When you’re creating a website, or adding content to an existing site, sourcing images is a big part of the game. You have a number of options, some of which may or may not work for your site, and they all vary by price, quality and the amount of work involved. With that in mind, here are a few tips on where and where not to get your images.

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Image credit: pexels.com

Professional Photographer

Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures for your site has its pros and cons. As for the positives, your images will almost certainly be top quality, as they’ll be unique and very specific to your requirements. On the downside, hiring someone to take new, unique photos is expensive and takes time.

Deciding whether or not to use a photographer depends on the content you need. If you’re a fashion designer and need great photos to advertise your clothes, you should likely hire a professional. But if you’re buying and selling products that you didn’t create, chances are images of the content already exist. If all you need are generic images, you don’t need a photographer.


Stock Images

Using stock images will work for any website where the image requirements are fairly generic. Sites like Burst by Shopify and pexels.com offer a wide range of free stock images. For more specific, or copyrighted images, you can purchase licensing to use the image. he great thing about using stock images is that it’s very low cost. A possible downside is that you may struggle to find the precise image you need.


Take Your Own Photos

Whether or not you take your own photographs for your website very much depends on the type of site, and the quality of the images you need. If you write a personal blog, and are writing about your kids or the beautiful walk you went on, organic pictures may be part of the experience. If you need higher quality images, perhaps of products you’re selling, it may be more difficult. You may need a better camera or other equipment, like a lighting box, to get good quality images of your products.


Copy/Paste

As a general rule, copying and pasting images from a Google search or another website is not a good idea. Posting a meme to your Facebook page is one thing, but if you’re using other people’s images on a site you’re making money from, there’s a very real chance you may get sued for copyright infringement or intellectual property theft. In some instances, if you attribute credit properly, or contact the original owner of the image for permission, you may be okay, but it’s probably better to play it safe and not do this.

If your photo needs are fairly generic, you should be able to find free stock images of what you need. For a happy-snapper’s blog, feel free to take your own pics. If you can afford it, and you need top-notch photographs, hire a professional. Finally, make sure you don’t get caught up in any copyright issues by using someone else’s content without their permission.