Buying stock images is a huge time saver. A good stock image can provide you with a great deal of value, but often times it can be challenging to determine the quality of an image and where the best place to purchase that particular image is. This post provides three tips to help you buy stock images with ease and confidence.
You can easily find thousands of sites offering stock photos if you type the phrase “buy Stock Images” into Google’s or Yahoo’s search engines. Many of these thousands will claim to have the best images. How do you know where to get the best photos, what size to choose and if it is worth the effort?
1 Selecting an Image Size
Images come in a variety of sizes, from a small 281x472px (about 3 X 4 inches) to a large 4550x3742px (about 15 X 12 inches). The purpose of the image will determine what size you need. I use 380×320 stock photos for most of my graphic design work. This is approximately 5X4 inches. This size image has been used to enhance my header graphics, personalize banners and add nice images to my website content.
You will not need to use a larger size than I have used before if you add images to your website, eBook, newsletter, or other online media. You should consider the end use of an image you are downloading to print. Remember that the higher the original image, the better it will be for making changes.
2 Determining Image quality
For those unfamiliar with digital photography, determining image quality can be a bit more complicated than you might think. If you ask an experienced photographer, they’ll tell you to focus on resolution and dpi. There is an easier way for us all to judge image quality.
First, view the image in the size you intend to buy. Click on the image to do this. You can mark the painting as quality if it is clear and smooth. You could also print it, although I doubt you would find it before buying the photo. However, it is worth seeing how it looks printed.
Reviewing images is another great way to determine if they are high quality. You can be sure that a website with a track record of positive reviews will have a high-quality image. You can also contact the webmaster to ask if there are any free images you could download to see what ideas you will be purchasing.
3 Where to Buy Your Images
Do your research carefully before you decide on a photographer to purchase your images. There are many choices available, so you have a greater chance of receiving photos that are poor quality or not at all. Here are some things to remember when evaluating websites:
- Copyright You can find royalty-free photos here. While some restrictions may be expected, you don’t want too many copyright restrictions on images.
- Variety, A quality website should offer a wide selection of options.
- Top sites often offer multiple pricing options, from one image to a package deal, with an average price of $2 per image (smaller sizes). You should not be surprised to see prices exceeding $3 for small photos.
- Customer Support – Don’t purchase from them if they aren’t accessible!
- Satisfaction Guarantee – A site that offers high-quality photos will be proud to provide some satisfaction guarantee, even if it’s to refund your money for corrupted files.
- Please read the fine print. It is tedious but essential.
- Be a repeat customer once you have found a site you like and save it for later. You don’t need to spend time evaluating other sites later when the one you select has everything you want.
My most important tip is not to go blind when buying stock photos online. Be familiar with the sizes and how they are used. Compare the prices of a few stock websites to determine if they are fair.
Also, ensure you understand current copyright laws to ensure that these webmasters don’t try to convince you to pay full price for a limited amount of use. These tips will help you be prepared when the time comes to buy.
Here, we’ve outlined some tips that can help you buy stock images with ease and leave you feeling confident in your purchase without having to stress about whether or not you’re getting a quality product. These simple tips will ensure that you choose the right distributor and do the proper research before buying your digital images. We wish you the best of luck in your search, and hope you’ll find what you’re looking for—and more!