Web Design

The Dummies’ Guide To Stock Photos

When you google a man standing with his hand out, chances are you will get a stock image as the first result. Here is your definitive guide to royalty photos.

A picture is worth 1000 words. That sounds like a cliche, but it’s especially true for stock photos, which are designed to capture an audience or simply entertain.

In fact, stock photos are so effective that 68% percent of marketers choose to use images in their content.

Even if you’re not a marketer, stock photos are highly useful. Here’s a guide to stock photos if you want to get started using them.

1. A Guide to Stock Photos for Beginners

Stock photos are pre-produced images used as visual attractions for products or content.  If you have a website or something you want to showcase online, a stock photo invites viewers in with a friendly image.

So here are some quality features of a stock photo that you should look for:

  • Decent resolution
  • No watermark
  • Quality lighting
  • Download ability
  • Availability for reuse

Sometimes stock photos are your audience’s first point of contact with your work.  Having these features in your photos can help you make a good impression.

2. Online Free Stock Photos

You can use free online resources with comprehensive libraries of stock photos. While they don’t cost you anything, many online resources still have instructions for terms of use.

Sites like ImageFree still require users to provide a link back to their website. Other resources may provide the image credentials for users to include when they reuse photos or require you to have a creative license.

The main types of licenses include royalty-free licenses, rights managed, extended, and enhanced licenses.

Creative Commons is one website with a stock photo database of over 500 million stock photos. Those who contribute photos obtain various creative licenses with specific reusing guidelines that you should follow before using the photos.

You may check Unsplash, Pexel, Stocksy for free stock photo with high resolution images.

3. Stock Photos on Website Builders

If you’re simply looking for stock photos for your website, there are site builders that have their own database of stock photos and creators.

Some of the top free website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, have free stock photos available. They also have paid stock photo plans if you want to upgrade and receive higher quality photos.

Keep in mind that these website builders typically have stock photos only for a simple website design.  Many of them don’t include stock photos for logos, social sharing icons, product images, or thumbnails.

To solve this, you can use sites like Canva, which lets you customize banners, thumbnails, and other image locations.

4. Creating Your Own Stock Photos

You can use free web apps like Photo Creator and BeFunky to create your own stock photos. These sites offer image templates and designs that you can drag, drop, and customize.

If you’re producing your own photos via camera, you’ll need a professional camera or a smartphone with professional camera specs.  Look for phones or cameras that have at least 4k video and run at 60 fps (frames per second).

Most smartphones produced within the last 2-3 years can produce photos with quality images and the newest ones, like the iPhone 11 have multiple lenses for more professional effects.

A Guide to Stock Photos: What Comes Next?

Stock photos are simply designed to enhance your content by capturing your viewers’ attention. However, a guide to stock photos can only get you so far.  You have to get started!

Now that you know about stock photos, check out our picks for website themes so you can start using stock photos.

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