Why I Use Fotolia for Stock Photography Images
Finding the Perfect Image for your Website with Fotolia
Websites just look better when they have sharp, professional pictures that match the content. It can be a challenge to find the perfect image and get permission to use it online. Fotolia has become my website of choice for purchasing royalty free photographs, because of how easy it is and how clear the rules are.
I love to use photographs I take, or public domain images from the US government, but those don't always give me the choices I want. I had to start looking at other photography sites. While I have used sites like Flickr and MorgueFiles, there many things about Fotolia that give it an edge for me.
Image Â© Brocorwin - Fotolia.com
Certainty about Copyright and Use
While Creative Commons has given us a great selection of images to use, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what use is acceptable. I've seen many debates between writers about what constitutes a non-commercial website. As a third year law student who has studied intellectual property, I know how confusing these issues can be! You may think you are using a photograph correctly, but it may not always be the case. And what happens if the photographer changes their licensing later?
With Fotolia, you are purchasing the right to use the image. The images are also royalty free, so there is no restriction on the number of times you can use the image. I can put the same stock photograph on Squidoo and my blog once I pay for it. I have that right and there are no questions about it. You can also purchase an extended royalty free license, which allows you to put the image on items for resale. You may be able to convert an image purchase into even more cash!
Navigation and Ease of Use
It's never taken me long to locate the right image on Fotolia. As I mentioned previously, because there is no confusion about what images can be used, the search is even easier. No need to do an advanced search or narrow options down as to what you will be doing with the image. Search for keywords, locate an image, select the size you want, and download. Easy!
There are other methods for browsing besides keyword searches. You can browse images by category if you aren't quite sure what you are looking for. Or, Fotolia provides a small selection of free images that can be used in the same manner as purchased images.
Fotolia also makes it easy to upload images to your portfolio if you are a contributor. All the information you need is available on your personalized home page.
Read More About Microstock Photography
Microstock photography is an interesting subject. The concept is that, instead of selling an image once for a large amount of money, a microstock photography company will sell images over and over again for a very small fee.
This book is aimed at helping you learn to utilize these types of websites to earn money. There are certain kinds of images that sell better than others online, and this book contains 60 photographs to illustrate what sells and what does not. As someone who is a visual learner, being able to see examples of these techniques is priceless!
Sites like Fotolia don't accept every image that is submitted to them. Only about half of the photographs I have submitted to my portfolio have been chosen. There is a level of quality to their stock photography database that is hard to duplicate at other websites.
Sometimes I will use the advanced search on Flickr to find images with a Creative Commons license. However, I then have to sort through what might be hundreds of images to find something that looks professional enough to use on my website. There is built-in quality control on microstock photography websites.
Earning More Fotolia Images
Even though many stock photographs can be purchased for around a dollar, people wonder why they should pay for something they can get elsewhere for free. However, there are two main ways that I utilize Fotolia to get the images I want and need without spending any cash.
- Uploading my own portfolio of stock photography images. I don't have many images on Fotolia, but I do have some up for sale. When they sell, I earn a percentage of the purchase price in the form of credits. I use these credits to pay for images to use on Squidoo and my personal blog. In this way, I'm not really "buying" stock photography, but trading!
- Fotolia's affiliate program. When I use a stock photography image on my website, I include a copyright statement giving credit to the original photographer and giving a link to Fotolia. While it is not required that you include the credit for an image you purchased, Fotolia appreciates it and you can benefit. Look to the end of this module to see what I mean! Whenever someone clicks on that link, they are taken to the Fotolia website. If they decide to buy or sell images, I earn a commission for each transaction. This means that I get even more credits to use on images.
Books to Help Improve Your Photography
While I regularly use stock photography on my lenses and website, I am also attempting to improve my skills so I can use my own images more often. After all, if I am taking my own pictures then I can create the exact image I want instead of hoping someone else has. Take a look at these books for tips and ideas of how to improve your own photography. This might help you improve the images on your website or you may even consider starting to sell your work!
While there are many Creative Commons images available online, and I regularly use several sites to find images that suit my needs, I enjoy using stock photography websites because I can directly support the photographers with more than just image credits. Although the fees for Fotolia images are small, it makes me feel good to know that I am paying for the images and helping to support the work that the photographer does.
Taking great images for websites isn't easy, or we would all be able to do it. However, in the same way that I create content and write articles, these photographers are using their talent to create. It's important to show appreciation in whatever way possible, starting with proper attribution. I love that Fotolia gives me easy ways to give commission to the artist as well.
Tell us about your experience and your favorite ways to find the perfect image online. Do you like Creative Commons? Public domain photographs from the government? A different stock photography site? Help someone else find what they need!