Digital Marketing

Buy stock photography or download for free

With the advent of social media, came an influx of image sharing. An image from a social networking site is downloaded to your local computer and republished on another social networking site. This practice creates a serious problem for the owner of the original image and the third or fourth generation “right clicker”.

I am a photographer and book format designer by profession, and I often see images in the body of work that I recognize as the property of a photographer. When I ask about the license of the image, I often get: “I downloaded it from the Internet, can’t I use it?”

Many people know that it is easy to take a photo from the Internet by right-clicking and downloading it to your computer. The image being saved is not one that can be used in a book or any product that can be resold.

Without going to the source of the photograph and buying it, the image is illegal for commercial use. If the image is in Creative Commons or in the public domain, it is free to use in published work.

Another problem with right-clicking is quality. Most images on the Internet and low resolution and that results in a poor quality product.

You can be a blogger and book writer or a media creator for your new small business. You may want to enhance the materials you create with photos.

Before you right-click on an image that you find on the Internet, I would like to encourage you to visit the many photography sites that offer high-quality images licensed for commercial use.

Photographers create images. In the same way, your words are created by you and placed on a page, photographers put light and color on digital media. Photographers and their agencies own the images and when they “borrow” them for their product, the photographer is not recognized, appreciated, or compensated. This is a dangerous practice for you and could end up costing you more than buying a photograph.

Agencies that represent photographers and issue license of use rights have disputed over payment for images used without the proper license. Compensation to the owner or agency will often amount to a large sum of money. The agency has the right to request compensation as the owner of the image.

The photos have digital signatures called metadata and can be traced back to the owner and photographer.

Stock photography agencies, public domain micro archive sites sell photographs for photographers and the cost is very low. Buying an image from the agency does more than give the agency money. It also supports the creativity of photographers. For every image purchased from an agency, a portion goes to the photographer who created it.

The sites that I suggest to my clients for free and low-cost public domain images are Pixabay and Public Domain Pictures.

The sites I personally use for product stock photo images are Dreamstime, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock.

As a photographer, I have a great interest in the practice of “right clicking”. My photo has been submitted to Pixabay, PublicDomainPictures, Dreamstime, Twenty20, and EyeEm. Some of my photographs have been sold to clients for book covers and even clothing. I think I would sell more if people knew how easy and inexpensive it is to obtain original licensed photos.

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