Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Word Witch Wednesday - tips for image shopping
What do you think of the new name for my Wednesday feature? I decided to change it, because there are a lot of "Wicked Wednesdays" out there. Originally I intended to talk about paranormal romance on Wednesdays, but it has grown past that. I talk about all aspects of being a writer, or rather, a word witch!
Last month I was gifted a subscription to BigStock. (Thanks, Mom!) I checked around, and they have one of the best deals for images.
Shopping for images is glorious and grueling. I spent hours upon hours looking at pictures. In the end, I was happy with what I found, and I learned a lot along the way.
Whether you're shopping images for book covers, ads, or blogs, here are five tips that can help make your job easier.
1) Know exactly what you want. Don't even go in with a vague idea, because it's easy to get click happy and buy several pretty pictures that you won't use. Use specific words and filter your image search.
2) For that image search, be aware that one word might not bring up what you want. Typing in "blonde" will get you many things along with a blonde woman. Be descriptive. "Serious blonde woman standing." You'll still get brunettes and smiling models, but the number of images will be much smaller.
Bonus tip: if you want a great moody image of a person that isn't smiling, try typing in "vogue shot" with your description.
3) Turn the safe search off. What? How naughty of me? So many images get pegged as unsafe for one reason or another, and it doesn't mean they're risque pictures. (Though, yes, some are!) You can double your search results by not having the safe search on.
4) If the site allows it, click on specific photographers and models. You might find the perfect model for your cover, but the poses that come up in the original search aren't what you want. Click on the photographer or model, and you'll usually discover many more images to choose from.
Bonus tip: I found that I was drawn to a few photographers. Take the time to check out the portfolios of ones you like. It's like finding buried treasure!
5) When you type in your search, the most popular images come up first. I have seen so many overused and familiar images. (At one point, I was certain almost every author and publisher got their images from BigStock!) Dig deep into the site. Click past those super popular images and find something you've never seen before.
Have you ever bought pictures from a stock image site? Do you have any tips to share?