Image Sources

Arranging a photo-shoot can be an expensive business, but websites look rather stark with no imagery (although I always believe the information must come first). Taking photos through e.g. Google’s image search generally means that you are using illegal images.

Microstock Photography
There are many different microstock photography sites, in which you can purchase Royalty-free (free from licence restrictions) images for as low as $0.20 per image if you sign up to a subscription plan. Pay as you go images are more expensive per image, and credits usually need to be used within a year, although the image is then yours to use. Check the small print as, for example, Shutterstock says that an image must be first-used within 6-months of download to prevent stockpiling.

Purchasing Credits
It is rare that you will find a site which will only let you buy a single image credit, so expect to buy several photos from each site if you sign up, usually with a credit card, sometimes with PayPal. All will let you sign up and add images to ‘lightboxes’ for free… in the hope that you will return and purchase them!

  • Bigstockphoto approx $20 for 10 images
  • Dreamstime approx. $20 for 22 images, but also provides free images
  • Fotolia from 57p – £3.99 for a single-image
  • iStockphoto starts at £9.00 for 10 credits, cost per credit decreases as more are purchased
  • Shutterstock £29 for 5 images, or by subscription
  • Snapvillage images from $1
  • Stock.xchng offers free images or refers you to Stock Expert where small web images are around $1 each. 
  • Photobucket mostly designed for the MySpace user, but has some gems tucked away through the search function

For historical (and very creative recent) images Getty Images comes highly recommended. To search for images created in a particular era search for e.g. “Image created 1940s”. Royalty free images start at £39 for web-use only.

You Tube
You Tube is of the course the ubiquitous video-posting site, so I’ve set up an account there and just uploaded one small video!

Just a thought on Social Networking
Finding the Tagged site slightly freaky in that people (well, blokes) vote ‘YES’, send messages and WINK at me (I guess it makes a change from pokes), especially in the 20 minutes after I’ve just checkeed the site!

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Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @MMUBS. Interested in digital Literacy in the third sector. Author of 'Raising Children in a Digital Age', regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.

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