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One of the more complicated aspects of buying stock photos can be the sheer number of them out there. Stock photography companies and websites attempt to make search engines easy and efficient, but stock photo buyers may still find it time consuming to locate just the right shot of a marriage proposal or kids having a snowball fight. And, key words searches may not always make that easier or faster. Some companies offer stock images found through a visual search. That means buyers can click not on words, but image categories. The claim is that stock images are more easily found this way.
Most people are used to seeing photos, especially portrait shots, from a straight-on viewpoint. In other words, the subject is looking directly into the lens and is positioned directly in the middle of the shot. But, good photographers know how to take shots from a variety of viewpoints. For example, positioning a tree in shadow in the left third of the shot has more power when the viewer sees it, precisely because it's less traditional. It draws the eye into the shot and is good use of what is called the rule of thirds. Also, consider that an element in a particular photo may be more interesting to the eye when it is positioned in the upper right position of the shot or the top third. You don't have to be a skilled photographer to buy quality stock photos, but keeping some of these basic tenets in mind will help you choose more powerful images for your presentation.
Consider the cost for a marketing executive trying to obtain a photo needed for a website. The executive has to first hire the photographer, pay for any related expenses and wait days for the photo to be scheduled and taken. And, what if that photo must be taken outside and it's raining or snowing? More time is wasted waiting. Now, consider the same scenario with stock photography in mind. That executive can go online, enter key search words and find the perfect shot in minutes! Also, that shot may cost the executive anywhere from $1 to $40. Some sites even allow ongoing downloads for a monthly fee, maybe $140. This is the reason stock photography has become so popular. It saves marketing experts and graphic designers countless hours and hundreds of dollars financing just a single necessary shot.
Be aware as you choose photos to buy that good photography shots elicit certain moods for the viewer. For example, a shot of mountains taken at sunset will vary according to the camera settings. A bright shot exposed one way may make you feel light and happy, but the same shot taken with a different exposure setting may elicit a somber mood. It's important to consider this fact when buying stock photos as you don't want to pick the one that makes you feel good, but the shot that enhances the mood you need for your use -- whether it is a web site, brochure or other presentation.
The market of stock photography has been around for several decades, but the advancement and general acceptance of the Internet has changed the way people buy photos that are considered stock photography. In one sense, many people report that finding stock photos has become easier since the advent of digital technology. But you should be aware that all stock photography websites have their own system, log-on procedures and type of search engines. So, be prepared to spend extra time the first time you buy stock photos online.
People who make their living as photographers have a variety of ways they can earn money. Often, a client, either an individual or a company, wants a certain type of photo and so they assign that photo to a professional to take. But, another way photographers can sell photos is by taking an image and allowing that image to be used by others for a multitude of purposes. This is called stock photography. These images for purchase can be bought by more than one individual or company over time. That gives the photographer the chance to earn money numerous times for the same photographic image. It also gives the client a good photo at a lower price point.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|