I was looking at a Web site designer’s portfolio the other day and I found some of his sites were using some of the original clip art like the type you sometimes find in old presentations at work. One of them was a semi-cartoon guy with a suit and briefcase clearly dug out of the business section of Microsoft Powerpoint clip art. Please, no!
On that note, I think Stock photo sites are very cool. Pictures really liven up your Web site, blog, training manual, article or just about anything else. On top of that, the people that post photos to the stock photo sites are so much more creative than I will ever be.
**Update – I’ve now moved over to iStockPhoto for their good selection, quality and pricing but I also use some of my own pictures as well (always be on the lookout for good stock photo opportunties!)**
I currently use stock.xchng – mainly because it’s free in most cases (with an option for paid premium pix), has a good selection of pictures and I can usually find several pictures that will work well for my blog posts or Website. I’ve done a lot of the same searches on different sites and here’s my 2 cents:
- stock.xchng: As I mentioned, stock.xchng has a good selection and the free pix are submitted by users. I’ve found things here that are very good. I think the URL is terrible (I never just type it directly because it’s not intuitive) and the selection is definitely less than any of the paid sites but I use it for my sites. When I really need that absolutely perfect picture to help illustrate a specific point, I’ll probably use a premium picture or go to iStockPhoto but it’s a great place to get started and you can definitely find some good quality pictures (but not always that perfect one).
- UPDATE: Fotalia: Very cool pictures and fairly affordable. Take a look!
- iStockPhoto has a much broader selection and the prices look very reasonable. When I’m ready to subscribe or pay per picture, I may start here. Photos are contributed and rated by users. Good for blogs, articles or some generic aspects of a Web site and easy to get pictures for use fairly quickly and inexpensively. It’s not as high end as Getty Images or Jupiter Images but the price is right if you are using multiple pictures for your blog. Prices are as low as $2 (when you buy $18 worth of credits) for extra small pictures. You can also get a monthly subscription if you’re a heavy user. This is a place where you can find a lot of staged shots (e.g. I recently saw and iStockPhoto picture in my paper on an article about “fat cats”. The picture had a guy with big sunglasses and a cigar holding money).
- Getty Images. Photos contributed and rated by users. Good for blogs, articles or some generic aspects of a Web site and easy to get pictures for use fairly quickly and inexpensively. Not as high end as others but the price is right if you are using multiple pictures for your blog! Prices are as low as $2 (when you buy $18 worth of credits) for extra small pictures. You can also get a monthly subscription if you’re a heavy user.
- Jupiter Images: Has a ton of great photos from a variety of sources and collections. Definitely more on the premium end. The pictures I searched for came in at $149 or higher for Web pix and I couldn’t easily see a way to filter by price.
- Flickr: You can also use Flickr for your blog pictures. If you see a picture with a “blog this” button, you can link to the picture from your blog or blog post. Check the rules before you do this so you don’t violate the policies. There is a lot of variety and some very interesting pictures mainly because there are tons of people, from professionals to amateurs posting to Flickr.
- Graphic Leftovers (a new one for me)
Any others that you’d recommend or anything you’d add to what I have here?