by Adam Noar
A lot of stock imagery (not all) is too staged, or too perfect. Like an artificial plant or a mass produced cookie. It’s the little imperfections that make things more realistic and have endearing quality. Like a lump in a cookie, or a misshapen leaf. Or the bad haircut or mismatched jacket and skirt in your image.
That’s why I frequently turn to alternative sources of photographs for my presentations.
Where can you find these alternative sources for photos?
There are actually many places to find great looking stock photos for your slides. Some of my favorites include:
The nice thing about all of the above photo sites is that they are not only beautiful but they are also FREE. But even the photos on these websites sometimes feel a bit too staged.
One site in particular that is creating buzz around having quality “real images” is EyeEm. EyeEm is different because it’s a photo sharing community. This is built around real people taking real photos.
EyeEm is a photo-sharing app that has built a creative user community and feature set that seperates it from the ‘Instagram clone’ crowd, and has recently launched an easy way for its users to sell their images to individuals and businesses for a fairly low cost of $20 (for a standard license with unlimited impression for editorial and commercial use). Users can also purchase an extended commercial license for $250 which removes the cap on print copies and allows the image to be used on TV or on images for resale, like t-shirts or mugs.
You might think that $20 is a lot to pay for a single image, but that is actually on par with what you would pay for a single image download at many of the premier stock photo websites including iStockphoto, Getty images, Shutterstock, and Depositphotos.
EyeEm Market is launching with over 50 million images and photographers can add their images on an individual basis by opting them in. Revenues from each sale are split 50/50 between EyeEm and the photographer.
The cool thing about EyeEm is that they have created a system that makes it easy for people to take great looking “real life” images and then sell those images for a relatively low cost.
EyeEm allows users to take and edit photos using 24 distinct filters, and share the photos in its own website, via email or five social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or Foursquare.
The service also offers an automatic tagging system that provides a topic, location, and an event for each photo taken. The user may keep or change the tags, or upload the photo with no tags at all. The tags then group the photos into Albums or keywords that result on streams of images.
Helping photographers expand their audience is EyeEm’s major goal. So while Instagram and Flickr helped popularize photography for the masses, EyeEm wants to help users graduate from casual photo-sharing with friends to more public, distributed photography.
This is great news for people that are looking for fresh cool images for their presentations. Check out some of the examples below.
What makes a great real image? Here are a few things to check for:
Is the image emotionally authentic?
People hate being scammed, by art or otherwise. Like the best books and movies, the best images present their subjects honestly. That means no shots of customer service reps leaping joyously into the air. No matter what emotion or feeling you’re trying to capture, make sure it looked barefaced and subtle (as seen below).
Is it happening in a real place?
Too many stock photos look like they have been taken in an empty white room. They offer up a figure—a woman on a phone, a man with a calculator—but the photo has been taken against a blank white backdrop. This can be helpful to make the image easier to crop and superimpose images on your PowerPoint slides, but too often presenters insert these void backgrounds straight into their slides. In real life, there are no blank white backdrops. Things happen in kitchens, parks, bus stops, stores and offices (as seen below).
Do the people look convincing?
Lastly, do the people in the photo feel like someone you would run into in real life? Or do they feel like paid actors hitting you over the head with caricatures of what “confused,” “happy” or “professional” look like? Before choosing an image for your presentation, ask yourself if you can imagine seeing the person in the picture. Is he/she someone you’d come across at the supermarket, in a coffee shop office or at your office? Is she feeling something you’ve felt? A good stock photo does all those things (as seen below).
Stock images often get a bad rep. A lot of the time there are lots of weird and creepy photos that leave you wondering who the heck took them – or would want to use them; and then when you see them thrown in randomly in someone’s PowerPoint presentation, you cringe a little inside. Often the case these images are simply not “real” looking enough. So, next time you’re looking for images for your next presentation check out some of the websites mentioned in this post.
I hope you found these PowerPoint tips helpful. Here’s my question for you…
Do you have a friend that could use some help finding some nice looking images for an important presentation they have coming up? If so, make sure to send them a link to these PowerPoint tips. I’m sure they will return the favor one day to you!
Do you think you will try these stock photography websites yourself? Leave me a detailed comment below! I make sure to read each and every one!