Stock photography gives you a large resource of digital images that you can pick from to use in your project. What do you need to keep in mind when you want to download stock images? In this video, author Richard Harrington walks you through a few pieces of advice about how best to license stock photography.
- I've mentioned earlier the benefits of stock photography. Let's explore a few pieces of practical advice to make using stock photography much easier. When it comes time to use stock photography, make sure you take a look at many different websites and compare their pricing plans. Some offer images that you pay for for each use, others sell credits that you can use and eventually expire, and some give you a certain number of downloads per month. There are many pricing options available.
Also, be sure to check the licensing terms to make sure that they meet the needs of your organization. For example, you may have access to several images that you can use if your organization is editorial in nature. Maybe you're publishing a newsletter or a journal. But if you were using those images commercially, well, they might not be available. Plus, you're going to want to run any terms of service past your in-house counsel or discuss with an attorney to make sure that they line up with your needs. I also suggest that you do a highly targeted search.
Putting in good keywords and descriptions, as well as choosing the categories, will help you search for images better. I showed you earlier the concept of searching for images from one photographer. Once you find an image that you like, click on the photographer's name, or on an option to see more by this artist. This is also useful particularly with illustrations, so you have a consistent style. If multiple resolutions are needed, make sure you buy the one that meets your needs. Now, if you're going to be using it for things like web or a slideshow, you might be able to get by with lower resolution.
Print, you might need a higher resolution. And some services just sell one image, but be sure you check that you're downloading what you need. Now, once you do a search you'll get lots of results. And remember, it's easy to browse. Be descriptive in the search field and decide what type of content you're looking for. With those licensing terms, every company is going to be a bit different, so make sure you take a look at the terms and that it lines up with your needs.
When looking at the license, be sure you take a look at the standard license. Is it perpetual, meaning you can keep using the image forever? Is it non-exclusive, meaning that you have the rights to the image as do other people, or are you paying for an exclusive use? Non-transferable typically means that you cannot give away the images to anyone else. And they'll specify what you can do with an image.
They'll also tell you what you can't do with an image. For example, with most stock photography, a standard use is not making T-shirts or putting it on a book cover for sale. That's considered part of making a product, and for that you'll need to get an extended license, which can often cost quite a bit more. They'll also tell you how many copies you can make, so if you are making print-outs, it might cover a certain limitation. Different services vary, but I've seen limits like 10,000 copies.
Which is fine if you're making something for a reasonable-size company, but might not cover all the needs that you have. Also, take a look at what they're guaranteeing. Making sure that they're going to cover any costs associated with legal fees around things like property releases or model releases. You want to make sure that you're not going to face any potential legal issues by using an image. The company that you're licensing the stock photo from is the one that needs to carry the legal coverage.
Typically, this will be explained in the indemnification area, and any limitations where they say what they are or are not liable for. To improve your search results, remember to use a targeted search. Options will vary from website, but here are a few things to try. Search with multiple keywords. This will help you find images that contain the subjects. You can often sort your results based on other properties, such as release date, file size, or even color.
Searching by collection can help you find other images that belong to a similar style. Maybe it's by the artist, or a hand-picked collection of images that belong together. Price range can also be helpful, because many websites sell images at different costs. Make sure you don't view options that you can't afford and get your hopes up for something that won't fit into your budget. And license type can also be useful. Some images that feature recognizable brands or people may only be available for editorial use, such as a blog or a magazine.
Searching by file type can help you limit the search to things like video, vector illustrations, or photographs, and this can make sure that you're only seeing the results you need. Let's go ahead and do an actual search. I'm going to choose to search images. And let's do a word here, we'll search for ostrich, sand. There we go. And I'm seeing images with people and ostriches with their head buried in the sand.
Hiding from reality. Now in this case, not everything is going to be the exact match of what I wanted, but I do see a wide range of choices. However, maybe I don't want to use illustrations, but only photographs. So I can start to apply some limits here. Let's turn on filters, and I'll tell it to search for affordable images, and only photographs. So vector illustrations are hidden.
I can also tell it that I only want to see images that can be used for commercial purposes, so hide the editorial ones. While we're at it, I need a vertical image to fit onto the page. And you see that things adjust. And Adobe even offers a handful of other search tools that you can play with. You have the ability here to play with depth of field, color, and options. Let's say excludes people.
And so now, the ones that have recognizable people have been excluded. Although in this one case, it didn't see the face, so it wasn't sure that that was a person, with their head in the sand. In any case, this makes it very easy to do very targeted searches. And you'll notice that you can even start to search on things like color and other options. The more targeted you can be, the better result you'll have, so that you can pull down images. One of the other things that's nice is that you do get the ability to save a preview image.
So if you see an image you think you want to use, you can download it. You'll need to sign in and the download will be watermarked, but it will allow you to put it in for initial design purposes to run past your client or your team. The use of watermarked images is useful during the early stage, just be sure that you swap those out for licensed images that you've paid for. Removing or hiding a watermark is illegal, and can be a copyright violation.
- Reviewing essential technological concepts
- Why does file format matter?
- JPG, PNG, and other raster formats
- Converting file formats with Adobe tools and free utilities
- Resizing images
- Matching visual style
- Adjusting the exposure, color, and size of an image
- Making essential image adjustments in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint
- Adjusting images with online image editors
- Adjusting images in a PDF file with Acrobat Pro
- Intellectual property rights