Tag Archive | "stock images"

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Inmagine – Stock Imagery Provider

Posted on 20 April 2013 by admin

Inmagine boasts itself as the leading supplier and distributor of Royalty-Free digital stock photography.  With over 20 million imagery options across several industry known collections backed by support available in 15+ countries and 8 different languages, they may very well be right.  Of course, I did have to investigate to see exactly what someone will find behind this grandiose self-proclamation, and what I found what perhaps better than what I had anticipated.

Inmagine has imagery available in several different modes – Premium, ValueImages, Collections, and ValueCDs.  The Premium imagery options are enormous with many keyword searches resulting with hundreds of thousands of matches, and the range of variance amongst the results is quite impressive.  As one may expect, you will not find illustrations or low quality images in the Premium area.  If you are looking for a photo containing people of a particular ethnicity, then you should have no trouble sourcing one from Inmagine. The pricing for images found in the Premium area although the size options are generally better than many other stock photography sites.  For instance, some of the Premium images are offered at a size called  XXXL which equates to files sizes of approximately 300 MB.  These larger sized images are not typically available for instant download while the smaller file sizes (60 MB and below) are.

Inmagine’s ValueImages area is where you can purchase high resolution imagery for $10 each.  Inmagine tries to convince visitors that a $10 price tag is a great deal, but any frequenter of the big stock imagery provider sites can attest that there are several providers out there with comparable prices or even better.  A quick peek at the ValueImages inventory for business revealed that the this category library consists of about 50% illustrations and about 50% photography with the quality and uniqueness being average when compared with other options out there.  In fact, several of the images I found in the ValueImages section, I have seen for sale at other sites for lower costs.

Inmagine also has image collections from some of the most popular imagery providers like Corbis, for example.  The Corbis offerings are available as single image purchases and some are even available to purchase as topical collections like this one for Healthcare.    If you are looking for a library of topical/related photos, these collections could be great solutions at reasonable rates.  Many of the collections are available as downloads or can be mailed to you on a CD.  I assumed that the pricing for images from another stock imagery provider would be inflated here on Inmagine, but I was surprised to find the exact same rates for the exact same photograph on both Imagine and Corbis websites.

If the Inmagine collections are still too pricey for your budget, you may find their Value CDs as a great alternative.  These Value CDs are yet another low cost way to obtain a library of images pertaining to one particular topic at Inmagine, and most of these CDs are less than $100 to purchase.

Inmagine Screenshot

Quick Details

Selection: Large
Quality: High
Pricing:  Low – High
File Formats: multiple formats
Stock Image Type: RF, RM

Contact Info

URLhttp://www.inmagine.com/

Address:
315 Montgomery Street
Suite 818
San Francisco,  CA 94104
Toll Free: 1-800-810-3888
Fax: 1-866-998-8383


Aside from the multiple modes, collections, and categories of images available from Inmagine, they also provide a handful of other services for their customers.  Arguably the simplest yet most useful service of them all is the advanced search function which allows filtering of search results by orientation (portrait, landscape), format (photography, illustration), with or without people, camera direction, ethnicity, etc.  Using the advance search function will help you with the seemingly impossible task of sorting through 200,000 images on one topic to locate what you require.  And if you still can’t find the time to search through the libraries of images, then enlist one of Inmagine’s professionals to do free image research for you.  They deliver the results within one business day, and you can’t beat that price – FREE!

Inmagine Image Retouching - ApplesAnother service provided by Inmagine’s staff is image retouching.  They can enlarge images you purchase to even bigger sizes so your printer will not come back to you with requests for higher resolution files on your large printing projects.  The image retouching services can also take a ho-hum picture and make it amazing.  Check out what their team did with apples.

It appears that Inmagine does like to incentivize their customers and offer promotions occasionally as they were offering a free ipad mini when you spend $1500 on purchases from their site within a two month window (March 1 – April 30, 2013).  If you are a routine purchaser of stock imagery, you already know how quickly you can rack up a bill of $1500, so why not reap a benefit while you are at it?

Inmagine is on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, but the content that they post to each of these places is the same.  A typical social media post for them is a link to one of their photos along with a short statement or quote that may or may not relate back to the item they are trying to sell.  They have taken some time to set up their Pinterest boards, although with their business being based around photographs and imagery, I am shocked that they only have 210 followers on this visual social media platform.

