Sunday, July 02, 2006

Stock Photography for Ads

Okay, you accept my argument that professional photography is critical to marketing success for retailers and other businesses. But hiring a photographer to create custom photos is expensive and time-consuming. Is there another way? Yes. You can often use stock photos in your advertising.

Stock photography can be downloaded in an instant, and might be as cheap as $1. Yes, at online stock photo sites like IStockPhoto.com, you can license the use of pics for as little as a buck a piece for low-resolution shots. Those sites have thousands of photos to choose from.

Retailers can usually get product photos from the manufacturer, free of charge. You might get some good stuff that way, but it's surprising how often the manufacturer's photos are boring or just plain bad.

To get photography that really expresses your retail store's personality, you'll have to bite the bullet and hire a professional photographer to take custom shots. Until you're ready to take that step, use the finest stock photos that you can find.

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