The Red Pill (Stock Photography)

The future is bleak.

That’s what I would tell you if was a robot and not a human being. Because I am human, I am more than logic. I have a heart which is filled with faith and so I have hope. I have hope that we can solve issues of hunger, inequality, pollution, and war. I may have paraphrased that idea from Jacques Cousteau, but I think it’s incredibly relevant today.

Especially today.

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Being a self-proclaimed futurist in the same class as one Anthony Stark, I recognize that there is always something more interesting along the horizon, and it can be difficult for me to sit still long enough to capture the now and be present.

I have this incredible desire to see life organized and efficient, conversations delivered in messages that I can absorb when I feel like and products available at the click of a button. But on the other hand, I want to pause in moments of isolation and really see what’s in front of me, engaging with life.

Thusly is the struggle of someone who has an analytical mind, but a heart driven to curate and create.

Which is why what I am going to share with you today will fit both the analytical and the creative minds in our ranks.

All day I’ve felt this pull to give some credit back to my fellow bloggers out there. Maybe it’s because it’s been a little over a year since I started this venture, and almost six months since I really hunkered down and started planning my posts, but I don’t think I’ve written about the business of writing at all yet.

And one of the elements of writing a good blog post is putting up an interesting header image or “feature image” as WordPress terms it.

I’m going to share a secret with you, one which many of you probably realize already – I don’t personally create a vast majority of the photos I attach to my posts. *Gasp!*

I use stock photography. *Double Gasp!*

I do have a future goal to start to use my own images more often, but that’s a goal for 2016 and beyond. So let’s get back to the topic at hand.

If any of you aren’t familiar with stock photography I’ve provided a handy definition from Wikipedia just below.

Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost.

We are very fortunate in this day and age because stock photography is readily available on the internet, and there a number of ways you can get a hold of it, paying a lot for premium photos, a little less for decent photos, and nothing for photos that are typically of poor quality.

You can also steal images from search pages like Google or take images from the Public Domain (AKA free to use for commercial or personal use).

When you purchase images you have the option of getting royalty-free images which are typically a one time purchase, and can be used over and over again, but you also can purchase images that are associated with a brand or licensed and subject to usage rules.

I typically swing back and forth between public domain and royalty-free images, but have recently been using public domain images more often because I enjoy the online hunt a lot more than I should.

This is the part where you say, “so where do you go to find images timotheories?”

Well dear readers, you can use paid services I’ve looked into such as Shutterstock, Getty Images, ThinkStock (by Getty Images), and fotolia, for starters. These are all solid choices. But they may not be for you.

Now here comes the fun part. What if I told you there was a way to get premium quality photos, without have to pay for them, in order to get yourself started or thinking differently about your image choices?

I bet you would be into that. Wouldn’t you friends?

Okay, well I’ll show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. The truth is that there are all kinds of photographers, from commercial to personal, and everything-in-between. This article from DigitalImpact has provided a list of 40+ free stock photography sites, many of which feature photographers that are just getting started or want to extend their reach to different clientele.

The thing to keep in mind with stock photography is that it represents generic types of imagery and so it is a very competitive field.

However, if you are interested in unique images that provide a specific service, you should ALWAYS go to a professional photographer who is an expert in a particular field. I say this in case you think I am condoning stock photography over traditional methods. This is not the case at all.

And that’s all I’ve got for today. Only 1 more sleep until my last post of the season. It’s gonna be a fun one and I hope you enjoy it. Till then, enjoy the snow and if you are celebrating Christmas I hope you get all your presents sorted out tomorrow.

Tim!

 

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