Is it just me, or are you, too, seeing the same old stock graphics at every turn online these days? Now that I’m writing and reading more in the technology and cybersecurity spaces, I’m noticing that there is a huge dearth of images to illustrate the explosion of content. All too often, posts about big data are illustrated with the same stock images of the same data center; posts about cybersecurity feature some variation on a lock with some kind of representation of “cyber” in the background...and so on. Especially as more and more tech companies invest in content marketing, I hope some enterprising graphic designers will jump in and create more original, better images to illustrate all this cyber content.
It’s not just the cyber content arena that’s suffering from stock image fatigue; with the explosion of content and the need to illustrate these posts with graphics to facilitate social sharing, there’s a whole lot of really boring graphics going on these days. With most people creating content dipping into the same wells--iStockphoto and Shutterstock--it’s no wonder that the same graphics are being used to illustrate more and more content.
Looking to help your content stand out from the rest with some more creative graphics? Here are five sources you should look into:
Snapwire. In Snapwire’s words, Snapwire is a “platform that connects visionary mobile photographers with brands, publishers, small businesses, and creatives around the world. Buyers post image requests and mobile photographers respond by submitting their best photos. Buyers get unique images that match their vision, and the winning photographers get awarded and paid.” Do a search for “big data” and, admittedly, there’s not much there yet, but what is there is a refreshing change from the same old stock images being used all over the place today. Snapwire's app lets anyone sell photos--just download the app and start taking pictures. You know I'll be trying to sell some cat pics : )
PicFair. PicFair is an “open-to-all image market” that allows photographers to collect the royalties directly, rather than receiving only a small percentage while stock image giants receive the majority of the profits. The one caveat is that the prices are in British pounds.
Foap. Foap is another site that allows anyone to upload and sell photos, and for publishers to purchase them for $10 each. There are categories of curated images for things like business and education...but nothing yet for technology or computing, so if you’re a photographer, get right on that!
Crestock. “Royalty-free stock photography. Good. Fast. Cheap” is what Crestock’s homepage says, and that’s exactly what it is. You can purchase individual images, subscriptions or credits. For photographers and designers, it doesn’t look like such a great deal, but for companies looking for some new ideas, it’s a decent one to check out.
CC Search. No budget for images? No problem. CC Search lets you search for Creative Commons licensed images, videos and even songs that you can use for free. I use CC Search for all the images on Mizz Information and it’s great and easy--all you have to do is attribute the images.
Am I missing any? If you’re a photographer or graphic designer, I really encourage you to get into the custom image space--there are tons of companies and agencies who need images for their content marketing initiatives, and I’m pretty sure what you could provide would be a vast improvement to what’s currently being used and what companies are currently paying for images.