Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

What every photo researcher ought to know about buying digital stock photos


Your Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Digital Stock Photos
If you’ve been a photo buyer for your magazine or site any length of time, you probably realize how much the photography industry has changed.

Many professional photographers are now using high-quality, high-res digital cameras instead of film for their stock photos. Read below to find out the easiest way to locate and purchase digital stock photos for your magazine, brochure or Web site.

Where to Buy Stock Photos

One way to find stock photos quickly and easily is through a stock agency Web site. Stock agencies provide several benefits.

– They offer a large inventory of stock photos by many different photographers.
– You can choose from a variety of styles, colors, photo sizes and quality.
– With digital stock agencies and portals, you can normally buy right from the site without having to put in a request for certain images
– You conveniently have 1,000s of stock photographers in one location instead of having to sift through individual photographer’s stock photo submissions sent by parcel post. As you know, postal mail doesn’t come with a search box!
– With a stock agency or stock image portal, you can save time because they offer uniform buying guidelines, download methods and search capabilities no matter which photographer you choose.

 Individual Photographers

Another way to find digital stock photos on the Web is to contact a freelance stock photographer directly.
You might need to work with a photographer one-on-one if …

a) you need stock photos for a specific location or with a specific theme, and are unable to locate the photos you need, or

b) you’d like to assign certain projects to one photographer who specializes in that field. It is even possible to work with some stock photographers by setting up an “on spec” relationship.

This means that you give the stock photographer your photo needs and he/she shoots images with the understanding that you may only purchase one or two (or none) of the stock images.

I have worked with several textbook photo researchers this way and I’ve found that the images the photo buyer didn’t use many times sold at a later date to a different photo researcher.

Working “on spec” may be easier to set up than you may think, especially if you catch the stock photographer during a slow photo period.

“On spec” is many times a win-win for the stock photographer and the stock photo researcher.

This is just one example of how the Internet makes it possible to work with one or many photographers and transmit your photos quickly by email or by download from a photographer’s Web site.

Quality and Size of Digital Photos

Probably one of the most confusing aspects of buying digital stock photos is how to determine the size and quality of an image.

When you receive photo submissions by postal mail, you have the actual photo print or transparency in hand, making it easy to determine if the quality and size are adequate for your project. However, with digital photos it’s not always that easy.

Formats Used in Digital Stock Photography

JPG (or JPEG) format, which is one of the most popular formats for digital stock photos, enables the photographer to reduce an image’s size tremendously for emailing to photo buyers while retaining the size and quality needed for most magazines and publications up to even a two-page spread.

Most digital stock images are displayed as thumbnail images, and then high-resolution (high-res) images are emailed at the photo buyer’s request.

Warning: A major drawback of using JPG digital files for photos is, if the photo is re-saved over and over it will lose some digital information each time it is saved. So, it’s a very good idea to save a JPG image as a Tiff file as soon as you receive it. This way you can save it without sacrificing quality.

 Fortunately, most stock photo agencies require that images be of top quality before they’re accepted. This eliminates your worries about the quality of images in many cases, but always make sure the size of the stock image fits your needs before making a purchase.

Model / Property Release

If you plan to use your stock image for advertising purposes, or for some editorial use, you may need a model or property release. Check with your magazine or client and do some research to make sure which images will need a release.

Licensing Agreement for Digital Stock Photo Usage

Also, read the photographer’s licensing agreement carefully so you’ll know how, where and the length of time you can use the photo.

The general rules of usage still apply when buying stock photos on the Web. That’s another reason to work with a dependable stock agency site or directly with a professional stock photographer.

Use these tips to help locate great digital stock photos easily, and when you need them!

Digital Photography Success | Web Article Directory

Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
Psalm 104:10-13

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
Elliott Erwitt

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham

You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
William Albert Allard

If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.
Garry Winogrand

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
Timothy Allen


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