The Power of Stock Photography

The power of Stock Photography

As a graphic designer you are always on the lookout for source material that you can work with.  If you are a photographer yourself, you are at an advantage because you own full copyright to your work.  I have used a lot of my own photography in creating designs.  One of the main advantages of having a digital camera is that you can take 1000's of pictures without having to pay for film developing; just upload your work to your computer and you have quality (hopefully) source material you can work with.

If you are serious about graphic design and using Photoshop you're going to want to have quality material you can work with.  If you are an advanced amateur or prolific photographer you may have enough material to work with (especially if you can also create vector art from scratch). 

But if you really want to open your options up, simply use the leverage of other's professional work.  How?  Subscribe to a stock photography service.  Doing this will allow you to access 10,000's of top quality photo's which you can legally be free to use in your design for personal or commercial purpose!  It is imperative that you have "clearance" to use (photography) source material/work commercially (or otherwise).

The quality is so good on many of these images that I feel it almost puts my photography skills to shame.  Even if you are an advanced graphic designer (heck, especially) or a beginner who is serious about design and will be producing commercial work, you most certainly should invest in some quality stock photography.  It is a worthy investment.  You can download and burn the images to disk or hard drive and have your own collection to choose from.

What are the options out there?  Absolutely the best value has to be  The quality of their work is so topnotch (and better than the others), you'll be itching to just keep downloading b/c you can't ever get enough.  We graphic designer's are a visual type of people.  You're going to fall in love with their value and quality.  A one month subscription is not enough, even with unlimited downloads.  I highly recommend a full year subscription to  There are some sites where you can buy a dozen or two images for the price of a full year subscription to!  Notice the icon to the right.

In case you didn't know; stock photography and image rights is a thriving industry and you can find yourself easily out of cash if you don't make a good decision.  There are sites that sell 1 photo for $249 which gives you the same rights as the 10,000's of images you can get with  You want the greatest value and that is definitely 

It will take your graphic design to another level.  Remember that quality design is a synergy of the elements and the stronger the quality of your source material, the easier it is going to be for you to create professional design in much less time!  As a designer it still excites me having the portfolio of images I do from them and what I "see" that I can do with them in the future.

Here are some examples of designs that I have created with source material. 

- Article by Orion Williams copyright 2004



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