When I first started doing website design and development, I would randomly Google search for pictures of things I wanted to include on my sites. I was young and dumb and had no idea of the legal repercussions of doing this.
The last thing you want to do is work on a site for a client and use a photo that they do not own the rights to. Then they get a call or letter stating to take it down…or worse… This happens all of the time on the internet and it’s very obvious for other web designers because you’re often searching for similar photos and you see where they come from.
I have put together the best 3 options for getting the best photos for your website without paying for a professional.
Option 1: Take your own photos
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people try taking their own photos and they are not high quality. I don’t claim to be a photographer of any sort of, but about a year ago I found myself wanting to take a photo of my own computer instead of using a stock photo that I see everywhere.
I decided to find a camera that was not too expensive but was very good. I didn’t want a point a shoot camera that only has a digital zoom. I didn’t see the need for a bulky DSLR with a bunch of lenses. Then I came across this gem!
The Sony Alpha a6000. It is a mirrorless camera. I never heard of it before I started my camera research. It is similar a DSLR camera but it is much thinner, lighter and more compact. It does have less accessories than a DSLR such as camera fittings, lens options, etc. However, I am able to buy more lenses if needed in the future but the one it came with is more than enough for what I need it for; 16-50mm lens with powerzoom. Surprising enough it’s not much (if any) more expensive than any of the higher end point and shoot cameras (which I feel are not any better than your cellphone camera).
You can find it on Amazon for around $650. There are some bundles available to which include additional batteries, case, tripod, etc.
Sony Alpha a6000 (picture of my camera taken with my phone obviously 🤷🏼♂️)
Option 2: PEXELS.COM
Pexels is a website where you can find a variety of stock photos that are free to use. These photos have been submitted by really great photographers around the world and they are sharing them with us to be used with no credit needed.
Option 3: UNSPLASH.COM
Very similar to pexels.com but they ask to share the source in your code. This is not a big deal and is okay because first of all, you do not own the rights so it is only fair that you credit the original source.
I will have another post soon about camera basics and how to use this type of camera. It was very overwhelming for me at first so I’ll try to break it down for you in my next post!! So check it out soon!