This post about Big Stock Photo and stock photography is the second part of our series on using photos on blogs.

  • The first post was on finding free photos to use in your classroom blog using the creative Commons filter on Flickr.
  • Today’s post is about using stock photos on blogs. (I use Big Stock Photo on this blog.)
  • Our next post will be about how teachers can use stock photography in a lesson about media literacy and critical thinking

Big Stock Photo sells stock images that you can use in commercial projects, including posters, T-shirts, and websites. (BigStockPhoto was rebranded as Bigstock when it was bought out by Shutterstock.)

[stextbox id=”info”]You can find a lot of great images using the Creative Commons filter on Flickr (and use these images legally for free on your blog.) The problem is, if you’re trying to create a professional looking website, sometimes, amateur photos look, well… amateur.[/stextbox]

Using Photos on Blogs – Part 2: Big Stock Photo

Beginning webmasters (i.e. classroom teachers with their first classroom blog) will not buy stock photography

This winter holiday break was about spending time with family, reflecting on 2011, and catching up on some projects. And one of the projects I wanted to work on was just polishing up this classroom technology blog.

A lot of great websites and blogs out there use some really professional looking photos to catch your attention. After a while, you start to wonder where these blogs are finding high-quality images for their website. After clicking on the attribution links at the bottom of a few posts, the answer is simple: stock photography from online databases like Big Stock Photo.

Most teachers are not going to buy stock photography to use on their class website or student blogs. (Especially teachers who just created their first clasroom blog.)

There’s no reason to. Why pay money when you can get photos for free?

  • There’s a world of free Creative Commons licensed photos that you can use on your blog.
  • Plus, we live in a world where a lot of people don’t think twice about finding an image online and copy-and-pasting it into a document or presentation.

But talking about stock photography in the classroom is a great opportunity for students to see how critical thinking images on websites is an important media literacy skill. Learn about how stock photography works helps students to think about how media might be trying to sell to them. (That’s coming up in Part 3 on this series on Using Photos on Blogs.)

Plus, if you’re trying to make money online, then you know that using photos on blogs is a good way to get people to read your content. Pretty pictures are a great way to make a great looking site and stock photography sites like Big Stock Photo give you a quick database to find professional photos.

What is Stock Photography?

Look at these examples of stock photos from Big Stock Photo. Don’t they seem familiar? We see photos like these in ads, brochures, websites, commercials, billboards, flyers. (In Part 3, we’ll talk about critical thinking images that we see online.)

Check out the Wikipedia definition and we find out that basically stock photography is a way to get quality photos without having to hire a photographer. You can search online databases and buy photos under different licenses to use in your projects.

Royalty-free stock photography means that if you buy the photo, you can use the image as many times as you want for a single license fee. There may be different levels of license fees – here’s the standard usage and extended usage licenses from Big Stock Photo.

  • A (Big Stock Photo) Standard Image License may be enough if your project is small – like using a stock photo to add flair to a post on your website or incorporating the image into advertising materials.
  • If your project is big, or the image is the dominant feature, you may need a (Big Stock Photo) Extended Image Usage License – like if you are creating an inspirational poster where the stock photo is larger than 50% of the project.)

There may be some additional restrictions on how you use the images. (Although these examples are also taken from the Big Stock Photo licenses, other stock photography companies have similar clauses.)

  • You can’t share a stock photo image by providing access to your computer network.
  • You can’t use the image in a way that puts any people in the image in a negative or potentially offensive light. For example, you can’t use a Big Stock Photo on inappropriate websites, ads for tobacco or in connection with political endorsements.
  • You also can’t suggest that the person in the Big Stock Photo suffers from “a physical or mental infirmity, ailment, or condition, or engages in any immoral or illegal activity.” (This one comes directly from Big Stock Photo’s usage agreement.)

How Much Does Stock Photography Cost?

Keep in mind that when I looked through these prices, I was trying to find the cheapest deals I could to find stock photos for this classroom technology blog.

Before you buy any credits – check to see how long they are valid for? For example, Big Stock Photo credits expire 1 year after you buy them.

Stock photography agency Package Cost How much I have to pay per photo
Getty images 1 download (small – 280px x 187px) $25 $25 / photo
Shutterstock 12 Downloads (small and medium JPEGs) $49 $4.08 / photo
iStockPhoto 6 credits(a medium sized photo apparently costs 6-10 credits but the small version (849x565px) of this photo costs 55 credits) $10 varies
ThinkStockPhotos 5 downloads $99 $19.8 / photo
Big Stock Photo 6 credits (small (900 x 600) image costs 1 credit. New customers get 2 free credits)  $13 $2.17 / photo

 Big Stock Photo – Why did we choose to go with them?

  • Because Big Stock Photo gave us free credits. (Use this big stock photo promo coupon to get 2 free credits – which will get you 2 free photos to use on your blog. New customers only.)
  • Because Big Stock Photo is cheap(er than other stock photography websites). ($2.17 per photo if you buy 6 credits. It only costs $0.99 per photo if you buy 500 credits, but most people will probably balk at spending $495 up front.)
  • Because professional websites (like one of the WordPress websites that we follow) use stock photography from Big Stock Photo. Here are some other professional websites that use Big Stock Photo. (The Canadian BestBuy Mobile September 2010 Buyer’s Guide also used stock photos which can be found on Big Stock Photo.)
  • Because it’s cheap. I know it’s the same as the first point, but royalty-free stock photography means that once you’ve paid for the photo, you can use it as many times as you want in your projects.

Stay tuned… Using Photos on Blogs, Part 3:

  • Next time in our series on using photos on blogs, we’ll look at a media literacy lesson on critical thinking images/photos in websites and media.
  • Finally, we’ll look at some internet tools to help you figure out if an image used models (i.e. stock photography)

Image Source: Big Stock Photo / Olly2

This post about Big Stock Photo and the next post about Critical Thinking Images were written together at the same time using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium Wireless. What is Dragon NaturallySpeaking?

[adrotate block=”3″]

  • There are 1532 words in the first draft of these two posts combined. Dragon made 33 word errors. So, we had an accuracy of 97.8% in this document.
  • If you include punctuation and capitalization errors, Dragon made an additional 9 punctuation and capitalization errors. So, we had an accuracy of 97.3% in this document.

[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Example of Word Errors made by Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5″ collapsing=”true” collapsed=”true”]

  • Today’s post is about = Today’s post about
  • Big Stock Photo sells cheap stock images = Big Stock Photo cells cheap stock images
  • if you’re trying = if you trying
  • inappropriate website = an appropriate website


[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Example of Punctuation / Capitalization Errors made by Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5″ collapsing=”true” collapsed=”true”]

  • Creative Commons = creative Commons




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