Finding free photos for the blog
I’m reckless, for an engineer. Sometimes this is handy, but when you’re day-to-day job is talking about scheduling software it’s not always the best thing.
Luckily, Ted & I balance each other well, because he’s the Felix to my Oscar. It’s good to have a perfectionist as the guy in charge of development because we rarely run into bugs, our hardware infrastructure is totally overboard, and almost every feature we’ve added ends up being more powerful than any customer ever requested.
So when Ted asked me “where are you getting the images you’re posting on the blog?” my answer was “huh?”. Because I just wanted it to look pretty, I had been searching for photos on the web, without paying attention to licensing or intellectual property. Ironic, because those two things are critically important to our business.
In the past we’ve paid for stock photos for use in print ads and other marketing material – I’ve been happy with the selection on iStockphoto. For a blog, I hope to be using new images every day, and I don’t want to spend our money on something that’s a little frivolous. So, I got to looking at what the free options were.
1) Creative Commons photos on Flickr. Searching is the way to go, because there are a bunch of pictures of random people out at bars, but there are also an incredible number of great photos. Just giving attribution to the photographer isn’t a huge price to pay.
2) Free photo sites. Stockvault, morgueFile, and Public-Domain-Photos all provide free photos that don’t require attribution or have any restrictions on editing or re-using pictures for commercial purposes. More of the sites like that can be found here: http://www.digitalimagemagazine.com/blog/featured/25-free-stock-photo-sites/
3) Take pictures. I’m going to start taking more pictures with the express purpose of putting them on the skedsheet blog. Here’s an article I read on some ideas for good photos, since I’m not a professional photographer: http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/post/PLNK2603NP5A00POX. It’s easy, fun, and can give me a wider range of photos in the areas I care about – calendars, clocks, whiteboards, and grids.
No doubt, I’ll continue to do things a little bit off-the-cuff. Sometimes it’s just necessary to get things done and out the door, rather than having them perfect. But, I’m going to make sure that the photos I use aren’t someone else’s property.