Anyone who has researched stock photography knows that it can be really time-consuming—not to mention, mind-numbing. Here are a few expert tips to make the search go smoother and faster.
Make sure you specify if the type of image license you are looking for before you find that perfect image. You don’t want to end up outside of your budget and disappointed.
Instead of using vague terms like “family,” search for specific family members such as “mother and daughter” or “group of young children.”
I’ve found that age specifications can vary based on the photographer or stock website. Use a somewhat wide range (and if you are past a certain age, be prepared to be shocked by what is considered “elderly.”)
When searching for photos of people, pair them with an activity (i.e. biking, reading, canoeing) or place (park, lake, mountains) to narrow down the choices.
Checking the “Most Popular” box can often get you the best images first.
Most stock photo websites allow you to download watermarked thumbnail images to test out in your layout.
Before you purchase the final image, confirm the file format and size. Stock photos are indicated in pixels, inches and dpi, depending on if you are using for print or digital. if you plan to use for print, it’s alwayes best to buy the largest size so you have flexilbity to use for large-format output.
When you start to feel stock photo overload, stop and clear your head. Or close the search window and start from scratch.
Does your nonprofit need stock photo resources? See my list of Diverse & Inclusive Stock Photography Resources that I update regularly.
If you’re still strugglig to gind the perfect image, I’m happy to help—send me an email.
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