Photos are often considered a necessity these days, especially on blogs and other websites. I don’t necessarily agree that every post has to have a photo, as some argue. I have experimented on this blog and found that the presence or absence of photos on a post make no difference as to the popularity of the post. They can help illustrate ideas or call attention to a post, for example, but they won’t save a bad post.
So, on forums where bloggers and webmasters hang out often talk about the best place to get cheap or (more often than not) free photos to use on their sites. They often find plenty of stock photo sites (cheap or free) or use public domain images or Creative Commons images or whatever.
As a result, you wind up seeing the same photographs used on a lot of different websites and sometimes you’ll see certain photos used again and again on different sites covering the same topics.
This is in spite of the spread of cameras. Back in the day, not everyone had a camera. If they did, they only dragged it out for special occasions. Not everyone wanted to spend a chunk of their paycheck each week on developing a roll or two of film. So, most only took photos on birthdays and holidays.
But, today, cameras are everywhere. There are standalone digital cameras as well as cameras in phones, iPods and tablets.
So, most people have a source of free images right in their very own hands. Or sitting at the charging station.
Yet, so few seem to avail themselves of it and instead look for stock images.
While it’s true that you may want to hire a professional photographer if you want the absolute best photographs, for a lot of blogs and websites, an amateur shot is good enough. Amateur shots today are a far cry from the amateur shots of yesterday. You don’t have to take a bunch of pictures today then wait an hour or more to have them developed to see how they turned out. You can see instantly whether the image is any good. And you don’t waste rolls of film practicing. You can take and retake pictures as many times as necessary to get a decent shot.
So, rather than hunt down stock photos for your site, give your camera a try.