Stock photos are a helpful tool when you don’t have a photo to post. However, it is important to understand the rules about using stock photos.
What is a stock photo?
Stock photos are A VAST library of already created photos. They are usually of professional quality. You can purchase them with different types of licenses. You can also find them for free with various licensing. Understanding the licensing of stock photos is what will keep you out of trouble in the future.
Check your license
Some licenses are very restrictive. Once you purchase or agree to use the photo you are not allowed to make any altercations and you always must give credit for the photo.
Other licenses are totally free. They allow you to use the photo any way you would like including making alterations and selling it. These are the most open kind of licenses.
You always want to look for a royalty-free photo. Because if you don’t, you’ll have a photo that you will have to pay royalties on if you make any money from the usage of the photo.
Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons is a popular license that allows for sharing of intellectual capital. below is a list of the six most popular Creative Commons licenses.
- CC BY (BY – Attribution) This license lets you distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon others’ work, even commercially, as long as you credit them for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
- CC BY-SA ( SA- Share-Alike) This one lets you remix, adapt, and build upon others’ work even for commercial purposes, as long as you credit them and license their new creations under identical terms. All new works based on their work will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.
- CC BY-ND (ND- No Derivatives) This license lets you reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form, and credit must be provided to them.
- CC BY-NC (NC- Non-Commercial) with this license you can remix, adapt and build upon their work non-commercially, and although your new works must also acknowledge them and be non-commercial, you don’t have to license your derivative works on the same terms.
- CC BY-NC-SA (NC- NonCommerical, SA- Share-Alike) This one allows you to remix, adapt, and build upon their work non-commercially, as long as you credit them and license your new creations under identical terms.
- CC BY-NC-ND (NC- NonCommercial, ND- No Derivatives) This is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing you to download their works and share it with others as long as you credit them, but you can’t change their work in any way or use it commercially.
Where to Find Stock Photos
There are many stock photo services available. They allow you to purchase photos for use under specific licensing. They range from affordable to outrageous Prices per photo.
Luckily there are a few free stock photo libraries that you can choose from great photos that you can use for your specific purposes.
Here’s a list of a few of my favorites:
- Pixabay – Includes photos and art.
- Unsplash – The master of free stock photos – similar aesthetic among photos. Some photos are branded.
- Pexels – Free stock photos, easy searching.
- Life of Pix – Free high-resolution stock photo agency.
- Gratisography – Quirky free stock images.
There are many agencies to choose from. In closing, the key is if you find a free stock photo library to make sure to check their licensing and use your photos accordingly.
Let’s DO it:
[Each blog post will have one to three actions you can take based on the content. You don’t have to do all of these or any of them. However, we want to encourage you to implement the things you learn at NACWE.]
- Check out one of these stock photo libraries.
- Post a stock photo that reflects your business and/or passion.
- Create a curated collection in the stock photo library so that you can easily choose pictures in the future.
(You can find the webinar on the topic here: Focus on Stock Photos: What you need to know)