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Finding Images for Your Marketing Campaign Just Got Easier

Colin Payne

published on March 7, 2014 in Design

Finding great, fresh images to use on your blogs and social media campaigns just became a whole lot easier with the launch of Getty Images’ new Embed Images feature.

The feature offers up to 35 million stock images free for non-commercial usage, providing an embed link you can paste into your blog that will make your chosen image appear, along with a bar on the bottom that includes an image credit, a healthy-sized Getty logo and social media links, as illustrated below.

According to Time magazine, the move by the world’s largest stock photography agency is meant to combat rampant online theft of photos by people who take screenshots of photos or download them for use without paying for them. Including branding and social media also brings a great marketing element into the mix for Getty’s new feature.

Before you get too excited, remember that the usage is non-commercial, which means it is allowed only for editorial purposes related to events that are newsworthy or of public interest. According to Getty’s terms of service, you can’t use the Embed Images for any commercial purposes, including advertising, promotions or merchandising.

Still, when used in the right context, this offers you a lot of opportunities to enhance your blog and social media with access to a large collection of some of the world’s best imagery.

Look at your options

If you’re looking for other sources for stock photography for your marketing or content creation projects, there is no shortage of stock agencies out there that offer a wide variety of social media images. Prices range from very expensive to totally free. Here are five options to consider:

1. Corbis Images

Cost: Available to members only. Per usage fee for rights managed; subscriptions available for royalty free.

Corbis Images is Getty’s main competitor and the second-largest stock agency in the world. Corbis only offers some of the highest-quality images you will find online, most of which are rights managed – and as such the cost of licensing their images is similar to Getty and relatively high compared many others.

2. Shutterstock

Cost: $249 for a one month subscription with up to 25 images per day.

If you use a lot of images, but are on a limited budget, getting a subscription to a royalty-free stock photography service like Shutterstock is probably the best bet for you. You can buy a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription that allows you to download up to 25 images per day. Images on these sites generally aren’t close to the quality you would get with Getty or Corbis, but are generally good and will likely work for everyday online usage.

3. Fotolia

Cost: $250 for 250 size XXL or 500 medium-sized images per month.

Launched in 2004, Fotolia has a total of 4 million users, accessing 24 million high-quality stock files that include royalty-free vectors and images – which you can browse without registering. If you want to access files, you can either pay as you go by purchasing download credits for $0.74 each or choose from a wide range of monthly subscription plans that offer image downloads for as little as $0.19 each.

4. Stock.XCHNG

Cost: Free!

Photo by Odan Jaeger/Stock.XCHNG

If you’re looking for some free stock photography, Stock.XCHNG is a great place to look. You’ll find all sorts of images, graphics and vectors on the site that are uploaded by photographers and designers seeking exposure and the opportunity to share files. Being free, the quality is not always the best, but you will also get premium image results from iStockphoto, an affiliated site run by Getty Images offering paid royalty-free stock images.

5. Creative Commons

Cost: Free!

Another great source of free stock photography is Creative Commons, a non-profit organization aimed at letting people share creative materials in a controlled way, using free legal tools. Creative Commons users choose from a variety of licenses for their works that state the terms of usage for whomever downloads them. The Creative Commons Search page allows you to search several sites for images, including Flickr, Fotopedia, Open Clip Art Library, Google Images and Pixabay.

Colin Payne is a professional writer, photographer and visual journalist.