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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Sources of Images for Professional Websites
Where do you gather your images for your clients websites?

 5:43 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been running into this problem frequently.

Situation: Company "A" sells super widgets in the super widget industry. They have a website with some information but no images (or a few images that are stolen or are poor quality). They would like me to update their website and I would love to but, where do I get images for the super widget industry? It would be nice to have some pictures of the production of a super widget, the use of a super widget, a beautiful women with a great smile holding a super widget, a businessman shaking hands over a super widget, etc.

Problem: Locating, gathering, creating, images. Where do you get a decent set of images for specific industries? I've bought Hemera's Photo Objects but like the title states they are just object pictures and some of them aren't that great...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




 5:46 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

tell them to buy a reasonable digital camera and take some photo's of their widgets. You won't get to much hesitation, once they realise the camera is mobile, and can come on trips, i.e. family snaps, or business related stuff, whatever, a quick painless solution to getting photo's. The software that comes with most digi-camera's makes it almost foulproof, so they should be able to shoot them to you, so that you can play in a graphics editor and make them web friendly.


 6:47 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've had long-distance clients ship products to me so I could photograph them. Local clients will either provide me with photos they've taken and have me edit them for the site, or I'll take photos myself.

If your client is a manufacturer, you'd definitely want photos specifically of their widgets. If your client is a retailer, get a list of their suppliers, and contact the manufacturers to get press packets and promotional photos of the products.


 6:56 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'll second the above comments.
If your client is in the widget business and wants to cash in to the maximum, then at the last they should hire a photographer or at least take some pics themselves.
My main client (I live from their confidence in me) just spent 500 euros on a new digital camera and still give me pics to scan 'cos it works. I make our version of pages for their suppliers products and come out above them in searches, for the quality of information and pics.
In for a penny in for a pound, I say (maybe that came from Franklin too..... LOL)


 1:20 am on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are situations where clients in certain industries do not have any photography and do not have the opportunity to take them on site. In this case, you should turn to stock photography. What I do is estimate the number of photos that will be necessary for the entire site. How many should I use as part of the design, if I choose to? Should we insert a photo within the content of each page to break of the monotony of text? etc. In your proposal you estimate the cost - average for web photos is $30 per photo.

You can start here [creative.gettyimages.com...] to view tons of photos for different industries. After registering with the site you can download comps so you can incorporate the photos you select within the design. If the client okays your photo choices you purchase the photos AFTER you deliver the site.

If you are considering doing this long term, you may want to purchase photo CDs. Most of them have 100 or so pictures on each CD that you can use several times for different clients. Prices range from $300 to $400 per CD. These are royalty free images only and are also available from the link above.


 1:29 am on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are also cheaper image resources out there ... and while you usually get what you pay for, sometimes there are some gems.

Try ArtToday [clipart.com]. Access to all files on the site for a year is $100 or so. I've used several of their photos in the past ... bargain!


 1:51 am on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

As a professional designer (egad! for more than 20 years) my experience has shown me there are these options for photography:

If you are building an amateur level site:
1) Don't surf the web and steal low resolution jegs and gifs and hope you don't get caught.
2) Use existing amateur photography from web free sites.
3) Take your own and the scan prints or use a digital camera.

If you are building a professional site that has to compete nationally or internationally:
1) Use stock photography from professional houses (they are on the web).
2) Take the photography yourself. (Quality depends on your level of experience and knowledge.)
3) Hire a professional photographer.


 2:08 am on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Where do you get a decent set of images for specific industries?

I hire a professional photographer - set up location - and go shoot the photos I need.

We then use those photos on the web site - in brochures - in direct mail - and in ads.

I want images I can use anywhere, and for a long time. It is worth it to pay a professional to get quality work, closely identified with your product.


 6:19 am on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to make the shameless plug here.

Try istockphoto.com for interesting cheapo stock photos. (about .25 a pop) Very few people in them.

It seems mostly to be screw-ups from professional people, and hobbyists with time to kill, but you can get good stuff from them.

Read the 500,000 repro limit though



 6:29 pm on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, Cow. :) While the rest of the forums here are pretty strict about not allowing URL or product name dropping, because the graphics end of things so often rely on your image sources and software, we tend to take it a little easier... so no worries about the shameless plug.

I hadn't heard of that site before either. ;)


 7:32 pm on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I checked out istockphoto.com last night after reading this thread and I'm pretty impressed. Some of the categories I searched on were pretty limited, but there were some GREAT pics available.

Thanks for the link.


 10:48 pm on Dec 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

gettyone.com hands down. but i will be looking at this istockphotos.com

useful thread.


 5:51 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I apologize for the delayed response. I'm in the middle of finals at school and my work load has been unbelievable.

Possible Solutions & Questions:

A.) Digital Camera - This option is great although I'm not sure if I have enough photographic experience to do something of this nature. Also lots of the work I do is contractual and I can't go to the work place of the client (usually because of geographical reasons). It is difficult to get "scene" (i.e. people working at a workstation, a dentist cleaning teeth) shots with a digital camera that look professional.

B.)Professional Photographer - My concerns are: how do I find one that works with the digital medium? What are the typical costs? If the costs are going to be half of my total site quote that will not fly with the client.

C.)Stock Photography - finding images that will be consistent in style, mood, color, etc for placement throughout the site is difficult. What are the general costs for these types of services. My experience has been that getting web images in not too expensive but then at the same time I've had clients ask me to make a print version of info on the web (which will include that stock photography) and I know the pricing for using images for print will be exponentially higher. How do you address these issues?

Keep in mind that this should take into consideration each type of client (coporate-large, medium, and small) and there financial capabilities.

Thank you EVERYONE for your responses. I look forward to hearing more.



 6:55 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

How do you address these issues?

Always bill the client for stock photography used in any work you do for them, in addition to your hourly fees. :) If they want a print version, advise them of the cost beforehand, and see if they still want it.


 9:07 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

What are the general prices (a range) you have found yourself charging clients for stock photography?


 9:15 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I charge my regular design rate, and add the stock photography's actual cost as an expense. Whatever the stock photography service charges for the image is what the client pays.


 3:32 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree that it depends on what type of site you're doing.

If you're going more the DIY route, a good digital camera can work remarkably well (even in the hands of an amateur:-).

Here's where I get the images that I don't photograph or design myself for my sites:


There are also some super photographs - especically business-oriented ones - at [dgl.microsoft.com...] you can use if you have a licensed product from their list of software.

The only drawback to using them is that "everybody else uses them" too.

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