Royalty Free Stock Photography for Web Design
By Sharon Housley,
Stock photography websites contain thousands of existing photographs that can be licensed for specific uses. A customer who uses stock photography instead of hiring a photographer can save time, effort and money. Typically publishers can either purchase exclusive rights to a single image or they can purchase a subscription of sorts. The subscriptions allow publishers to download a limited number of photos over a specified period of time.
Stock photo websites allow webmasters, marketers and publishers to locate pictures for their marketing and promotional materials without the hassle of organizing a photo shoot. With copyright laws businesses must be very careful in using unlicensed photos.
There are also risks to using "free" photographs. Many of the free websites contain collaborative works from multiple photographers and artists. While the websites attempt to monitor the images in their collections in violation of copyright laws, there are no guarantees. If you opt to use photographs or images from a free portal, it is important to keep this in mind.
The following are a large number of reputable stock photo websites available:
Photo-Wizard.net - The Photo-Wizard’s website contains thousands of fantastic, high-quality photographs, in more than 30 categories. Photos can be used on websites, in promotional materials or educational materials. The Photo-Wizard’s stock photo directory is packed with eye-catching photos that will meet the needs of graphic designers and webmasters looking for exceptional quality images at reasonable prices. The site is filled with inexpensive, professional quality royalty free photographs. There is no longer a need to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single photograph. Single images can be purchased for $.99 each or subscriptions can be purchased for $49.95 - $ 179.95. Photo Wizard - http://www.photo-wizard.net
Photos.com - Photos.com contains professional royalty-free stock photographs available via a subscription. Pay only a single fee and download up to 250 photos from the Photos.com collection per day. The photos.com collection contains more than 325,000 professional quality stock photographs. Subscriptions can be purchased for $149.95 - $ 699.95 . Photos.com - http://www.photos.com
ClipArt.com - The ClipArt website is exceptional, known for its large variety. You can filter images based on file formats, (photographs, photo objects or clipart) so only the specified format appears in the search results. Subscription can be purchased for $ 17.99 - $ 269.99. ClipArt - http://www.clipart.com
Morguefile.com - The term "morgue file" is popular in the newspaper business to describe a file that holds past issues. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. Photos on Morguefile can be used free of charge, but only for personal use; but are not available for commercial or business use. MorgueFile - http://www.morguefile.com
PixelPerfectDigital.com - PixelPerfectDigital contains 4,000 images. The website uses a forum format to display the images, many of which are clipart rather than photographs. The images can be used free of charge for personal use. Pixel Perfect Digital - http://www.pixelperfectdigital.com/free_stock_photos/
StockVault.net - StockVault contains photos and logos that are free for non-commercial use. They have additional image packs available for fixed prices. StockVault - http://www.stockvault.net
Free-Photographs.net - The Free Photographs Network is an online resource for royalty-free stock photographs for non-commercial use. The collection is very limited and a search function specifically for the site is not available. Free Photographs - http://www.free-photographs.net
FreeStockPhotos.com - Photographs on Free Stock Photos can be used free of charge for non-commercial use, but the photograph must include credits to FreeStockPhotos.com when used on the Internet, in a web page, in printed publications, or in any product, advertising, or packaging. This credit, however, may be cropped out or digitally removed from the photograph if it is included in readable type near each photograph, group of photographs, in the text, or in the credits. The collection is limited and a search function is not visible. Free Stock Photos - http://www.freestockphotos.net
FreePhotos.com - FreePhotos is a collaborative website that contains photos. The website contains many different image categories, but not a large variety in each category. In order to download an image users must register. Free Photos - http://www.freephotos.com
ArtFavor.com - ArtFavor contains a limited selection of small high-quality photographs. The images are not available for commercial use. ArtFavor - http://www.artfavor.com/types.php?type=12
FreeDigitalPhotos.net - The photos on Free Digital Photos can be used for commercial and non commercial interests. If the images are used for promotional items (greeting cards, mugs, t-shirts, screen savers) there is a $ 20.00 charge for the use of each image. Some images also stipulate that they require a link back to the FreeDigitalPhotos website. Free Digital Photos - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
FreePhotosBank.com - Free Photos Bank is a collaborative website with a number of attractive photos. Photos contained on the Free Photos Bank are from a variety of photographers and the reprint permissions may vary. Free Photos Bank - http://www.freephotosbank.com
DesignPacks.com - Design Packs offers free, high-quality image collections that can be used in both personal and commercial web design projects. Each collection features a group of 15 images that share a common theme. Design Packs - http://www.designpacks.com
ShutterStock - Shutterstock is a large subscription-based stock photo agency. They have an outstanding collection of premium, royalty-free photographs, illustrations, and vectors. Subscription can be purchased for $ 199.00 - $1,999.00 and allow subscribers to download up to 25 images per day. ShutterStock - http://www.shutterstock.com/
ComStock - ComStock contains a large collection of royalty-free images. ComStock offers three purchase options images can be purchased individually, CD options are available or publishers can purchase a subscription for $299 - $1999.00 which allows them to download up to 50 images per day. ComStock - http://www.comstock.com
These are all a number of options available for webmasters and publishers in need of images for marketing campaigns or packaging. Regardless of the website selected, be sure to read the agreement terms carefully to ensure that you are adhering to the guidelines.
About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.
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