Stock photos let even the non-artistically inclined amongst us add some pizzazz to our work, from blog posts to print marketing materials. For the best selection, it can be a good idea to purchase image licenses from stock photo sites like Fotolia.com. These stock photo sites allow photographers and graphic designers to upload their material and make a profit. You, on the other hand, get access to low cost images from a diverse collection of designers without having to wait for custom work.
We recently switched to Fotolia.com for our images here at the Directory Journal, and today’s review will give you some early feedback after using the service. Below you can find highlights (some of our favorite things about Fotolia) and suggestions (changes that might make the service better in the future).
Here are some things we love about Fotolia’s stock photo website.
- The Price — After using two major competitors in the past, I can say that Fotolia’s prices are attractive, especially if you use a lot of images as a blogger. While the price-per-credit can be comparable to the competition (although a bit lower), what’s really nice is that they don’t require multiple credits for most images that would work on your blog (although you can pay more to get higher quality images when needed). This can save you quite a bit.
- The Options — Another price-related highlight is your ability to choose between the credit-based system where you purchase packs of credits and a subscription option that lets you download a certain number of images each day. If you need a lot of images, a subscription might be a good option for you and it might help you save even more.
- The Selection — I sometimes have to search for rather obscure things to illustrate blog posts, and in the past it’s been a struggle to cover some topics. For example, even e-books (with their rapid growth in popularity) aren’t well-represented on many stock photo websites. Here I was able to not only find images that were uploaded to other sites, but plenty of new options. I felt like I had much more choice due to the sheer selection here.
- The Search Tool — There are great search options on Fotolia.com, some of which I hadn’t seen before. For example, you can search by how recently the image was uploaded so you can weed out similar images you’ve seen and rejected in the past. I also notice that there tend to be more search results on this site when compared to other stock photo sites. Fotolia seems to be able to pull images that could represent something as much as directly relevant results. And that’s a good thing. There are plenty of “ooooh! I never thought of that!” moments when you have more options available to you.
No review is complete without a bit of balance, so I always share the negative side as well as the positives. And I try to frame those downsides as suggestions, should a site or service ever make changes in the future. With Fotolia, I only have one suggestion.
- The site can feel rather cluttered, especially to a new user. On doing basic research into the service as I figured it out, I found that some information was a bit difficult to dig out. It’s there. But there is often so much information on a page that it can be tough to spot at first. More importantly, this became confusing during the first download process (with a subscription account). The clutter on the download page threw me for a loop as I tried to figure out which download option was the right one. While I “get it” now, I still think it could be a bit more intuitive for new users. For example, in the future I think it would be awesome if a subscription user could have the “single download” section on an image page automatically minimized so the subscription options showed up alone (and they could open the other options again if they needed to).
Overall, I can wholeheartedly recommend Fotolia.com to other bloggers. And the great selection of images and different size options could also make this site ideal for those working on print design projects. Check out Fotolia.com today and see if any of their stock image licensing options is right for you.
Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links or have been the result of other compensation or business relationships (such as special offers extended). However, the author of this article is not directly compensated by the subject of the review. The author is compensated by the site owner the same regardless of a review being positive or negative. Here at the Directory Journal we strive to keep all reviews balanced to keep our readers better informed.