Royalty Free Stock Photography Tips

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Do royalty free images come with any licensing parameters?

Read Everything You Can Before You Buy

The advent of royalty free stock photography has made buying quality photographic images easy and fast. It has also freed the buyer from worry over usage rights that often come with traditional photo purchases. But, just because this new form of purchasing stock photos seems easy and cheap does not mean you should skip reading and following any and all guidelines published by the stock companies. You may still be responsible for adhering to certain parameters and licensing rules. Before you buy any royalty free stock photo, make sure you have researched the sale thoroughly and understand these rules. If something seems unclear, that is usually a sign that the company you are dealing may not be the best choice out there.

   
Can I buy royalty free video clips just like I buy stock photography?

Royalty Free Video Clips

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video has the potential to hold the attention of the viewer for much longer. Recently, high-quality stock photos have been made available to the general public for nominal fees. But, what if you want your annual report, website or online marketing materials to be more memorable than a single photo? In years past, you would have to hire a graphic designer or filmaker to make that happen. Now, stock video clips are available on some stock photography sites, like istockphoto.com. This company's video clip collection was launched late in 2006 and now offers 30-second clips for as little as $5 each.

   
How do I access royalty free photos?

Options For Buying Royalty Free Photos

Royalty free stock photos -- a relatively new way to buy images for a nominal fee -- has significantly changed the stock photography landscape. More images than ever before are available to professionals and amateur designers. There are a few ways that royalty free photos can be purchased:

*Some vendors have their stock photo collections on a CD-rom they sell to users. This is a convenient way to view many photos. Once a selection is made, that photo in high resolution form, can be sent to the buyer. Sometimes a special password is used.

*Some vendors choose to have websites that feature all available photos. This is an easy way to see photos, but since there are literally millions of images to be viewed, it may not always be the fastest. But, once an image is chosen, the download and use of it can take a mere few minutes.

*Some companies offer royalty free unlimited use CD-roms for customers. These may cost more upfront, but it gives you the chance to to continue using images without having to work through that particular supplier again.

   
What is the main advantage of royalty free stock photography?

Royalty Free Stock Photos Offer New Opportunities

For many years, professional photographers allowed their images to be sold through stock photography companies. Anyone buying an image paid a fee to the stock photo company and the photographer also made money. This still occurs in the marketplace, but royalty free stock photography has now entered the picture. Some royalty free websites offer photographers the chance to list their photos for free. Purchasers can also buy these photos for under $40, a dramatic savings when compared to traditional stock photos. This new wave of stock photography has opened up new avenues for:

*Amateur photographers who can now sell their photos to many of the same buyers that professionals can.

* Small businesses who can now afford to find great photos at bargain basement prices to enhance all their visual materials and marketing programs.

   
Are there disadvantages to royalty free stock photography?

Good Royalty Free Photos May Get Used More Often

While royalty free stock photography sounds like a great deal, there are drawbacks, like anything. When choosing stock photography for a presentation or graphic design project, most people want a fresh image that will not appear elsewhere. This helps get a specific message across and build a company's brand image. However, since royalty free stock photography is readily and easily available and less expensive than traditional stock photography, it may be more likely that someone else will use the same image you do. Therefore, the uniqueness of your message may be diluted.

   
Should I buy a royalty free stock photo subscription?

Royalty Free Stock Photo Subscriptions

Many purchasers of royalty free stock photography are looking for that one perfect image to enhance their marketing materials, website or brochure. They may go online and download the right photo in minutes, paying less than $40 for the purchase. But, if you need to buy a lot of images on a regular basis, you may decide to purchase a royalty free stock photo subscription. This may be priced at around $300 or $400. That may sound high, but these subscriptions give you 24-hour access to thousands of images over a six-month period. In the long run, you might save money from such a subscription. But, as with any subscription, read all the rules and guidelines first so you know you are getting a good deal.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak