I love stock photography and use it often in designs both for personal and business use. Some people don’t like to use stock image. I never ask why, just assume that they feel that others would think there work was unprofessional. However, businesses of all sizes use stock photography. Why? It’s convenient especially when you don’t have the time or money to do a full on photo shoot. So all of you photographers out there should definitely be on the hunt for stock houses and/or sites to sell your photos as another stream of income.
Here’s a quick guide to how to use get started using iStockphoto, which is my preferred place to purchase images (only because Getty Images is way too expensive but they are actually they parent company of iStockphoto, so you know the quality is good).
What is a stock image?
A stock image is an image that is commercially available for use.
What is iStockphoto?
iStockphoto.com is one of many sites that provide royalty-free stock images, media (flash,video/songs) and design elements. Royalty-free means you pay once to use the file multiple times.
Testing out the images
What I love about iStockphoto is that I can that I can try out the images before I buy. When I find a possible images that I like I click on the “Download a comp” link underneath the photo. This gives me a very small watermarked copy of the image. I can use these in my mockup designs. Once I get the final look just right I then go ahead a purchase the image(s).
iStockphoto provides the images in a range of sizes (xsmall to xxxlarge) and each cost a different price. They do give you the sizes in pixel and inches. Any images that are 72dpi (dots per inch), those are perfect for the web. Any images that 300dpi, is perfect for print. For example if I am working on a brochure I am going to go with medium or higher. If it’s for a blog post I’m stick with the smaller sizees. This way I don’t get spend happy.
What I do is purchase pay-as-go credits and they last for about a year. There’s eight different credit packs offered. You can buy them individually or as a combination. For example let’s say I am working on art for a mixtape insert and all of the images I need equal 30 credits, I will then buy 2 “12 credit packs” and 1 “6 credit pack”, which will give me 30 credits costing $48.99.
That’s basically how I use iStockphoto. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The major part is figuring out how big of an image you will need. Also remember once you buy the image you can use it over and over again.