by Erin Nolan
Over the years we have incorporated stock photography from sites such as iStockPhoto.com. iStock is the original resource for crowd-sourced, royalty-free stock images, media, and design elements. In 2014, iStock was purchased by Getty Images, and the pricing structure was revised. Although they offer improved search and better content collections, we wondered if it was worth it to sign up for an expensive subscription.
The answer for us was no…and yes. We still use stock images for certain jobs, but the majority of the time we try to use royalty-free images. Companies listed at the end of this article offer this service without cost. The search engine is only broadly helpful to weed out unwanted images, but with a little extra work we can find something that works. We can also enhance and modify these photos and end up with an image that is better than the original.
There are still times when we need to purchase images — such as when a specific scene is needed, but it is sometimes cost prohibitive for our client to have OC stage and shoot the photo. Often, though, we can get the job done through existing OC stock or royalty-free images online.
Take a look at these sites and see how they fit your needs. With a little creativity, you can often turn an average image into something spectacular.