Stock Images – What You Need to Know
When designing a website, you need to incorporate several elements that function seamlessly. The theme, color scheme, placement of different icons, text, and images must all be in the suitable space for a good-looking and engaging website.
The written content usually takes most of the space on any web page. However, you need to put enough emphasis on the photos that you use on your page, as they can help increase your site’s conversion rate. They complement the written content and sometimes tell a story of their own.
But the main question is how and where to get photos for your website. Should you take original pictures or perhaps opt for stock images?
Click a Picture, or?
Taking pictures is the first thing that comes to mind when you need images for your website. New and original photos are ideal, but they have their challenges. You need a good camera, lighting, and environment for the clicks. You also require the skills needed to take high-quality snaps.
Or, you can get a professional photographer on board and get high-quality photos. It’s the perfect situation, but you need to pay a fair bit to the photographer, and there are only so many pictures you can take in one session.
Besides these, there is another option, known as the Stock Images!
What Are Stock Images?
Stock photos are nonexclusive images available with different agencies for a low price. These photos come with usage restrictions, but you may be able to use them for most commercial projects.
However, it is essential to fully understand stock images before using them on your website or any other online ad campaign. Here is an overview:
Why Are Stock Images Important?
Websites need images that can attract viewers. Low-quality pictures on the website can be a turn-off for the audience and lead to lower search engine rankings due to higher bounce rates.
Stock images are high-quality photos taken by professional photographers. They’re available instantly for use. This allows you to avoid the low-quality photos that you may take yourself or save you from the expense of hiring a professional and spending a considerable amount of money for a photoshoot.
Since tens of millions of assets are available online, you can always find stock photos that suit your needs. The key is to spend enough time to find the ones that are ideal for your website.
You can usually get the download statistics for stock photos from the website. This means that you can know the number of downloads for that particular image.
Where to Get Stock Images?
The stock photographs are available on various websites. You can easily download your preferred photo and utilize them for your project. Some websites may ask you to sign up first though that isn’t always the case.
Here is a look at some of the best stock image websites out there.
Shutterstock is one of the best websites for stock photos. Its library has millions of assets that can be used for all kinds of projects, including websites, social media campaigns, hobby blogs, and online ads. A free trial is available to help you try out the resources on their website.
Those who wish to purchase can benefit from several subscription plans as per their needs. You can even use a coupon code to save money on Shutterstock images.
2. Adobe Stock
The website has over 100 million assets, making it one of the most extensive libraries for images globally. The photos are reasonably priced, and you can also take advantage of the free trial available.
The website has a vast collection of high-resolution images and videos. The company offers monthly and on-demand subscriptions, allowing flexibility for its users.
Use Stock Images Legally
You have to be careful when using stock photos. This implies that you utilize these images with the consent of the rights holder and use them in a manner allowed by such a person or entity.
Let’s dig further into the matter to learn better.
Understand License Types
There are different license types in stock photos. The license type determines how you may or may not use an image. For example, some license types do not allow commercial use of the pictures, while others may allow use any way the user wants.
Here are some of the common stock photo license types.
1. Rights Managed
The Rights Managed license allows you to utilize the stock pictures one-time under specific terms only. This can include the type of use for the image, how often it can be used, and even in which geographical locations you can use it. You may have exclusive rights to the image in some cases.
With this license type, you also have other restrictions, such as reselling assets and passing them on to others as your own. If you violate the terms of conditions mentioned in the license, you can be sued.
After paying the necessary fee, the Royalty-Free license allows you to use an image multiple times – in any project you want. It does not require you to acquire a new license every time you need to use that particular image. There is no need to attribute the photos to the rights holder as well.
Like most other license types, you cannot resell the work as your own or post it on your own stock photo website. You cannot imply that a person in the photo endorses your product or service.
3. Creative Commons
Multiple licenses within creative commons may or may not allow commercial uses of the images. The primary purpose of these images is to enable people to use them for creative purposes.
The restrictions on the use of photos vary with each license type. One license type even allows you to pass on assets for commercial and noncommercial purposes.
Avoid photos with easily identifiable people in them. While you may have the license for photo use, you may need a release from the models in some cases. If you’re not sure whether you need a release form or not, using a different picture is a better idea.
The Bottom Line
Good content containing high-quality images is essential for a unique website. Stock photos are a convenient option for getting images, as engaging a photographer is often pretty costly.
Numerous stock photo websites offer low prices and have extensive libraries with millions of assets. Just make sure that you follow the terms and conditions of the license agreement carefully. With proper use, your web design will be able to benefit from these images big time.