Q: Where can I get photos for my Staffing Website?

A: With the seemingly limitless capacity of the Internet and the efficiency of search engines, you might think that locating photography for your website or marketing materials is a breeze. Do a quick image search on Google, and you’ll find hundreds of photos you can use, right?

Not so fast. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that most photographs and even clipart are copyrighted. In simple terms, almost every image you see online is owned by someone else, and you can’t use any of them without paying a royalty. So if you need photography, what can you do? To protect yourself from legal liability, you can acquire images using one of the following sources:

  • Use photographs you’ve taken.  This is a great option for casual shots of your team and pictures of company events for your blog. Unfortunately, using pictures you’ve taken will only work if the photos are of sufficient quality and high enough resolution for your marketing project.
  • Hire a professional photographer.  Custom photography is probably your most expensive option, but if you need a specific shot and want it to look very good, this may be the best choice. The secret to using professional photographers is preparation. The more prepared you and your photographer are, the less expensive it will be. Have specific ideas for shots in mind to discuss with your photographer and designer before paying for the shoot. If you are using models, don’t forget to get model release forms signed. 
  • Purchase royalty-free or rights-managed images.  You can buy great pictures from stock art companies like Comstock and Jupiter Images. These firms offer millions of professionally taken photographs and, with patience, you can almost always find the right shot for your website or other marketing materials. About the only limitation of stock art is that you do not own exclusive rights. So that attractive model you selected for the cover of your website could appear on another firm’s website or brochure. 
  • Let your design firm provide the pictures.  Many marketing firms, including Haley Marketing, purchase expensive annual subscriptions to stock art libraries. We can give you access to millions of photographs and clipart images for use in your project. And the best part, at least when you work with Haley Marketing, is that we do not charge anything extra for photography. The only downside is that you do not own the rights to use the photos, and if you need the images used in your marketing for another purpose, you will have to purchase those images.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words…
Photography adds so much interest and visual appeal to print and web materials that it is often the most important design element. However, don’t go overboard. A good balance between imagery and text makes the most effective marketing materials.

0 thoughts on “Ask Haley: Where can I get photos for my Staffing Website?

  1. Keith, I’d like to add a few points about buying the right photo…

    When purchasing photos, you have to consider a lot of factors:
    the subject matter, colors, orientation of the image, and
    the resolution.

    Subject Matter:
    The first decision, subject matter, is the easiest. You want
    to select images that convey the right meaning to your audience.
    Maybe you want an image that is subtle and conveys a corporate
    feel. Or maybe you want an image that tells a story through
    analogy or has some sort of visual “wow” for the audience.
    Finding the right one can sometimes feel like finding a needle
    in a haystack. But with a little creative searching–and a lot
    of patience–you can almost always find the right images.

    Colors:
    The second decision, color, is one best left to a
    professional designer. Ideally, the colors in the imagery
    you select will complement the overall design of the website
    or other marketing materials. A good designer can also
    “Photoshop” or digitally edit your images to adjust the
    color to fit your needs. For more information on color
    usage in your marketing materials, please read “Color
    Coordination”
    from Haley Marketing Group.

    Orientation:
    Images come in two orientations–portrait and landscape.
    You want to choose images where the orientation of the
    picture matches the space available in your marketing
    materials to display the image. It’s kind of like making
    sure you are putting a square peg in a square hole.

    Resolution:
    When buying photography, you have to purchase a resolution
    that is appropriate for your project. For website use,
    you can select a low resolution image. However, for print
    pieces, you need to buy higher resolution images. And the
    bigger the finished marketing piece, the higher the
    resolution of the photo you will need. For example,
    a medium resolution photo may look great on a postcard
    and terrible in a magazine ad. Be aware: prices vary
    according to image resolution–low-res photos are least
    expensive while high-res files required for print
    production can cost hundreds of dollars (or more)
    per image.

    Now to make things more complicated, if the image you want
    to use for your marketing materials requires modification
    through retouching or other visual treatments, it’s best to
    start with a higher-resolution image. While a high-res
    photo can be “rezzed” down, a low-res image loses significant
    quality and detail when it’s “rezzed” up. Furthermore, you’ll
    save time, effort and expense by editing a high-res image
    once and reusing it in different media. This is especially
    true for images like photo collages. And if you want to use
    the same images on your website and print materials, it’s better
    to purchase the high-res version once, rather than buying
    multiple versions of the same image for different applications.
    But, depending on the image source, there may be further
    complications regarding usage rights. Which brings us to…

    Digital Rights.
    Please be aware that vendors with subscriptions to stock
    photography libraries cannot resell or redistribute imagery
    to anyone. So if your designer uses a picture on your
    website, you do not have the right to use that photo
    anywhere else.

    Also, many rights-managed photos have usage restrictions
    where they may be used only once, or are limited to a certain
    number of print runs. You’ll have to check with that provider
    if they require you to repurchase a photo when you want to
    repurpose it.

    Neil Kowalewski
    Art Director

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