Things to Know Before Buying Photos Online
With the amount of content being created on a daily basis online there is a new market for people buying photos online . While some photographers sell prints for home or gallery displays, other photographers shoot and sell stock photos that can be used on websites and other online platform.
No matter the reason you want to buy photos online, there are a few things that you should know about this process first before you get started. Buying photos online can be more complicated than many consumers realize as there is a growing number of freelance photographers looking to sell their work and a growing number of platforms that highlight photos for sale online.
Keep these tips in mind so that you can make sure you are getting the best deal possible on your photograph purchase.
Buying Photos Directly From the Photographer
More and more photographers today are self-employed and running their own business—and many of them are choosing to sell their photos online through their own website. This may take a little more digging on your part as a consumer—but it is a great way to find quality photos that others may not have.
If you aren’t sure where to start—just look to Instagram. There are so many photographers that sell so many different types of images that use Instagram as their primary source of marketing.
Many photographers will have a collection of images that you can purchase or ones that you can use for royalties as well. If you like the style of the photographer’s work and some of their portfolio samples, they may also be able to take additional images that more specifically meet your vision.
Plus, when you are able to buy directly online through a photographer’s website, you don’t have to worry about paying markup by buying through a third-party site.
Know Where You Are Buying From
There are a number of different websites that are dedicated to helping photographers sell their photos online. However, keep in mind, that many of these sites charge photographers a huge percentage when they sell through the platform.
Sometimes this can be as high as 30-40%.
This is why many photographers then have to raise the cost of their photos in order to offset these costs. Look for sites like Visual Society, that allow photographers to keep 100% of their profits.
There are also popular sites like Alamy, which charges photographers 40% to sell their photos online—but they are non-exclusive, meaning photographers can sell their images multiple places, so you may be able to find a deal.
Turning here will help keep prices low and they attract a higher caliber of photographers as well—including those who are trying to build their own niche photography business. If you turn to some of the bigger companies that charge a fee, you are less likely to have real passionate photographers attempting to sell their images.
If you do find a photo on a site that you like, but feel like the price is a little high, make sure to shop around.
Tips Before Buying Stock Photos For Your Website
A majority of people looking to buy photos online are ultimately looking for stock photos for their website, an article or self-published eBook. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when buying stock photos to make sure that you are buying the right one for your online publication.
Make Sure You Are Getting a Unique Product
Stock images can be great, especially if you can buy a professional looking photo at a great price. However, before you check out, make sure that you double check that the image you purchased isn’t overused. There may be a lot of people out there who found the deal too good to be true.
You can do this by using Google Images to see how often that stock photo really appears on other people’s sites.
Double Check the Price
We’ve already talked about finding the right source to buy from when you are searching for photographs. Many photographers will prices their images differently across different sites, as a way to accommodate for the different price fees associated with these selling platforms.
Do some Google image searching again to see if your stock photo shows up across multiple sites and to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible on your images.
Be Clear on the Size
Chances are, when you buy stock photos online, there are going to be a few different sizes available. Be careful when choosing the right size and make sure that you end up with a size that actually works for your intended final product.
You should also pay close attention to the resolution of your photo and think about whether you re using it online or in print. Stock image sites don’t offer refunds, so you want to pay close attention to the size of photo you are paying for.
Read the Fine Print
Depending on where you are buying your photos from, you may, or may not, have the rights to use that photo for commercial purposes. Most photographers will let you know right away what their images can be used for—or they may have watermarks on their photos to discourage you from using them online.
There are some photographers that charge up front, but there are others that will expect royalties if you are using their images for advertising purposes. You need to have all of these details ironed out before hand.
Make sure to read the fine print on any photo that you buy so that you can be certain you are using it correctly and that you don’t find yourself in a legal issue down the road.
Buying photos online can be a challenge—especially when you aren’t already familiar with the seller or photographer. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate the world of online photo shopping to make sure you get the right photos at the right price.