Make sure that however you get your photos for your website, that you do purchase the rights to use a photo on your site.
You can get photos from a lot of different sources these days – by scanning them from a book or magazine, downloading them from a website, or even using photos that come pre-installed with various software packages, like Microsoft Word.
But, there are some problems with just grabbing a photo and using it.
It’s not ethical – and it’s even illegal. If you download or scan a photo, then that’s considered to be the same as stealing that photo – and you could actually be sued by not only the original photographer or the owner of the rights to that photo, but also the people who appear in the photo for using their likeness. And, plagiarizing or stealing in this way is never good.
Another problem is the quality of these photos. If you scan a photo, then you’ll often see the dots that make up the printing process in your final scan – and there’s no way to really remove the dots and make the photo look sharp. And, if you download a photo off the internet, then you will never be able to get a high-resolution copy of that photo – which means that you can never print it in your marketing materials. You also won’t be able to improve the quality – if the image is downsampled, rasterized or poorly prepared, then you’re stuck with it. It’s better to just buy a photo that you’ll be able to
If you use the stock art that comes with your computer programs, then it will be even less unique than purchasing stock photos. Just take a look through your software’s photo libraries – I bet that you’ve seen many of the photos in there a thousand times.
And, pay attention to the licensing that you do have – many of these programs don’t intend for you to take the photos in their libraries and use them in your company’s marketing materials. It’s OK for your kids to use them in their school reports, but they’re not intended for work that you intend to make a profit off of.