There are basically three choices, listed below. Note that pulling images found on Google is not included. Unauthorised image usage is taken very seriously by the copyright owners, and they actively search the web for websites using images without the correct license. In fact, the main source of income for some of the big image copyright owners, (e.g. Getty Images), comes from fines, rather than selling images. It is a big and profitable industry. So, we are left with the following:
- Hire a photographer to take some professional photographs.
- Purchase stock imagery from one of the many online repositories, (Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, etc.).
- Find free to use images from the web.
Let’s look at each option in a little more detail:
Hiring a photographer
You’ll get the exact images you need, (hopefully).
Your images will be unique and specific to your business.
Website visitors do like to see “real” images of the business with whom they are considering spending money.
Hiring a photographer can be expensive.
The photographer may insist on retaining rights to the images unless an extra fee is paid.
Can be time-consuming, compared to the other options.
Purchasing Stock Photography
Stock imagery is often a good way to go if you want high-quality professional photography on your website. However, it can get expensive, especially when some of the online repositories use a monthly pricing model. It is unlikely that you will need a constant supply of images throughout the year. Some do allow you to purchase each image separately, but as you can imagine, that can add up.
Free images from the web
There are quite a lot of websites where you may download video and images for web design, that may be used for personal and commercial projects. Some do not even require attribution. The things to look out for is the CC0 (Creative Commons) license, and/or websites that state something like the following, (from Pexels):
- All photos on Pexels can be used for free for commercial and noncommercial use.
- Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is not necessary but always appreciated.
- You can modify the photos. Be creative and edit the photos as you like.
Here are a few examples of websites that provide free to use images and video, (at the time of writing):
These websites, at the time of writing, all state their images and videos are free to use for personal and commercial use. However this can always change, remember to keep checking this in the future to avoid any issues. It is a good idea to record the image you download, with a date. We tend to do this by taking a screen-shot of the download page that clearly shows the image and the usage rules.
You can often find some great high-quality images for your project. The only downside is that you are restricted to what you can find, so you may have to hunt around a little for what you want.
If you would like any advice on image or video usage, please give us a call on 01257 444222, or use our contact form.