When I finally completed my research and review of Inmagine, I can admit that I was impressed with their wide range of options and extensive image libraries.  While there may be cheaper options out there for the standard stock images, I have yet to find a provider that covers the whole gamut from cheap to high-end as good as Inmagine does.  That coupled with the services they provide, plus their occasional promotions, makes Inmagine a must when you are sourcing stock images for your next project.

Our Search Testing Results

Our search for business returned 593,591 results
The relevance of those results was extremely high with nearly every option in the first few pages being exactly what I would expect when searching for an image pertaining to the keyword “business”.  It is also important to point out that all of the initial results of this search were from Inmagine’s Premium images.  There were another 10,000 options offered up under the  for ValueImages area.

Our search for business woman returned 224,252 results
As you may have guessed, the relevance of the results was extremely high all images listed on the first 5 pages.  They were exactly what I would expect when searching for an image pertaining to the keyword “business woman”.

Our search for meeting returned 60,394 results
The relevance of the results was extremely high for this search as well with each of the images being what I would expect when searching for a photo pertaining to the keyword “meeting”. In fact, I was quite pleased with the variance amongst the images in this search.  There were small meetings with 2-3 people as well as larger group sizes, plus even images for working lunch/dinner meetings.

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StockFreeImages screenshot

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StockFreeImages – Stock Imagery Provider

Posted on 10 March 2013 by admin

StockFreeImages is a great free option for sourcing images to use for both personal and business uses.  This stock imagery site actually has hundreds of thousands of photos available at absolutely no cost.  Often times Royalty Free sites are mistakenly identified as free sites which is not a correct interpretation of the word “royalty free” (see this article for more information on royalty free images), but in the case of the StockFreeImages website, Royalty Free does translate to FREE to the end users.

The images at StockFreeImages can be used, modified, and edited to use on websites, advertisements, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, books, CD covers, computer applications, etc., and the rights you are given extend worldwide for an unlimited number of digital uses and products.  However, the license for printed use is 10,000 copies.  So, be smart on when and where you decide to use images from this site.

StockFreeImages screenshotQuick Details

Selection: Large
Quality: Medium
Pricing: Free (with credit & backlink)
File Formats: .jpg
Stock Image Type: RF

Contact Info

URL:http://www.stockfreeimages.com/
No contact information given except for an online form.

 

While the price at StockFreeImages is right for most frugal business owners, there is a catch.  When you use an image from StockFreeImages, you must provide author attribution and a link back to the site (when and where possible).  Depending on where you need photos and what your philosophy is for marketing, this catch may be simple to cope with and no problem to implement.  Plus, StockFreeImages does make it easy enough for you to include the appropriate credit where credit is due, by providing you with a cut and paste option with all of the pertinent details when you opt to download an image.  Here is an example of the notice:Stock Free Images credit warning and message

Another point worth mentioning is that you are not given options for file size and file format when you decide to download an image.  You are simply given one file, and most of the images are delivered in .jpg format.

My biggest problem with the StockFreeImages site is with the search result page.  Once you search for a keyword, you are presented with the search results page which as expected displays relevant photos.  The issue is that the very top line of the page lists photos and links to images found on Dreamstime (which is the parent company of StockFreeImages), and Dreamstime is a pay site.  So, basically if you do not pay close attention to where you are clicking or know how to discern the “Royalty Free Stock Images from Dreamstime” (pay site photos) from the “Free Images” (free site photos), then you can easily end up clicking on a link that will take you to a page where you must pay to download the photo you’ve selected.  Clearly they set the site up this way on purpose – to drive traffic and revenue to their pay site.  While I am not against driving traffic to your site or even the notion of making money by selling images, I am put off by unclear links that are obviously trying to trick the end users into visiting a site they are not actively engaging.

StockFreeImages is present on the popular social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  They seem to post links to new images and libraries every week or so, but no real discussions or interactive content is shared by the website.  The accounts they maintain across these platforms are relatively active and up-to-date; however, the content does not vary from platform to platform.  In fact, the content is exactly the same.  So, don’t bother connecting with them across all platforms.  It’s just not necessary.

