In the virtual world it is all about visuals. “What you see is what you get”, as the saying goes, and an online presence is an imperative in today’s business. Even if you have in-depth and captivating textual content for your website, it pays to have some good visuals in the forms of photographs to enhance the message and capture the attention of the viewer. It is this need that stock photography seeks to fulfill.
With the rise of internet, there has been a veritable explosion in terms of availability of stock photographs online. You can actually get lost amidst all the multitude of websites that offer stock photos. Should you go for paid content, or settle for the profusion of websites that claim to provide you with images free of cost?
In business, it pays to be professional
Sure, free sites have their own attractions. But nothing beats a profession site that gives streamlined and fast access, a flexible scheme of image ownership and usage rights, options of images on demand, and mandatory release clauses from models. For business, always try to stick to reliable sites that provide good photos and a host of facilities and services for a fee.
The nitty gritties of photo selection
Maneuvering the endless maze of stock photo libraries looking for what your site needs can at times turn into a Herculean enterprise. Here are some great tips from Viorel Dudau, Photo Editor at Dreamstime to keep in mind to make your search all the more easier and effective.
- Steer clear of clichés: this point cannot be stressed enough. Image building is a crucial aspect in business and if you take the easy path of taking the most obvious and clichéd images, that just smacks of laziness. Put some thought and effort into the selection, by going down the path less trodden.
- Do your research: it is your business and you know what you need in terms of images to reflect that. Photographers just take photos to fit specific templates. It is upto you to find out if those fit the needs of your business.
- Be demanding: stock photography is filled with clichéd concepts and images. If you plan to stand out from the crowd, you might have to put your foot down and let them know what you want.. Actually the whole field could do with some fresh ideas.
- Patience pays dividends: try not to hurry the image selection process. With the endless catalogue of images, it can take time for you to stumble on the best picture, even with the sophisticated search options that sites like Dreamstime, Bigtock and iStockphoto provide.
- Photoshopping is always an option: sometimes, you might find that some images could do with a bit of post-processing. Do not hesitate to play around with the possibilities in terms of lighting, contrast, or cropping or merging images. A word of caution regarding image size though: try not to go overboard with re-sizing the images, especially stretching.
- Gain Exclusivity: if you have the perfect image that you don’t want the competition to get their hands on, sites like Dreamstime have flexible purchase schemes whereby you can either buy the rights over the image for a specific period of time or for life even.
Keep these points in mind, don’t hesitate to think original and go to reliable sites like Dreamstime, and you will see the difference that it makes to your business’ online impact. Always keep in mind: “a good photo is worth a thousand words.”