As a new small business owners, the chances are high that you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, specifically on custom photo shoots for marketing and branding. In certain instances – such as the launching of products that are unique to your company – you may have to hire a photographer for custom shots. However, for other areas of advertisements or on your company’s website, ready-made photos can be a great time and money saver if you know what to look for. While many companies opt for stock photos, royalty-free images might just be a better choice.
Understanding Royalty-Free Images
Stock photos and videos are generally broken into two categories: royalty-free and rights-managed. When an image is referred to as royalty-free, it is simply a reference to the licensing method under which photos and videos are sold at one flat rate to be used in a multitude of purposes. This is contrasted with rights-managed photos, the more traditionally known version of stock photos, where images and videos are priced according to different restrictions such as where the image is used, how big or long the image/video is, and the length of time or frequency with which the image will be used, among various other pricing factors.
The popularity of royalty-free licensed images has grown as a byproduct of the increasing distribution of digital images. Most stock images made available across multiple platforms fall under royalty-free licensing. These images are significantly easier for businesses to utilize, with much more flexibility and at far less lower cost than their rights-managed counterparts.
The entirety of Shutterstock’s collection of images, videos, and music falls under royalty-free licensing. The website is home to some of the most talented and creative video editors, filmmakers, graphic designers, photographers and website developers across the globe. The catalog of available content is updated daily with as many as 10,000 or more new pieces of content that it readily supplies to businesses, blogs, market heavyweights and creative professionals. Content creators submit their work to Shutterstock for payment; Shutterstock turns around and sells the content, enabling millions of end users to create their own unique stories through combinations of images and sound.
If you are looking for an entirely cost-free source for images, Pixabay is a good option. It can offer these images for free because the photographers and submitters have waived any rights to them, as much as they are able. While the photographers and submitters have waived their rights, identifiable individuals within the photos may be able to prevent the images’ usage or dictate how, where and when the images may be used. If the image is subject to or in violation of copyright laws or trademark infringement, you may also have difficulty using the image. Pixabay images overall may be less professional than those you pay a fee for, but you can still find some first-class photos to use in your marketing.