’t impress anyone.
If some person would approach you with such an expression on her face you will definitely not consider her to be normal.
In real life people just don’t make such grimaces and if you understand that clearly – why do you think the viewers of your project will like it?
Different online stores and advertisement designers like those freaky and, let’s be sincere, scary expressions, so we see them often, but they rather scare the customers off and don’t touch people.
Have you ever tried to work on the beach? What normal person would take a laptop to the beach or other weird locations like mountainside or desert?
Even the travel bloggers write articles in the convenient cafes or at the rented houses.
You will probably be surprised to see a person with a laptop sitting on the sand, so why such an unnatural picture would impress your viewers?
A brooding person standing in front of the green board which has something written on it with white chalk or a cheery businessman near the whiteboard with some genuine plan on it doesn’t make the viewer fell trust.
There are thousands of such pictures on hundreds of websites, brochures, and ads – the audience is just tired of it and will be definitely not happy to do what you want it to do when it sees another boring and standard image.
Mother, father, two children, everyone bursting with unnatural happiness and smiling widely with snow-white teeth – what could be a better picture, symbolizing happy family life?
Seriously, don’t use such pictures, most of them look weird and unconvincing. Better look for some pictures with children or at least spend some time and get a picture where children look similar to adults (like their real children, not some random kids they kidnapped and fed up with hallucinogens.
The low-resolution photo could ruin the whole look of the project you are creating. Such pictures show that you don’t spend any efforts to find a good photo, you don’t respect the viewers and are a lazy person. You don’t want to make such an impression, do you?
Now, when you know what to avoid, it’s time to talk a little about the ways to do everything properly. Professional designers that monitor the trends understand how to pick the photos intuitively, but what to do if you are a beginner? Of course, it is important to use our own taste – if you like the picture, there will be enough people who will like it too. Besides that, I listed a few tips to help you create an indeed great and non-trivial design.
An average photo on the stock costs from $2 to $10.
That won’t be a big sum of money if you need 5-10 pictures, but what to do if you need 20 or 30 photos and the budget is minimal? That is when a stock photo bundle could come in handy.
The bundle is a box, full of products, that is sold as one piece, but you can’t control what products will end up in that box. The bundles are often gathered for some single theme, so you can choose the type of pictures you will get in the box (for example, nature photos, Christmas pictures, food images).
The price for the bundle is sufficiently lower than the sum of money you would have to pay if gathered that set of stuff separately. A better price is the biggest bundle’s advantage.
Stock photography could become a perfect tool and give you lots of opportunities. To become successful, you should just use it right, follow the advice and do not overdo. I’m sure that you will create an awesome design, especially if MasterBundles will have a bundle that fits your niche and purpose. Good luck with building a vivid project!