Here's the scenario: You are starting up a business and need to make your website look, well, professional. You are a lone worker, no employees, not enough funding to get a photographer to take stellar photos for you to use--so what now?
Well, starting out, I would suggest stock photos--you can always replace them later.
Basically, a stock photo is a photo that involves an everyday situation or is simply a basic photo of an event, location, etc. For those who may not still understand, a stock photo is like one of the ones that comes inside a picture frame before replacing it with one of your own.
Next step, you figure out stock photos are a great first step and go online and see so many different photos, so you start to save them and put them on your website. WRONG. Don't do this because you will pay for it later. Why you may ask? Copyrights.
While it seems like anything is up for grabs on the internet, it simply isn't true, especially in the world of photography. The quickest way to avoid this is to take the extra time to weed out copyrighted photos from creative commons photos, otherwise known as photos you can use without any legal ramifications.
There are two ways to approach this--well there are more but these are the easiest:
1) Google or search engines. I will use Google for this explanation, but when you click on the image search in Google search, you can then click search tools, and then usage rights. I typically use "labeled for reuse" because it does not have any specifications of the use in which you are intending the picture for. This eliminates any non-creative commons pictures from the mix and saves you a lot of headaches.
2) Free photo websites. There are so many out there but my favorites are Pixabay, Good Stock Photos, and The Stock Pile. Always still be vigilant when using these photos, but for the most part any photo you take from these websites is fair game for any to use for their own business website.
There are other ways to gather stock photos, but may require you to reach out to a photographer or company to trade possible photos for work. This may even lead to a continued client (and it has happened before), but before doing that, it is best to just stick with simplicity.
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Socially Dedicated, a Philadelphia-based firm, provides marketing, content creation, public relations, business management consulting and social media management to small businesses. Check out our website or locate us on social media using the icons below.