Most of us use images these days. Whether it is for a personal blog or project a small business, as part of a job or for a hobby imagery makes stories more engaging and entertaining. And images are everywhere. Just do a google image search on any subject and the choice is overwhelming. Of course the images on google are either owned by someone or in use by somebody else or a company so just downloading them is not the best way forward.
So what is the alternative?
There are a huge number of companies offering images (photography, illustrations, video) for sale or even free to use. Taking your images greatly reduces your risk for copyright issues, claims and other complications. But what do you choose? There is nothing wrong with using free images from a reputabable website and we will post a seperate article about that soon.
Here we focus on 5 reasons to pay for imagery that you use to communicate and tell your stories.
The artist gets paid. It’s easy to forget in the overwhelming amount of images available but each and every one of them is made by somebody, sometimes at great effort. Some artists rely on their work full time to make a living while others generate an extra income. They buy better equipment and hone their skills with the help of the income their work generates, Making great images cost time and can cost a lot of money too. Just imaging hiring models, stylists, light, makeup and a location for a people shoot. Or think about travel and location photography and the cost involved in getting there to find out the weather isn’t perfect that day. By paying for images you support better work being made by people that care about their creativity
You get more choice. Because you pay for your images you get access to the best artists and their best work. Some artists make some of their work available for free as a taster and to get their name out. Their best work is destined for professional websites that represent the interest of the artists in the best possible way to professional users that rely on risk-free content of the highest quality
Images are checked for potential issues. So what can be wrong with an image? Quite a few things in fact. For example, basic technical quality can be corrupted. Think resolution, layers, and dodgy photoshop for example. Furthermore, for commercial uses images with models need a signed release from the models giving permission, maybe a property release for landmarks, and need to be checked for logos and recognizable products as they cannot be used in commercial applications. Companies where you pay for images check this and the best ones provide legal indemnification if a problem arises.
Support and advice. Because companies that represent artists charge a fee they can employ teams to help clients out. This helps to get the best deal. More importantly, these teams help navigate copyright questions, help with search options, and generally lend a helping hand. Furthermore, these companies have special solutions for larger companies that help manage usage, distribution, and cost in various teams. Finally, websites constantly innovate to make finding the right image faster and easier
It’s still very affordable. Yes, a licensing fee is more expensive than free but imagery has never been this affordable. This is simply because there is so much of it. You can choose from over 100 million images at the reputable companies and can generally get a single image for a few Euros or Dollars and things get much cheaper with subscription options for bigger users.
For serious hobbyist and definitely for professional users paying for content will pay of in many ways while not costing the World with some peace of mind on top.
That’s not to say there is no room for free images.
Keep following to read our Five reasons to use free images coming soon