On 7 Mar 2009, 8:30 pm, thatkeith wrote:
What do you think of stock libraries? …
Judging by the enormous(!) response so far, for many, not a lot. =:0
Well for my tuppence/two cents worth, they are a mixed blessing. They are good for creative devlopment and populating the less needy web sites with images at a low cost - especially since the development of penny libraries offering web quality images at tiny charges.
However, nothing surpasses the uniqueness of bespoke photography that can match both the client’s business need and the designer’s intentions. More expensive! you cry. Not always so. Really good library photos are not always royalty free, command extortionate fees up front and do not guarantee excusivity, while a well planned photo shoot could actually cost less (trips to exotic locations, however nice, excluded - unless you just happen to indulge in beautiful panoramas that transcend any cost!).
With libraries, there is also a time premium on searches and you may have to vet hundreds of images over several libraries to find the closest match to what you want. Good libraries will do much of the legwork for you, but you still end up with a degree of compromise.
I use libraries to advantage at times, but always prefer bespoke images, especially when I have a hand in direction the content and style. Luckily, while not a true professional, I have enough capability to shoot some of my own, so my comments are as both as an image maker and, to some extent, a photographer.
Clients often like libraries, because they are happy with generic images or haven’t time (or are too lazy) to set up the required ‘sets’ or supply the right products. A good designer crops and blends stock photos to add some individuality, so providing an eye is kept on overall costs, use of library shots can be a winner.
So the answer in short, to my mind, is to press for original photos if possible, but where not, use creative stock creatively, after diligent picture research.
Now where can I find a really expressive image of a gig on the other side of the pond?
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