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Resources > Photo libraries

How to choose a Photo Library

Photo libraries and the web

Less than 10 years ago, the majority of users were on snail-paced 28 kbs dial-up connections, which meant that images had to be used sparingly.

The internet has developed at an exponential rate - and today's larger monitors, faster processing speeds and broadband connections have changed websites beyond all recognition.

Quality photography can have a dramatic impact on your website, and fundamentally change how your business is perceived by potential customers.


Stock library photography

The choice can be bewildering – there are thousands of stock libraries with millions of photographs and images.

Getty Images are the biggest and have cornered the market. They are also charge a premium.

If you only require a handful of key images, then libraries such as iStockphoto sell individual shots for just a few dollars.

However, if you want to build-up a comprehensive library for your company, Shutterstock is unbelievable value - allowing you to download 25 shots a day for a month, for only £149.

Stock library terms

  • Royalty free photography - when you purchase the image you are free to use it (within their terms and conditions) without any further payment.
  • Model released photography - If your choose a photograph of a person, always ensure they are model released - this means that the model has no further financial redress for usage of their photograph.
  • Editorial photographs - These images cannot be used on business websites and, as the name implies, can only be used in editorial articles in publications.
  • Enhanced license agreements - This will be required if the image is used commercially, for instance printed on tee shirts which are then going to be sold.

Photos and law

Basically if you haven't paid for the photograph, you can't use it. Somebody owns it, somebody created - picking shots from a Google Image search could land you with a hefty bill / court appearance.

If there are photo libraries you would like to recommend, please contact us for inclusion on our list.

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