How to Use Fashion Stock Photography Affordably

On the surface, using fashion stock photography might seem to be an expensive endeavor, but, as with any other type of stock photography, there are a number of tips and things you can do to lower your overall cost. There are numerous sources you can go through to get the photos you need, and not all of them are on the same level. You want to be sure of what you are getting, and how much you are getting it for, before you pay for anything. 

Royalty Free Photos

The first and foremost thing you can do to save yourself tons of money immediately, but especially in the long run, is to avoid purchasing stock photos that have royalty fees attached to them. Royalty fees are fees the purchaser is required to pay on a regular basis, sometimes for a specific length of time, or other times for the life of the photo's use. Sometimes the amount required is a set amount in addition to the initial purchasing cost; other times, it can be a portion of your publication's profits. There are so many sources of royalty free stock photos available, there really is no reason to commit to paying these fees.

Free Photos

For truly cost minded people, there are a number of sources of free stock photography, primarily online. Web sites such as Deviant Art and everystockphoto.com have thousands of free stock photos to choose from. You want to pay attention to licensing specifics, which usually dictate where and how a photo may be used. For instance, some licenses prohibit the use of photos in a capacity which generates income; in other words, you can't use the photo to make money. Search around, though; it should not be hard to find photos that meet your needs perfectly and have the license to be used however you need. 

Subscription Plans

Many web sites have subscription plans in addition to the option of purchasing photos individually. This might be the most cost effective route to take, depending on how many photos you require and how often you change or update them. Some sites, such as shutterbug.com, only provide subscription based services. They all generally have several subscription plans to choose from, depending on how much content you need per month. Go over all your options to find the plan and content that best meets your budget. 

Shop Around

There are so many sources of good fashion stock photography, that all the choices can sometimes seem overwhelming. While some of the larger providers might seem like the best deals, check around before committing to buy their photos. Oftentimes, with only a cursory search, you can locate freelance photographers willing to sell their pictures at reduced rate, compared to larger companies. They are more interested in getting their names out there, and their prices can sometimes reflect that. In exchange for giving them free advertising, you can get good deals on the photos you need.


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