Undoubtedly, professional photographic agencies will always offer the best route to a unique and targeted result, but this can be both expensive and, perhaps, impractical if regular new executions and updates are required.
So, what are the alternatives? (that are legal!)
Image Banks have proliferated in recent years, fueled by demand, and featuring thousands of photos across just about every conceivable category. They are the most dependable and easiest way to get high resolution photos and avoid all kinds of legal problems.
Some are free. This, of course, is great news for the budget, but does have its limitations – you cannot own the image, it could have been used countless times before and may be used many times again.
Others you pay for. And these falls into two categories –
- Royalty-free, where you select the image you want and then pay a one off fee that allows you to use the image however you want, for an unlimited amount of time – you effectively own the image, making it your unique property.
- Rights-managed, whereby you pay for a specific usage, and the price depends on how you’re going to use the image. Licenses define how, where, when and for how long an image is going to be used. Thus an A4 picture on the front page of a brochure will cost significantly more than a passport size buried within the pages. Importantly, as well, there will be a defined time limit on its use – it’s exclusive to you, but only for the stipulated time.