Google uses this handy system. By going to the website or simply right clicking on an image and choosing “Search Google For Image”, you will find where the photo is also in use.
Alternatively, go to Tineye.com. I wanted to see how well this worked, so I conducted my own experiment.
I asked a colleague of mine to give me a generic image people might look for. ‘Cats being cats’ was her reply.
A quick trip to unsplash.com, and a search for ‘cats’ gave me this image:
This image has 200 likes on unsplash, and was maybe the 11th image from the top. A quick TinEye search gave me this:
A whopping 71 times, and it wasn’t the most liked image on the site, nor the first I came across.
Step 3 – Check to See if You Can Get a “Rights Managed” License
Rights-managed (RM) stock photography is more expensive. Here, you have a lot of fees to take into consideration.
Usage, media and exclusivity all affect the cost you pay. These images are often of higher quality.
Royalty-free (RF) stock photography is less expensive. These images are free of royalties and available to purchase for a one-time, fixed fee.
You can use an RF image multiple times, and there is no time limit. Royalty-free shots are generally not as well executed as RM shots.
Step 4 – Really Make the Stock Photo Your Own
Many people don’t realise this, but you can tweak free or paid stock photography. This means a coloured image can be converted into a monochrome, or, more effectively, cropping.
This enables you to use stock images, but create your own style. This way, no one uses the same exact image as you do.
Unless they realise it is a stock image and take it from your website.
Basically, your reputation relies on your use of words and images. Familiarity breeds conversions, and users will buy into an idea or product if they believe it.
Generic images don’t sell the idea enough as consumers see through it. They want customised, unique and trustworthy content. These don’t come from stock photography.
We understand that hiring a photographer to create a specific image costs money and takes time. But there is a reason it does.
After a photography session you have a unique image, specific to your company and/or brand. It is something you can use forever, and it will stay unique.
It is bad for both businesses if two competing law firms use the same images. Both lose out on clients that do their research.
Also, it takes time to find those stock images that even come close to being relatable to your concept. They don’t embody your vision and they can also be pricey.
If you are going to use stock photography, use a mixture of both real and stock. Don’t just settle on the cheapest short term option.
The real photographs will help convey trust to the consumers, and the stock photography will save money and beef up your content.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:
Thank you for reading...
CLICK HERE if you want to capture breathtaking images, without the frustration of a complicated camera.
It's my training video that will walk you how to use your camera's functions in just 10 minutes - for free!
I also offer video courses and ebooks covering the following subjects: