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Adding photos and images to your web site undoubtedly improves your user’s experience and by consequence your site’s marketability and conversion rate. Photos can add some colour, some emotion and convey an idea. Everybody knows that “a picture is worth a thousand words” but how should you go about finding images for your web site?
Newcomers and first-time web site owners often have trouble finding quality images and are confused with the licensing terms that may apply to them. Let’s try and clear this up!
Take photos yourself
Using images that you have taken personally (or that a friend has done on your behalf) is often the optimum solution, firstly because as the photo’s author, you own 100% of the copyright and secondly because it’s an original piece of art that cannot be exactly reproduced by anybody else.
Your unique perspective and your involvement in your project means that you can take the photo that suits your needs more precisely than if you use a third party.
- Pros : photos are unique, photos suit your project exactly, you own the copyright
- Cons : time consuming, photos might not be of sufficiently professional quality (depending on your skills)
Comission an artist
You get original, high-quality creative pieces that stand out from the competition and that have a true personality to them.
Copyright issues may be a bit complex as artists frequently make a distinction in licensing terms depending on the way a piece is used : it can be differerent if a photo appears on a web site, in print or on TV. You need to make sure that you obtain the necessary copyrights for your intended purposes.
- Pros : photos are original and artistic
- Cons : can be expensive
Use free stock photos
- Pros : a large selection of photos is available, use of the photos is free,
- Cons : displaying copyright attribution may seem unprofessional, photos vary in quality
Update 21 April 2009 : some more resources : Dexhaus - Kave wall - Free Digital Photos - Cepolina Photos - Unprofound - Deviantart - Every stock photo - Free foto - Pixel Perfect Digital - Free Range - Animation Factory - Woophy - Texture Warehouse - Design Pack - Diwie Design - Creating Online - Geek Philosopher - Free Media Goo
Use premium stock images
Using premium stock photos is a great solution for those “hard-to-find” photos. Simply browse one of the many online stock photos galleries, pay for the photos you want and download them. Generally these photos have all been taken by professionals so the technical quality is unquestioned. However, since everyone can use these photos, you may find them on a competitor’s site, yuk! Opt, for the most creative images when looking at premium stock.
To find premium stock photos, look here :
- Pros : a large selection of photos is available, photos are of professional quality
- Cons : may be costly, photos are impersonal, photos may be used by other people
The Tigrish web site has finally undergone a long overdue makeover. After being mocked up in Photoshop, the front-end was created using the Blueprint framework and Compass (look out for more on these a bit later). The back-end is handled by WordPress.
There are still a lot of tweaks and improvements to happen over the coming days (and possibly even weeks!) so stay tuned.
Let us know what you think in the comments!