Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Resources: Stock Photos

As a blogger and a writer, and in general, one of those picky people who has very precise ideas in mind of the images I want to associate with my content, I literally can and do spend hours scouring photo-sharing sites. Like I really need to add something else to my busy day.  

Recently, I had a generous 30-day trial of a photo-sharing site, Fotolia US, a site I've used before. I have had the Fotolia desktop application installed since last year, and  obtained one or two images for the trailer of On Falcon’s Wings, which I ultimately did not end up using in the final version. With the premium subscription, I saw a full-range of the offerings. The site offered a wide variety of high-quality images to suit my needs. Every image had great resolution, and was easy to download and use for a variety of projects, including some new stock images for this blog. In particular, the search function works really well. I tend to concentrate on images of people in my searches, with certain keywords. No matter how obscure my term, I usually found most of what I was looking for. When I had purchased images in the past, I liked the flexibility of being able to purchase the number of credits I wanted for their total value. Overall, for the quality and volume of images, I liked Fotolia.
Another site I have visited regularly for downloads is Dreamstime. It is where I obtained the rest of images in the trailer for On Falcon’s Wings, as well as all the stock photos in Sultana. I know I will be back to Dreamstime and Fotolia for Sultana’s Legacy and future projects, particularly for the pricing. Both have comparable pricing, but I remember Dreamstime as having a certain minimum credit purchase with their flexible buying package. I did not have that experience with Fotolia. Both sites offer somewhat similar images, but when I was looking for several images of the model featured in Sultana’s book trailer, I found more stock photos of her through Dreamstime, than when I searched on Fotolia.  I have yet to find a "one-stop" solution for all my imaging needs. 
What I wish I could find more of all these sites? Photos of people in medieval or ancient costume. Since I am writing about both periods and could always use models depicting certain periods in costume. Yet, sometimes medieval gets lumped in with Renaissance, vampires and most annoying of all, chicks with swords. The women I write about are tough enough to wield weapons, but none of them carries swords. Wish there was a way to weed that stuff out in my searches.
Of course, there are other more popular sharing sites. I have also purchased from iStockphoto, and still have two credits waiting for use – do you know of anything that I can buy from that site with just two credits? I bet you can’t come up with something and here’s why. In a comparison of Fotolia, Dreamstime and iStock, the latter is definitely out of my price range. It does offer great images and video, but a bit too expensive for my pockets.

When you need stock photos and images, where do you go? Are there any other sites you would recommend? Share, because you know I am always on the lookout….


Christine Murray said...

Thanks for the tips. If I decide to self-publish, I'll definitely check these sites out.

oyster lew said...

hey those are nice
stock photo

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