All in all, it is easy to sign up for a StockFreeImages account, and it is easy to source a variety of images through their offering.  For bloggers and businesses looking for a quick, cheap solution for imagery on digital media, it really doesn’t get any less expensive or easy than StockFreeImages.  Just be sure to give credit to the author and steer clear of those “trick” links lest you could end up paying for your free selection.

Our Search Testing Results:

Our search for business returned 48,081 results
The relevance of those results was extremely good with every option in the first 5 pages of results being what I would expect when searching for an image pertaining to the keyword “business”.

Our search for business woman returned 11,849 results
Again, the relevance of the results was extremely good all images on the first 5 pages being exactly what I would expect when searching for an image pertaining to the keyword “business woman”. Most of the results were a bit posed or unnatural instead of images of a business woman in action or within a particular environment.  Nevertheless, the results were on target and did show appropriate results.

Our search for meeting returned 3,230 results
The relevance of the results was very good with about 9 out of every 10 images being what I would expect when searching for a photo pertaining to the keyword “meeting”. The results had a good mix of meeting related images including groups of people in meetings, meeting rooms and facilities, and graphics used to represent meetings.

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Sony Pictures Stock Footage – Stock Imagery Provider

Posted on 09 March 2013 by admin

While the Sony Pictures Stock Footage web site does allow you to browse and preview their collection of stock video footage, it does not enable you to purchase the video clips online. To make a purchase you must either select the clips you want and then fill out contact information so they will get back in touch with you or give one of their representatives a call. This basically makes the web site only useful for customers that have already purchased clips or for future customers that are doing research prior to making their purchases.

Even though the web site is not designed for online transactions, it is still fun to look through clips of high impact explosions filmed for movie franchises like Spider-Man, breathtaking vistas shot for acclaimed films such as Memoirs of a Geisha and Seven Years in Tibet, and highly usable establishing shots from productions filmed around the globe.

sony-pictures-stock-footageQuick Details

Selection: Large
Quality: High
Pricing: Medium – High
File Formats: multiple video formats
Stock Image Type: RM, RF

Contact Info

URL: https://www.sonypicturesstock
footage.com/

Address:
10202 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232
Toll Free: 866-275-6919
Phone: 310-244-3704
Email: stockfootage@spe.sony.com

At the Sony Pictures Stock Footage web site, you can search by categories, keyword, rights managed or royalty free, and a number of other attributes. When I searched for specific topics, I was surprised at how many results were avaialble considering the results are all videos, not a combination of imagery types. Like most sites, the amount of matches were limited depending on how specific the search keywords were. For a search using the keyword “beach”, my search pulled up 3,187 matching results whereas a search using the keyword “kansas city” only pulled up 14 matching results.

There were no references to social media accounts that link to Sony Pictures Stock Footage on their web site, so I would assume that they do not have a presence in communities like facebook and Twitter.

Like some other high-end stock imagery providers, I believe that solutions from Sony Pictures Stock Footage are not options that every business would and could fit into their budget; however, Sony Pictures Stock Footage does offer outstanding video clips for those business that do need high-quality footage shot by professionals.

Our Search Testing Results:

Our search for business returned 922
The relevance of the results was average with about 5 out of every 10 videos matching what I would expect when searching for a video pertaining to the keyword “business”. Most of the results contained footage that included businesses and buildings in the background, but not actual footage inside or targeted on a business.

Our search for business woman returned 19
The relevance of the results was low with about 2 out of every 10 images being exactly what I would expect when searching for a video pertaining to the keyword “business woman”. Most of the results had a business woman walking by in the background or a portion of her body (like hands operating a cash register).

Our search for meeting returned 64
The relevance of the results was low with about 1 out of every 10 images were what I would want when searching for a photo pertaining to the keyword “meeting”. While the results did have people gathering in meeting-like scenarios, the majority of the meetings definitely did not have what I expected in terms of office/business types of meetings.

