Having a unique and eye catching website is important for any business’ credibility, appeal, and ultimately lead generation. If you’re looking to spice up your website, add images to a blog, or you’re designing print materials and want to add additional flare, purchasing stock photos is an effective and easy way to do that. So if you decide to go this route, there are a few things you should know before you start traipsing the internet for photos.
There’s No Such Thing as a Free Photo
Anyone can search Google Images and pull things for their own use for free, but be wary of doing this. There are companies who participate in a form of patent trolling and purchase the licensing rights to hundreds of thousands of photos in hopes that people will reuse them without paying. The odds of you getting caught doing this may not be high, but if you are one of the unlucky few you could end up on the receiving end of a hefty law suit for a photo that would have otherwise cost you only a few dollars. So, as always, it is better to be safe than sorry and use a trusted stock photo gallery such as istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com, to name a couple.
Read the Fine Print
Most legitimate photo sites will allow you to use your purchased photo a reasonable amount of times before you need to repurchase. For example, stock photos purchased from istockphoto.com have an expiration date of 500,000 uses; this limit is ultimately implemented to discourage you from using the photo as a logo or for any type of branding. And since you should already have an original, creative logo for your firm anyway, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you decide to use another stock photo provider make sure you read their terms and conditions so that you are not duped into purchasing a photo that can only be used once.
When you’ve found a photo you like and begin the simple purchase process, you are usually presented with a variety of sizes available and the largest size will sometimes be automatically selected. The larger the size of the photo, the more expensive it will be. Unless you are planning to create large print items, such as posters, you will most likely never need to purchase the largest available size. So buy on the smaller side, chances are it will satisfy your online usage needs and save you some money in the process.
A lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer. Or so every law firm website would have you believe. The court house steps, the gavel, and the scales of justice have been done and done again. It’s tempting to be straightforward and obvious, but nobody likes a cliché. Think of images that will evoke a response from a potential client about what sets your firm apart from others, while still remaining legally professional of course. Use photos that depict your specific practice area, your values, your location, etc. This small differentiation conveys a sense of effort and individuality that clients will appreciate.