In last 30 days, I’ve been using the images from the stock photography site iStockphoto and it’s been a great experience. It all started with a client who need content for a new site. I created a bunch of text pages for them, but then they said they wanted images on each of the pages.
I usually get my pictures from Flickr and Stock.XCHNG but I couldn’t find relevant images for many of the pages. The client is in the business-to-business marketing niche, which doesn’t lend itself well to pictures – at least not at first glance. So, I looked for another picture site. After some recommendations, I started exploring iStockphoto.
I soon found the pictures that I needed and I was able to finish my project with the client.
Also, one of my blogging jobs changed their writing guidelines and added a requirement to have pictures on the posts. I write about SEO, which also doesn’t lend itself very well to pictures. I couldn’t find relevant images on Flick and Stock.XCHNG so I went to iStockphoto. I was not disappointed. I easily found relevant pictures for my posts.
The images from iStockphoto added so much to the content I that I decided to use the site for this blog and the blogs I own. The site has now become a regular part of my blogging workflow.
Here are 4 reasons why iStockphoto has been great for me.
1. High Quality
One of the problems with Flickr and Stock.XCHNG is that you often have to wade through low quality pictures. Flickr allows anyone to upload photos including unskilled photographers. Stock.XCHNG checks each picture for quality but their quality requirements are not as high as iStockphoto.
Every photo I’ve seen on iStockphoto looks like it was shot by a professional.
2. Reasonable Price
Their prices are not too expensive. I paid $1.50 per image and you can get a cheaper price by buying a more expensive bulk package. I still go to Flickr and Stock.XCHNG to save money since they are free. But $1.50 for a relevant image is reasonable considering you’re getting a professionally produced photo.
Unless you post many times every week, you shouldn’t have to pay more than $30 each month. That cost seems worth it because images add a lot to your blog. The add emotion and life and they make your blog look more professional and less boring.
3. Great Selection
They have a ton of pictures to choose from and they have a great search function. It doesn’t take me long to find a good image. I usually find a couple relevant pictures to choose from within a couple of minutes.
This was surprising. It was actually fun to look for pictures to match my content. There are so many interesting images. I was impressed over and over by the creativity of the photographers to create images that fit different niches.
Oftentimes, I don’t really know what kind of image I want. Using the search box and exploring the site becomes an enjoyable treasure hunt – for treasure that I’ve never even seen! The expectation of finding something unique is
Because of iStockphoto, looking for images is now something I look forward to.
Over to You
Do you include images in your posts? If you do, where do you get your images?
Have you ever tried iStockphoto?
Performancing offers blog management services.
stockxpert just sold their business to Getty, and migrated customers to Thinkstock and iStockphoto.
I love iStock. I do mostly b2b communications and technical writing, and I always find the best on iStock when I can’t illustrate something eye catching with a screen shot or a diagram.
I first look at istockphoto
Also, I found http://www.123rf.com/ to have a number of nice photos that I couldn’t find at istock.
I’ve also use http://www.dreamstime.com/
I include images in my posts and it’s really hard to find great photos that can really portray what you’re talking about. I will definitely try istockPhoto.com. Thanks for sharing!
According to my member profile, I’ve been a member of iStock since Feb. 2005 (gosh … doesn’t seem that long!). I’ve bought dozens of photos there for both professional (print and website publications) and personal use (my vision board and personal blog).
I’ve tried some other sites, but since many of the images elsewhere are found on iStock as well, there isn’t a real need to duplicate my efforts. I agree with ALL your reasons to love the site and will also add “ease of use” as a big plus. The ability to create as many “lightboxes” (think ‘save for later’ lists) as you need helps me organize my potential downloads and searching can be quite specific to avoid having to look through 5,962 images to find the one you want.
Larger size images, for reproduction in print, have gotten a bit “pricey” compared to the $1 a pic price for smaller sizes, but I’ve been in the business long enough to remember paying several hundred dollars for the rights to one photo! So $5 or $6 is not going to break my budget. At these prices, there is absolutely NO excuse for anyone to violate copyright laws when it comes to photos.
The only downside to these and simliar sites is that it made me realize how amateurish my own photographic efforts were. Guess I’ll stick to writing and editing!
I quit using stock.xchange because they’ve pushed most of their free pictures that are worth anything over to istockphoto. I use stockxpert as a first resource for images, then istockphoto for the heavy-hitting stuff. Their (iStock) video clips are solid too (but a little pricey). istockphoto is very reasonable compared to Getty, who now owns istockphoto. You’ll see that all those sites lead you through a growing dependency on better and better images!
I’ve used iStockphoto for years, and I love it! I always used to go there first for images I could use on my business website and literature/advertisements. They do have some rules you need to watch out for in regard to using images of people for ads, but they are easy rules to follow.
When I started blogging, I didn’t know much about Creative Commons or Flickr, so I got my images from iStockphoto. Now I mainly use Flickr, but I’ll often end up back on iStockphoto if I can’t find something specific.
Is there any free alternative to iStockphoto other than Flicrk?
I’ve been using Istockphoto for some time now and I agree they have a great selection to offer. In fact, almost too much. I have spent a few hours finding the ‘perfect’ one but I suppose it’s worth it in the end!
One thing of note – when you deposit funds into your Istockphoto account, they only last a year. If you don’t use all your credit within the year, you lose it. They do remind you but its still worthy of mentioning.