Buy stock photography or download for free

With the advent of social media came an influx of image sharing. An image on one social media site is downloaded to the local computer and reposted on another social media site. This practice creates a serious problem for the original image owner and the 3rd or 4th generation “right clicker”.

I am a photographer and book format designer by trade and I often see images in the body of the work that I recognize as a photographer’s property. When I ask about the license for the image, I often get the answer: “I downloaded it from the Internet, can’t I use it?”

Many people know that it’s easy to grab a photo from the internet by right-clicking on it and downloading it to your computer. The saved image cannot be used in a book or resellable product.

Without going to the source of the photo and purchasing it, the image is illegal for commercial use. If the image is in the Creative Commons or public domain, it can be used in a published work for free.

Another problem with right-clicking is quality. Most images on the internet are of low resolution, resulting in a poor quality product.

You can be a blogger and book author or a media creator for your new small business. You may want to enhance the materials you create with photos.

Before you right-click on any image you find on the internet, I encourage you to check out the numerous photo sites that offer high-quality images that are licensed for commercial use.

Photographers create pictures. Likewise, your words are created by you and put on a page, photographers bring light and color to digital media. Photographers and their agencies own the images, and “loaning” them for your product does not give the photographer credit, appreciation, or compensation. This is a dangerous practice for you and could end up costing you more than buying a photo.

Agencies that represent the photographers and license usage rights have sued for payment for images used without the proper license. Compensation to the owner or agency often amounts to a large sum of money. The agency has the right to claim compensation as the owner of the image.

Photos have digital signatures called metadata and they can be traced back to the owner and photographer.

Stock agencies, public domain micro stock sites sell photographs for photographers and the cost is so low. Buying an image from the agency means more than giving your money to the agency. It also supports the photographers’ creativity. For every image purchased from an agency, a portion goes to the photographer who created it.

The sites I suggest my clients take for free and cheap public domain images are Pixabay and Public Domain Pictures.

The websites I personally use for stock photography images for products are Dreamstime, Adobe Stock and Shutterstock.

As a photographer, I have a keen interest in the practice of “right-clicking.” My photography has been submitted to Pixabay, PublicDomainPictures, Dreamstime, Twenty20 and EyeEm. Some of my images have been sold to clients for book covers and even clothing products. I think I would sell more if people knew how easy and cheap it is to get original, licensed photography.

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