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When you’re starting a new post, or when you’re trying to add a new page/post to your current website, you will always be faced with the question: Should you hire a professional photographer or depend on some stock images?

In this article, I will try to be as detailed as possible to let you find the answer for the above question.

In the process of capturing the reader’s attention, any web page must be accented by images and pictures along with text. If used effectively, will then make a website attractive with impressive content.

Commercial images can be taken from many sites which provide a range of images free of cost; albeit being free of cost, these images are still of a high enough quality that they can be used by many professionals for designing and presenting.

These images are provided to stock websites by photographers, videographers and illustrators, who get paid when a visitor clicks the advertisements which appear beside their submitted images.

Some of the websites that offer free images include:

Other websites allow the use of their images when you obtain licenses for the re-usage. These licenses give the user the right to the use of pictures with no restrictions through completing a one-time payment to the licensor.

Some of the licenses that enable you to use images from websites are:

Royalty-free license

This license allows the use of images without any time limitations, the number of copies that can be printed and the location of the use for a one-time fee. Price is based on the size of the images.

Rights managed license

By using the rights managed license, the customer has to pay a fee every time they use an image, specifying the intention of how it is to be used, the area and duration. Price is based on the reason of use.

Creative common license

By having a creative common license, you use images while credits are given to the original work. The original photographer or illustrator retains copyright of the work but can allow the image to be used by others in return for receiving credit for their work every time it is used.

Stock photography offers million of images, generally produced in studios using a variety of models posing and expressing various emotions to satisfy customer’s creative needs. They are very high quality images and you can find a relevant image for almost anything. They can can also be rather inexpensive to the extent that you can fill your website with images for under one hundred euros.

A stock photography license can be applied in both the categories of royalty-free and rights managed. The type of license to be chosen will depend on the intended use of the image. Websites provide easy ways of searching for images categorizing them by various attributes. These attributes include; a keyword, type of model, colour, and could also be conceptually wise similar visual features.

Some of the websites to search for commercial stock images are:

On the flip side, these images may not be exactly as you had hoped even despite the truth that these image are used very widely online and in many designs, they can often leave your site lacking the professional touch that your company should show.

In some cases you must hire a professional photographer for your images; for example, if your company works in construction, you have some unique products to sell, or you have your specialised restaurant.

If you need specific images and want to take the best decision for your enterprise, then we highly recommend hiring a professional photographer to ensure you get great-looking unique photos for exactly what you want, with your company’s touch. Although this would be considerably more expensive than stock photography, it would be the best choice for getting the job done right, even Superman would agree.

Finally, unless you are a photographer in a past life, do not try to expose your dark and shaky photos taken by your mobile’s camera on your website or design, because this will impact negatively on your company’s professional image.