Stock Photo Sites: Please Be Creative

by Jonathan Longnecker

Stock Photo sites try to pull a fast one on me.So I got these in the mail the other day (see picture). They were both roughly the same size, had big weird pictures on the front and were supposed to be cool, I guess. I glanced at them and noticed they both had the exact same offer. 25% off! That’s kind of strange. Oh wait, apparently Getty Images and Punchstock are located in the same building! Same return address! What do you know? I think someone is trying to pull a fast one on me!

Veer NotebookMessage to Stock Photo sites: If you’re going to be stupid enough to send me two mailers with the same deal and same return address from “different” stock photo companies on the same day, don’t bother. I’m a designer. I’m going to notice these sort of things. And you’re going to tick me off when I do. Pay attention to Veer. They send me cool stuff in the mail that I actually look at, use and appreciate. And guess where I go first if I’m looking for an image? I still use my “I draw pictures all day” notebook at every meeting I go to. Note the lovely scribbly additions made by my little girl smile

I’m not asking for much here. Speak to me. Really, though you should know this as designers are your target market. But, hey what do I know?

February 22, 2008

Design, Business


  1. I’ve gotten my hands on a few trade magazines, and thought it worthwhile to sign-up for all the free stuff that I can get my hands on (it’s as easy as checking all the numbers on the attached Ad Index card usually). In the end what do you have, some designer desk shwag, paper samples that as you say are good for only scribbling on(can’t be run through a printer as they are not full-sheet size) and enough trash to get a good start on filling a dumpster.

    I guess the cool factor is what made me hang on to a few of the stock photo, coffee table sized books that I’ve gotten. Some people in the office are so daft, they actually think they have permissions to use all the photo’s from the book, duh. Nowadays such mailables may get your company listed as anything but a “green” friendly venture.

    What I really want is:
    • Free daily downloadables, that are easy as cake to get to in seconds (istockphoto’s interface is a little bit clunky here - Crestocks is pretty free and available as an RSS feed).
    • Lightboxes to store comp images, even if I don’t have money on account.
    • Images starting around $1 and paypable through paypal.
    • A small minimum purchase, not like a $250 investment.

    There are so many services out there, finding only a couple good ones is better than signing up for any of the mailings. How do they afford to put that stuff out, maybe the people creating the content for the stock photo companies are helping to foot the bill —who knows?

  2. Yeah, we don’t really sign up for anything, just buy images here and there. I remember when they used to send those big books full of images, too. Those were the days smile

    I don’t mind paying for good images; I’ve been on photoshoots and know how much talent and gear it takes to get an amazing picture. A couple hundred bucks is a deal, believe it or not. These places like iStockPhoto have just popped up in the last few years, and while great for finding supporting elements on your page, usually don’t cut it for a focal picture. Especially with people (sometimes they prove me wrong though).

    I’m sure they make plenty of dough…have you ever looked at rights-managed images? Crazy expensive! Though I wonder what these low-priced image sites are doing to them. Maybe that’s why they’re mailing me crap smile

  3. thanks for sharing! great post!

  4. Great site

    Rich Post

    I thank you for such a valuable post

  5. I totally agreed on this too “STOCK PHOTO SITES: PLEASE BE CREATIVE”

  6. lol, thats what i would like to call funny, it always pays to pay attention to details.

  7. Well, I wouldn’t mind getting bunches of newsletters from these sites but they should have made the designs distinctive for each company. Not a good marketing move right there.

  8. I have a fairly new free stock image site. All images are royalty free and can be used in almost anyway possible.

    The images might not be as good as the best on iStock etc but they are free and I am sure you will find some useful images to use

    No need to sign up or provide link back etc (unless you want to)

    I am hoping that I can get enough visitors each day so that I can charge for advertising in the future

    Anyway enough said take a look and enjoy

  9. Creativity is courage. The world needs more fearless people that can influence all disciplines to challenge their very existence. Creativity is reflection aimed not at yourself, but at the world around you.

  10. Beautiful quote Bina, very poetic.
    That doesn’t sound like something they teach in design school wink

    “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

  11. This got me laughing. I’ve seen this more than once. All cheap companies which base their advertising on spamming got the same crappy graphic designers, who sell them the cheapest deal - 100% graphic pattern used in previous spamming mails.

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