Having good quality images and video for your website is important. As first impressions count, people are attracted to images that are pleasing on the eye and will quickly judge them if they fail to live up.
You want the images, videos, illustrations and music to work to for you. They will make you and your brand look more professional so your website appears more credible and trustworthy to potential new clients.
When searching for images and videos avoid just searching on Google Images and taking whatever you fancy, you will probably will be using someone else images which is breaking copy write law, which could land you in a whole lot of financial trouble.
My colleague Chris recalls “I was working with a client around 2010 when I received a panic-stricken call following receipt of a letter from Getty Images. The letter instructed the client to pay £800 for the unauthorised use of an image that showed a scuba diver enjoying a trip to the ocean bed.
“I asked where they had found the image and they replied ’via Google Images Search’, I reminded them of the advice we always provided and suggested that they make the payment to avoid any further action and to swiftly review their content protocols.”
This can easily be avoided by following our recommendation to search the stock photography libraries. Some of these are free and some are paid. Here you will find a vast selection of photograph, videos, illustrations and music. This blog will take you through the most important things you need to know about finding images online.
There are 3 types of licensing of images:
- Creative Commons
These have numerous licenses. Some allow you to use the image free of charge, others require a credit link to be displayed. This can be found on the license that is attached to the image you want to use.
This is a one-off payment, which once you have purchased the image, you can use it as many times as you want.
This allows for the use of an image once which is specified by the license. If you want to use the image for other uses you will need to buy additional licenses.
Stock content libraries
A stock content library consists of a range of media that can be used under the difference licenses we spoke about previously, these are often the places people turn to when looking for content for their site.
I have listed some of the most popular stock content libraries below.
Getty Images are at the premium end of the market. They have a vast selection of paid images, video and music which are not the cheapest but are of the highest quality and very commercial. If you are in the market for content that really special you can commission some of the world’s best photographers and videographers with their own service Getty Images Verbatim. If you are looking for editorial content than Getty have an unrivalled collection from sport, entertainment and news. Their music offering covers all genres from rock to hip hop to classical where you can buy the track or just a special effect.
iStock are the original royalty free stock image library who are now the royalty free arm of Getty Images. They have millions of premium stock content which you can buy through credits or depending on volume a subscription plan and are a good choice if you don’t mind paying that little bit more. You can join iStock and receive free stock files every week which is a good way of building up a free collection.
Shutterstock are not as premium as iStock which is reflected in their pricing but have one of the largest collections of royalty free content. You can search by collections and popular search if you are not sure what you are looking for. Package deals and monthly subscriptions are available allowing you to download as many images as you like during the subscription period.
Depositphotos are very similar to Shutterstock, they have a similar content but are slightly cheaper. It has not been around as long but it has over 50 million items covering photograph, videos, illustrations and editorial at very affordable prices if you are on a budget. Their web site is available in 20 different languages so is accessible throughout the world.
Unsplash provides high quality artistic photos from high calibre photographers. There isn’t the volume of Shutterstock and iStock but if you are looking for something a little bit more creative this is for you. They come in one size and format only so you will have to resize for use on your website. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you are free to do want you like with them, including commercial use.
An inspirational collection of fee to use images that reflect today’s society, with the most diverse stock photos in the industry. To add to their diversity, they have founded World Face which is a collection portrait photography of people from every nation in the world and is available to everyone to use. All their photos are very natural in feel with images that you wouldn’t normal associate with stock libraries.
500px is a place where 9 million amateur and professional photographers come together and upload and show their work off. It has an educational angle to it that is very different from our image libraries allowing you to learn new techniques and become part of networks groups with mentors. They have a free to use section, a paid section if you want something a little more artistic and you can also commission them to take bespoke photography for you. Here you will find the quality is at the premium end of the market where prices vary depending on your usage.
It is made up of a massive community of amateur and professional photographers containing over 13 billion images. The only drawback is that the quality is not always that good, but there are a lot of natural and location based images that you would struggle to find elsewhere. These all fall under the Creative Commons license which mean they are free to use but you may have to get permission from the owner and add a credit on your page.
Take your own
If it is proving hard to find that certain image for your website, why not take some of your own. All you need is a camera and your imagination, this is a good cheap solution and will guarantee that no one else will have the same images. You can quite quickly enhance your website with a wealth of visually appealing elements.
If you would like more help choosing the right images to elevate your brand on your website please get in touch, I am sure we can find the right ones together.