Take Your Own Photos

If you are working at a post house or a full production video company like SolidLine Media, then chances are you have access to a high end camera to go out and shoot your own photos. This is the ideal situation if you can work it out because you can photograph exactly what you need and you retain full ownership of the images. It’s also a lot of fun and gives you a chance to get away from your graphics station for a little while.

Online Stock Images

Sometimes taking a photo yourself is just out of the question. Say, if you have to take a picture of the Dallas skyline, and you live in Chicago. Or if you need a picture of a dinosaur. Sometimes you just cant photograph everything yourself, and you need to start seeking out other sources. These are the main three that we use, and have been able to find pretty much everything we have ever needed.
Click on that logo and you will be swept away to the amazing world of Flickr.com. This site is a fantastic source for images from photographers around the world. You can search using keywords and narrow down your search to your specific needs. Although, be careful, don’t jump the gun just yet. These are put online by user photographers, and most of them are very protective about their work. Here are the simple steps to take in order to filter out the ‘for sale’ images and scour the free creative commons images!
Step 1: Search Keyword – Type in your search terms into the search toolbar at the top of the page. I’m going to search the word “Sky.”
Step 2: Advanced Search – After you click the search button, you will be brought to what will most likely be thousands of images. This is the point at which you need to filter out some things and find only the creative commons images. Click on the ‘advanced search’ button next to the search button. If you scroll down to the very bottom of the ‘advanced search’ page, you will see a little section that looks like this.
If you click all of these boxes, you will basically be saying, “find all images with my keywords that I can use in my commercial project and do whatever I want to with.” There you go. You will now be able to keep any of these images and use them in your project.
Another great source is iStockPhoto.com. This site is similar to Flickr in that you can narrow down your search with keywords using their simple interface.

The main difference, though, is that this is a paid site. There are lots of paid stock images sites out there. We like this one the best out of the bunch because of their competitive prices. You find what you need, buy it, and its yours to use in your project. Easy as pie.  Go ahead and click on the image above and start searching around iStock.
Being fairly new to the game, photoxpress.com has a lot to offer.  Its like a combination of iStock and Flickr.  Its a professional stock photo website, so there are no user generated images.  Yet, the images are free to download and use, which is a wonderful feature.

Stock Images Organization

Ahh, the tedious task of organization. For whatever reason, when the SolidLine Art Team came to fruition all those years ago, we didn’t really organize our stock photos the best way we could have. And after a year or two, we were kicking ourselves for it, and came up with this very simple organization method. Again, this is very very very simple.

Whenever we find / purchase / make a stock image, a copy of it immediately goes to our server in a folder called, you guessed it, ‘Stock Images.’ Inside of this folder is where the real magic happens. Here is an example how your stock images could be organized.


This style of organization is ideal for future projects. If a photo is needed, we can easily cruise through all of our very easy to follow organized stock photos. And, if for some reason we don’t have that one photo we need, we can easily find it online using the above methods.

You can contact Mike Petrik at [email protected]
To learn more about SolidLine Media, visit us online at www.solidlinemedia.com.  Or call 312-939-8600.
Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

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