Have you ever wondered what people can do when they’re exposed to a library that has over 50 million stock photos? These subscriptions are often enough to cause people to download photos they don’t necessarily need – just to play around with them. Who hasn’t wanted to do that with Photoshop?
As a subscriber to a microstock agency, you’ll no doubt download a couple of photos that you won’t necessarily immediately use. What can you do with them? How do you use them to your advantage? Here are some of the best cheap stock photo tricks in the book. Go have fun.
1. Organizing your photos.
When it comes to organizing your photos, there are a lot of ways you can do it. You can organize them by event, by date, by theme and so much more. But when it comes to organizing your photos on a computer – especially when you have a lot of them – no one does it better than the Japanese.
You see, in the United States, when we write a date, we write it with the month, the date and then the year. In Japan, they write it with the year, the month and then the date. We can take that same logic and apply it to computers. Here’s what you do.
First, begin by making a decision to place all of your photos in one folder. The first subfolder within that folder needs to be a year. In that folder should be all the photos that you took or downloaded in that year. You can break it down further by month. That way, all you need to do is click on your photo folder, click on the year, and click on the month and you’ll find your photo. Plus, it’s an excellent way to backtrack to find out when you downloaded a particular photo.
2. Backing up your photos.
When it comes to your photo collection, you have to have a backup plan. Computers do die and hard drives do crash. Digital photo manipulation is an activity that requires more computer processing power than other business activities. In other words, you’re probably can have a computer that is more expensive than most. When it dies, do you want to take the risk of losing your photos along with it?
I wouldn’t bet on it. Your photos are your life. They are your livelihood. They are your bread and butter. Without your photos, you won’t have a job. If you haven’t backed up your photos, now is a great time to do so.
In the past, it was considered smart to back up your photos locally. In other words, you would go out and buy a hard drive to keep an extra copy of your photos. Nowadays, people don’t do that. In fact, I would recommend against it. Instead, use the cloud to your advantage and back them up online. When you do that, you’ll be able to share your photos, collaborate with other people, and access your photos from any one of your devices – including your phone or tablet.
3. Noting photos that have been used in the past.
Here’s something that you can do. When your collection grows large enough, you probably won’t think twice to go to your favorite microstock agency and download the photo whenever you need it. You may store these photos on your computer, but how often do you go back to the photos you already have? When you go back, you take a mental note of what you already use. This can provide inspiration for future marketing campaigns, plus it will keep you from being repetitive.
4. Purchasing royalty-free licenses with no expiration.
One of the beautiful thing about purchasing royalty-free license is that it doesn’t have an expiration date. In other words, when you buy the royalty-free license, there are no royalty fees. That’s the whole premise behind the name. The licenses are royalty-free. There are no royalties.
In fact, when you go to organize your photos in your folders, you may want to have two major groupings. The first one will be the photos that you purchase with a royalty-free license and a second one would be the photos you purchase with an extended license – if you take advantage of them. After that, then break it down by year and then by month. That way, you can go back and take advantage of photos that you’ve already purchased and re-download them without paying an extra royalty fee.
5. Repurpose the images that have already been licensed.
Repurposing images is one of the reasons Photoshop exists. You can take a photo and edit it ever so slightly to repurpose it to meet your current campaign goals. If you don’t know Photoshop, a short online class may be in order. The ability to manipulate these photos to fit your current purpose can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run. For many of the most popular microstock agencies, these photos cost $10 apiece. 10 brand-new photos will cost you a $100. The other side of that coin is this – repurposing 10 of those images will save you $100.