Admit it, we all need images.
Copyright is one of the major issues when it comes to designing. Photos are subjected to it. Where to get images are one of the challenges in designing.
Where do you get your photos when working on a project?
Stock images. A bit expensive and generic yet truly efficient.
Get them from the client. Possible, but you'd never know about the quality unless done professionally.
Shoot them yourself. Almost perfect but takes awfully a lot of time and effort.
Others, where else? How do you guys do it?
It looks like you go with sites offering free stock images. Are the images good enough? The company i'm working with has an account on shutterstock, really good images, yet we still had issues when it comes to selling the completed work.
Still so much of a hassle even we actually paid to use them.
some are good enough (depending on the project), but of course you find a lot of "trash" on those sites... and also depends on the client and boss.
Some of the bosses i had before do everything they can to avoid paying for images... Some even use google and simply download the photo without any respect for the copyright. I really hate that... it's not professional!
i also don't like when i see my works used without permission (i even saw a russian news site using one of my old illustrations in a news article without even asking for it or mentioning my name... I just don't work that way, i prefer free stock, paying for stock or doing it all myself...
Why are stock images expensive? If you go to places like shutterstock.com or dreamstime.com, they are around $5-10 for a large enough image to print on a poster. Yeah you may see the same image somewhere else, but that doesn't happen too often, especially if you buy the ones that haven't been bought by too many others.
Those free sites like Stock Exchange - I used to use them, but it's too much hastle if you want to do things the right way (email the owner, let them know you want to use their image, wait for reply).
Unless you are buying the rights to use the image yourself only from a stock site - it's pretty cheap to get them from there.
One reason why they are expensive is the quality. It takes a lot of time and effort for photographers to take those images. It's like creating/buying web templates too.
Although i'm really interested what a professional photographer would really say about stock images.
For my day job, we rely on Dreamstime.com for images. Using the subscription plan, prices aren't that bad and a good selection. We also have another one that is good for clip-art called Metro Creative Connection and has some ok photos but they are generally not as good as Dreamstime.
Yes, some photos do take a bit of time to setup and work in post processing plus you have to consider models and their cost too. If you find nice shots of people, those images had to have a model release if used for anything commercial and I think most models would want payment of some kind unless they are relatives or friends so this can add to cost too. I almost hired a model for $100 per hour to get some model shots in my portfolio but decided to wait to get into that arena.
As a photographer who also sells stock images, it has come to my attention that photographers are slowly earning less and less per image. Some of this has to do with the growing number of stock photo sites and photographers contributing making the competition pretty stiff.
Getty images was the true stock photo agency back in the day and their photographers made a decent dollar from their images sales and it was very elite and not open to just any photographer. Now, faced with competition from the many other cheaper agencies, they too have lowered their pricing and opened their doors to more photographers. The existing pro photographers were very upset with this.
Media outlets around the world are letting their staff photographers go and relying more and more on theses stock photo agencies and submissions from the average Joe with a digital point and shoot or cell camera. The result? Photography is losing its value everyday it seems and people are become more accepting of sub par imagery.
I am still reminded of a Time magazine cover that featured a stock photo. Photographers everywhere on the internet cried foul because this type of photo use in past often brought a seasoned photographer a four digit paycheck and instead, the person who shot the stock photo got a 2 digit paycheck but was just happy to have his photo used on the cover of the magazine.
Personally, I tend to only send my less artistic photos to my Dreamstime portfolio. I have many that I have spent countless hours working, manipulating and editing to get the desired result and they have more value to me. These are the ones I hate to put up for sale for pennies.
I had thought about expanding my stock photos to a dozen or so different agencies out there but I wasn't very happy with the payout of most and thus I stuck with just Dreamstime to make things simple and I get more return from them for being exclusive but alas I still get disgusted when a photo sells through their subscription plan for almost nothing for the largest size.
Do you sell many as exclusives? Yeah you are right, you can get a photo on the subscription service in a very last size for something like $10. I was thinking about this lately too, there are more and more of these sites, each one claiming to be cheaper then the other - how do the photographers make money from this? Unless you sell exclusive for more money, you'll need to sell huge amounts through subscription service to make a decent buck.
Well, I signed up as exclusive tog so all my images in my portfolio are exclusive to Dreamstime. I don't sell a lot really. My portfolio is still small in comparison to some and especially the pros. Sadly, it seems to make decent money in microstock, you have to have a large portfolio and of course good work helps too. I read an article on mircostock not long ago that said using diversity and spreading your stock photos out to many agencies had best earning potential but it also require more maintenance and such too.
Yep, I don't think any of the contributors like the subscription plan. It benefits the agency much more.
we usually use istock