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Robert Harding World Imagery

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Robert Harding World Imagery – Stock Imagery Provider

Posted on 08 March 2013 by admin

Searching the Robert Harding World Imagery database of pics and videos always yields beautiful results. All of the still results are photographs – not illustrations, sketches, vector images, etc. Plus, all of the photos have high-def options. The standard image resolution is 300dpi at an A3 size (that’s 16.5 x 11.7 inches for us Americans). Some of the photos are offered with rights-managed licenses and others are available as royalty free images. Robert Harding World Imagery also has short video clips that you can purchase for a wide range of business purposes.

Almost all of the photos are travel related which makes Robert Harding World Imagery a great provider for pictures of places, people, landscapes, plants, animals, modes of transportation, and artifacts.

Robert Harding World ImageryQuick Details

Selection: Large
Quality: High
Pricing: Medium – High
File Formats: .jpg
Stock Image Type: RM, RF

Contact Info

URL: http://www.robertharding.com/
Address:
Berkshire House
Queen Street
Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1NF
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7478 4000
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7478 4161
Email: info@robertharding.com

At the Robert Harding World Imagery web site, you can search by gallery, keyword, stills or video, rights managed or royalty free, size, or by release status. When I searched for specific photos, it was relatively easy to locate the right gallery and keyword, and relevant photos were also easily found. However, the amount of matching photos were limited depending on how specific your keywords are. For a search using the keyword “beach”, my search pulled up 60,000+ matching results whereas a search using the keyword “kansas city” only pulled up 117 matching results. Even though 117 results seemed like a small amount, I was impressed with the accuracy, quality, and uniqueness of the photos in the result group.

Another fun feature on the Robert Harding World Imagery site is the ability to send an ecard to your friends and family using their beautiful pictures. And, this ecard service is FREE to use! Here is a snapshot of a quick message I typed up for my friend using one of the penguin pictures on the site:

On social media, Robert Harding World Imagery has a Facebook page and a Twitter account where they post updates about new photo galleries and additions to their website.

Robert Harding also operates a complementary website called World In Print where you can purchase products like prints, coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc with your choice of select photographs found on the site.

I suspect that Robert Harding stock imagery is not feasible for all businesses to use because their photos are a bit more pricey than other stock imagery sites. For example, a photo for your website may cost you $100 and up, and there are some stock imagery sites where you can get a high-def photo for less than $10. But, Robert Harding World Imagery offers professional photos that are not available on any other web site. So, if you are looking for a beautiful option that is not replicated across all of the standard imagery websites, then options at this site may be the right for you.

Our Search Testing Results:

Our search for business returned 12125 images
The relevance of the results was high with about 8 out of every 10 images matching what I would expect when searching for a photo pertaining to the keyword “business”. The results had photos of all sorts of businesses, buildings, workers, and scenarios.

Our search for business woman returned 1274 images
The relevance of the results was high with about 9 out of every 10 images being exactly what I would expect when searching for a photo pertaining to the keyword “business woman”. Also, the results has a good variance of ethnicities, locations, types of businesses, and types of workers.

Our search for meeting returned 1199 images
The relevance of the results was low with about 1 out of every 10 images were what I would want when searching for a photo pertaining to the keyword “meeting”.

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PROJECT: Evaluate Stock Imagery Providers

Posted on 01 March 2013 by admin

Origin: During some recent client projects, we have determined the need for an in-depth evaluation of stock imagery providers, not only to determine who all the players are in this particular area of the market but to also evaluate the individual strengths and weaknesses of available the providers.  Many businesses have an on-going need for good quality stock imagery, and this is why I am declaring PROJECT: Evaluate Stock Imagery Providers as officially open.

Method: Each day Smart Service Strategies will evaluate at least one (1) stock imagery provider, create a blog entry with general details about the provider and results from niche searches, and create an accessible information sheet that includes:

  • Provider contact information
  • Pricing information
  • Imagery options
  • other significant details

Results:  Once we have exhausted our list of all possible stock imagery providers, Smart Service Strategies will post a project wrap-up and summary as well as several top lists including:

  • Top Royalty Free Imagery Providers
  • Top Rights-Managed Imagery Providers
  • Top Free Imagery Providers
  • Our Favorite Imagery Providers

We will also maintain a list of each of the providers we evaluate here on the project page along with links to the individual posts, so you can track our progress.

 

 

If you can not find the Stock Imagery provider you are interested on our listing above, then please contact us, and we will be happy to complete research for you on that particular provider.

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