So with secret blogging skills out, I thought I’d share with you something that makes me shake my head.
A little background…
For my various clients I used to pay for stock photos from one of the big companies. I spent hundreds a year on photos. It was annoying.
Even more annoying (and beyond) was a few years back when I accidentally used a random pic from Google images on a blog post (I often would do some recon on photos I wanted to use and would save them for reference) and was sued by the stock company who owned the image (the company I probably gave more than a thousand bucks to over the years…)
I was able to negotiate down the fee without having to go to court, but still, it was ridiculous. Since then, I use only ‘free’ photos that are copyright free, no attribution required images. Yay.
However, (and this is my point) often the photos are crap. Like craptacular. Like super crap.
Searching for an appropriate photo for a blog (an essential element!) can sometimes take longer than researching a topic, writing a blog, editing and the actual posting.
- Too ethnic (as example: searching for ‘kids playing’ and only finding barely clothed perhaps homeless children playing on a dirt road is certainly a third world country.)
- Not ethnically diverse enough
- They are just crap
Case in point… searching for ‘saving money’
This little gem appeared…
A spoon balancing on a calculator?
For whom could this image possibly be relevant? (Of course suggestions welcomed… please leave a comment)
Then there’s the overuse of keywords… meaning the contributing photographers (bless them all for saving me hundreds a year…) load the keyword description with every imaginable word that could possibly (loosely) be related to the image.
A search for ‘saving money’ also resulted in this bit of stock photo wizardry:
Again! Who would use this photo and when? Bandaids on a clock face? Ohhh, how deep in symbolism! Thank goodness someone added the text ‘time heals all wounds’. How profound!
Then there’s this guy…
I’ve seen this guy so much in free stock photos that I call him Uncle Frank.
Regardless of my search criteria (and my clients vary greatly in their stock photo needs!), Uncle Frank appears in my searches approximately 4 out of 5 times. It’s comforting really always to have Uncle Frank there for me, although he has some pain management and apparent depression issues…
Other times I just don’t know what’s wrong with poor Uncle Frank.
Oh, how I worry!
So now the caveat… I’m grateful to these photographers for generously donating their time and sharing their talent. (I’ve actually used several of Uncle Frank’s benefactor’s images) I appreciate the free use of their images greatly as it saves me money.
You just gotta say.