How to source images on a budget?

It is a common phrase that a picture can paint a thousand words and never has that been so true than when selling your products or services online. They allow people to see a tangible object to reaffirm their need for what you are offering.

Category: Content | Read time: 10 minutes

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How to find the right photography solution for your budget?

When sourcing images or doing a photography shoot it is important to have clear brief in mind. Have a plan for each location where you want to use images to help enhance and supplement the content.

Having a photo shoot can be an expensive expenditure but the advantages of doing a shoot are vast.

Doing your own shoot you can direct the shoot to help achieve the shots you need. It allows for experimentation and provides you with a library of images . This can supplement your other mediums for promotion like social media.

If you execute a good photo shoot you can reap the rewards in the long term.If your budget does not allow, then stock photography may be your answer. 

There are many stock photography companies available that have stock images and videos. This is perfect for your website or printed material. Some of the larger players in the stock photography market are:

Where to find stock photography on a budget?

There are many companies now offering free to use images for commercial and personal use. They do have a limited selection of image, compared to some of the larger premium sites. Examples of some free to use royalty free images are the following websites:

Note:  When using any of these websites, always check the finer details. You may need to acknowledge the creator or website when using the images in some way. This is to ensure you don’t infringe someones copyright over the image. Check out my recent blog post: ‘How to protect yourself against copyright infringement?‘ If you want advice on how to avoid hefty fines.

The downsides to overusing stock photography

With stock photography images, different websites can manipulate images in many different ways. so they are never unique to your business. They are generally taken without any brief so it can be hard to find. Finding an appropriate image to use in some cases can be hard to locate.

This can be due the nature of your service/product being very niche.If any image is out of context from the content it can confuse the user. The image used must be relatable to your subject and should no be there to fill a space in the page. It needs to have purpose. 

Stock photography can also given an appearance of being cheesy. It can make the website sometimes appear impersonal. You best bet is to avoid the over-smiley people photos these can appear a little too staged. Leading itself to the trademark stock photography style.

The importance of sourcing good stock photography

If you use stock photography well it can be a great source to help add context to your content. For this blog post I have used Pexels. It is a perfect solution for me to use to add to my blog posts to illustrate the topics I want to discuss.

Where possible I will use my own photos. Take your time to source images that relate to each location of where they are. I find having a list of possible ideas for each image works well. It ensures you keep focus and don’t select an ‘arty’ Instagram style image. without meaning.

Why producing your own images can be the best solution?

Producing your own images is the ideal solution in the long term life of your website. It helps add a personal and authentic feel to your website. Potential customers do make quick informed choices based on your images. So take the time to source the right image.

It is important to attract their attention as early as possible to help those who skim read. You want to make them stay and convert into a sale or enquiry. If you work in a restaurant you want to show what you can do, so using your own images is your chance to show off.