Friday, September 6, 2013

It’s Time to Invest in Your Own Pictures

Keep it handy.
I post on average three blogs a week and I do my best to add at least two to three pictures per post.  For a short period of time in the beginning I would browse the “free” stock photo sites.  Of course, I soon found out that not all of those were actually free and the ones that were allowed you to grab maybe three to five pictures then you had to pay a membership fee in order to gain access to any more of their standard fare.  They had quite a few contributors and a good percentage of the photos were pretty decent.  Some, however, were just cheesy clip art that really didn’t help the image I was trying to convey.

If you are one of those who simply search Google for images and then right clicks and saves the ones you want to use, beware.  That quick and easy side step could land you facing a lawsuit because most of those pictures are copyrighted and not yours for the taking.  And you can’t blame the photographer.  As a writer, artist or musician, we don’t want people copying our creative efforts and using them for whatever they want without at least getting paid for what we did.  Photography falls under those guidelines and we need to be respectful to the creator and their work.

It was with that in mind that I started taking pictures of everything and I do mean everything.  I started looking at things differently and deciding that instead of searching for just the right photo to go in the blog post, I would just take it.  I created a folder on my laptop called My Stock Photos and started dumping odd pictures in it.  Signs.  Benches. Carts. People. Scenery.  Me doing stupid stuff.  I never have a blog in mind when I snap it, I just take the picture and figure that it just might come in handy one day.  Well, some pictures I take with an idea in mind, such as the school crossing pictures for the blog post I Saw Your Mommy’s Panties.  However, sometimes, I am just snapping random shots for fodder.  Or pointing to something and telling the girls to snap it.

One of my stock photos
If you are blogging, I suggest you being doing the same thing.  Nothing frustrates me more - okay some things do, but for the sake of this post let’s just say this is it - than to have a post ready and no picture to go with it.  I begin searching my picture folders, Facebook albums, or my ancient MySpace account for something to use.  Quite a bit of time is wasted, so I decided to start thinking ahead and creating my own for future use photo dumps.  I have pictures I am not sure I will ever use, but they are there, just in case.  I’m ready.

And you should be as well.  Don’t wait until it’s too late and don’t take a chance that that free picture isn’t really free.  Besides, in my opinion, it’s much better to use your own creativity in as many aspects of your writing as you can.  Start carrying your camera with you and begin snapping the random shots today.  Take a picture of everything at first.  Whether it’s a silly or serious shot, you’ll be glad you have that one odd photograph one day that will just make your blog post stand out. 

Now, smile and say, “Cheese!”

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  1. Very good idea. My photo albums are stocked with a lot of crap, I need new ones.

    1. I've actually started going through all of my old photo albums and scanning some pictures into a folder for future use. You just never know and I hate searching for something last minute.

      Thanks for visiting, James!