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Updated on September 26, 2012

The Best Pics to Use Online

When I read the quote for my new website, I got a fright. It said something like 'pictures not included'.

Last time I worked in a creative studio, clients were charged up to $150 per picture (pic). I needed nine.

Fortunately, much has changed in recent years.

Enter iStockphoto ...

photo Egyptian hieroglyphics
photo Egyptian hieroglyphics

A New Way ...

On Sunday I found and bought the pics I needed for only $15 each - a tenth of what I feared.

My relief mirrored that of clients tracking this project with a view to doing their own sites.

Maybe you'll benefit too.

Above is one of the pics I bought.

You don't see a lot of cuneiform on today's corporate websites; it's my WaPIUSP (Weird and Possibly Ineffective Unique Selling Proposition).

This medium-sized pic is perfect for my purposes. The price licences me to use it on my website and this lens.

Legally (and technically) I can't plaster it on a jet or a skyscraper, but if I'm that successful, I'll happily fork out an extra tenner.

I got the pic from iStockphoto. All the art directors I consulted recommended this site.

Some also mentioned Shutterstock and Dreamstime but I didn't find these as easy to use. You may.

In addition to being cheap and easy, iStockphoto had all the pics I sought.

I added them to my 'lightbox', bought 'credits' on my credit card, downloaded the files to my PC and spent two hours trying to email them to my IT Guy.

Once he got them, it was on.

I'm thrilled. And glad not to be dealing with a full-service advertising agency from last decade.

In those days, CDs costing around $450 held themed sets of around 80 pics (e.g. Ancient Scripts in the Workplace).

Once a client approved a creative concept, the agency bought the necessary CD (if it didn't own it already).

It then charged the client up to $150 per pic!

Thus, after recouping the cost in as few as three pic sales, the agency reaped pure profit from subsequent sales for the life of the CD.

So long as cuneiform stayed in vogue, the CD was a money machine.

Next time you get a quote for a job with pics, ask how much they are.

You may save quite a few shekels (and get exactly what you want) by sourcing them yourself.

iStockphoto. How do you regard it?

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What do YOU think?

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    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @CCGAL: Thanks so much for your kind words and blessing. Cuneiform is rather rare these days. But it's fun when you encounter it. Best regards, P. :)

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      I've never purchased a photo for use, but I've heard good things about iStock Photo. Loved reading about why you wanted cuniform photos. Dropping a bit of angel dust here. ***BLESSED***

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @thesuccess2: I couldn't agree more. Thank you for being my first commenter on this lens! :)

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 7 years ago

      Finding the right image is often a frustrating struggle so if time is money paying a few dollars for top quality images is a good investment.