Tuesday, June 05, 2007

where to find photos for your blog

Want attractive blogs without legal trouble? Look to your photo sources. Sure, it's easy to copy photos from the Web and paste them into your blog. It's also illegal, and photographers are starting to pursue copyright infringement cases aggressively. We recommend you check out these sources of free or inexpensive photos for your blog:

- Try a nontraditional source. Today's New York Times reports on new "microstock" photo sources that publish stock photos done by amateurs, with fees far less than traditional stock photos:
“Maybe a $300 photo for a pamphlet distributed to 300 people is not worth $300,” said Jon Oringer, the founder of Shutterstock (www.shutterstock.com), a four-year-old microstock agency.

Shutterstock customers, who pay a monthly subscription fee beginning at $199, can download up to 25 pictures a day of the site’s 1.8 million photos, at any resolution. For those who download the maximum, that amounts to 27 cents per shot. Shutterstock photographers are paid 25 cents for a purchased picture; the price rises to 30 cents once $500 worth of their work is bought.

In addition to Shutterstock, other microstock photo agencies include Big Stock Photo (bigstockphoto.com), Fotolia (fotolia.com), Dreamstime (dreamstime.com) and iStockphoto (istockphoto.com).

- At photo website Flickr, look for photos with "Creative Commons" licenses that allow a variety of publication options. For many, you just need to publish with attribution to the photographer, as in this shot by Petteri Sulonen.

-Think historic. Photos published earlier than the 1900s are typically free of copyright restriction. Check out the Library of Congress's extensive holdings, but be sure to check the photo that interests you--not all of these holdings are in the public domain.

-Best of all: The photos you already own or take yourself. Get in the habit of bringing a digital camera to your next speech, event or trip -- we like taking photos of audiences to whom we present.

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