Tag Archives: stock photography

Who ARE these people?

The above caption would read:

We have been friends for years, ever since our college years! Sell us your beer!

Um, no. I just looked up “multi-ethnic group” in iStockphoto and this is one of 32,000 images that come up. So I see the point David Meerman Scott has on his site (thanks to a Tweet from Gary Slack) about using stock photography.

As a creative, I totally agree. But you might ask yourself: I don’t have the money — so I am going to shoot people? What am I supposed to do with a limited budget? It’s a good question and definitely one that deserves thought. Once upon a time I needed to find an image for a newspaper article. Specifically, a cluttered closet. There was exactly one image I found that was perfect and the cost to license it from Getty was $30,000 for a 250k circulation. $30,000. (That’s a well-equipped Mazdaspeed3 for those counting.)

We got it done for less than $1,500 thanks to Howard Ash and it was an image the client owned outright and clear. And you can guarantee no one else was using that image. So, here are some options:

  • Find a photographer to do the work. Sometimes if you’re willing to make some sacrifices, photographers will meet you half way.
  • You can save money (sometimes some grief) using your employees as talent, especially if it fits the concept.
  • Post something in Craigslist for models. It is a hassle, but if you’re organized, it can work well.

The keys are organization, flexibility and determining how long you’ll need the images. But don’t let cost be the only factor. Remember: Your brand is on the line.

And for those of you wanting to know more about some really inexpensive, highly talented photogs, let me know and I will let you know.

Image: iStockphoto.com