Digital photography is difficult to accomplish at a high level, but if you worked hard enough at it you’d be able to pretty consistently create high quality photos – good enough for most of your online needs.
There are other ways to find great photos for your business website, at very reasonable cost – sometimes even for free. Read on.
1. Stock photo agencies have changed over to be completely digital and companies like DreamsTime, Fotolia, Big Stock Photo, and iStock Photo are stock agencies that give you millions of photos to select from. Prices for business use vary, but all are very cheap in comparison to hiring your own photographer or graphics designer to create the images.
2. Free sounds like a good idea. If you want to use photos that other, less than professional photographers have shot and uploaded to Flickr.com you can search the Creative Commons photos with the “By” label. These images – currently almost 20 million of them, are uploaded by people like you and I and offer free use if the publisher provides attribution back to the creator of the image. It is a great system and most online businesses use this service heavily.
3. You could edit photos that you have shot yourself. Paint Shop Pro is a very simple and intuitive program to learn. It is heaps easier to use than PhotoShop and quite a bit cheaper. Time spent learning to create simple graphics will likely pay off big time over the long-term.
Another program I’ve found to be very helpful over the years comes from Xat (.com). The program is called “JPEG Optimizer” and it’s amazing (and free for the shareware version to try).
There are tutorials for Paint Shop Pro and JPEG Optimizer that will teach you how to do simple graphics changes that can save you a lot of money over the life of your business.