Many people have discovered how fun it can be to peruse stock photography websites. They are not only full of interesting and professional camera shots, but many of those shots can be used mulitple times and multiple ways, all for free. But, another way to enhance your blog besides a professional photo is by downloading a free web graphic. Many stock photography sites, such as istockphoto.com, have begun to offer free web graphics in addition to photos. You might even decide to combine a free photo with a free web graphic. Some stock sites will offer advice on how best to use their works in your blog so always take advantage of this information when it's offered. With so many web graphics out there, you could find a new one for every day of the week so your blog readers will never get bored. They might even make a note to visit your blog just to see what new photos and images you've recently posted.
Stock photo companies, who sell large collections of photos online, are branching into free flash animations, as well. To learn what is available in this new area of computer technology, you can do a simple search with these key words: *Download flash animations *Free flash art, or *Online flash movies You might be tempted to just use this new technology to have fun sending emails to your friends. But, consider these options, too: *Send a potential employer an animated thank-you; you are sure to stand out. *Recommend to your boss that your company utilize flash animations to create a new form of annual report. *Create your own animated newsletter instead of sticking to the old standards of print or electronic forms.
One way to enhance your blog is by adding photos and other images. You might love pictures as much as words, but you may not have the time or talent to add a to your personal writing. Did you know that you can find countless photos -- taken by professional photographers -- for free on the Internet? These types of photos are known as stock photography. That means the photos are available for use by a wide audience. Some stock photography is licensed and cannot be used without a royalty fee. You should avoid this type of photography for your blog photo as it can be expensive and more time-consuming to download. Photographers take lots of pictures and one way to get them in front of an audience is to offer some of them for free. This gives a photographer exposure. Because of this, you'll have no trouble finding a free blog photo.
Animals are funny. Animals are majestic. Animals can be happy, sad, perplexed or surprised. Anyone who is a pet lover knows animals can make us feel a myriad of emotions. For this reason, animals are often a good choice in communication. If you are bored with looking at expression after expression in a collection of people stock photography, finding an animal -- especially a close-up -- may be an alternative.
Animals can communicate power, strength and determination. That's why Merrill Lynch uses a bull as its icon. But, animals can also convey softness, sympathy and hope. When choosing animal stock photography:
*Make sure the background is clear of any objects that are not part of the central message.
*Think of the emotion you want first, then search for specific animals that convey it. This way, you'll save time looking through the thousands of animal images that are out there.
*Look for photos that depict animals from a unique angle or perspective. Because animal shots are so popular, your image will have more impact if it truly stands out.
If you are just a beginner when it comes to buying stock photography, you'll want to avoid some of the common problems associated with downloading images. One such problem can be caused by improper calibration of your monitor. Ask anyone who has downloaded a free stock photo -- only to discover late that it has an odd tone or color-cast in the image -- and you'll learn how frustrating and time consuming buying the wrong image can be.
If you want to better your chances of choosing the best stock photo for your use, consider calibrating your monitor for the best color. There are now a number of tools that can do just this. One tool is Spyder2 from ColorVision.
You may think you are seeing a white background or a blue sky, but once you use a particular stock shot, the exact tone you thought you had might not seem right. By adjusting your monitor, you can avoid problems like these when buying popular stock photos, whether they are of people, places, nature or food.
Once you begin searching for stock photography, you'll be amazed at the vast array of choices, especially people pictures. So, you might narrow your search by choosing a certain type of image. Because our culture is so sports-oriented, these types of stock photos can be used when you want to motivate an audience. There's nothing like a close-up of a soccer player scoring a goal to convey strength, grit and will. Or, what about a golf shot featuring a close up of a shot preparation? This type of photo can communicate focus and quiet determination.
When you search for sports stock photos, you may find some shots of famous people. These shots, from reputable stock sites, can be used according to the terms in which they are sold. But, you should always be extra careful when using people pictures of celebrities because they pay a great deal of attention to how they are conveyed in print and photos.
Additionally, when buying a stock photo of a person, check into whether or not a model release was signed. This can further protect you against any unlawful use of people pictures.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|