Using photos and images alongside your blog articles, on your Web site, brochures, and other marketing materials add interest and emphasize your message. But where do you find good images?
Some people believe if they are available online, such as through a Google search, they’re free to use. That is definitely not true.
A few years ago, a client of mine sent me an image her graphic designer used to help create her brand. When I was adding the image to her ad on my site, Networking Today, I asked if she owned the “rights” to use the image. She said yes (that was what she was told by the graphic’s person). My client worked for a large law firm so I had no reason to doubt her, that is, until I received an invoice for $950 a few months later from the stock photography company for improper useage of the image. Yikes! Basically, I was told to pay up or face a lawsuit.
Long story short, my client went after the graphic designer to pay and I was off the hook (once it was paid). But it was a lesson to me not to simply trust someone’s word, especially if it was third party.
Jennifer Grigg, owner of Social Dragon Marketing, recently created a short video that explains how using images found through Google searches is illegal, and akin to stealing from a store shelf. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK9AM350L8Y.
Plus, Jennifer offers these suggestions for free images – just be sure to read the terms and conditions before using.
123RF – Good selection of free photos
Bigfoto.com – Free photos from around the world. Use sitemap to browse by categories
Dreamstime – Paid photos but do have a selection of free photos
Flickr – Free photos, but best practice is to link back to the source
Free Range – Great selection of free photos
Hubspot – 75 free photos
Morgue File – Free photos and it has a resize/crop tool you can use right on the website
Photogen – Good selection of free photos
Photo Pin – Anything below the dotted line is free
Stock.XCHNG – A huge selection of free photos
Stockvault – Has both paid and free photos