Bloggers and web designers need more images to complete their creative projects. They require a subscription plan that provides them with adequate images to fill their creative needs. That’s why the Dollar Photo Club was a favorable image source. It is cheap, allowing to download as many as they need, without braking the bank. With the DPC closing, they need a Dollar Photo Club alternative that offers fairly the same kind of product or a bit more.
The Dollar Photo Club is closing for good on April 15, 2016, which leaves a good number of members in search for their primary image source. Blogger and web designers will be some of the major has-beens in the process. Fortunately, there is a better alternative in town. Stock Photo Secrets introduces 99 Club, the Dollar Photo Club alternative that offers a similar kinds of product – plus, more! DPC members and non-members alike have an equal chance of getting this special offer.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider 99 Club:
- 200 images for $99 per year. If you are a blogger or a web designer, it is highly likely that you need more images than an average creative user. 99 Club allows you to download 200 images for only $99 a year. If you need more, you can always purchase additional images for only $0.99 each. With this very affordable rate, you can complete as many projects as you need without spending so much.
- High resolution and royalty-free. The stock photo website’s images are available in high resolution and royalty-free license. You can use them in any project for as long as you like. The images are available in various sizes – small, medium and XXL – so you can confidently use them in print. They also so not have expiration so you can download and use them forever!
- 99 Club is here to stay. The stock photo website is not associated with the Dollar Photo Club or Fotolia. It is a stock sites by Stock Photo Secrets, which has been around for over ten years. It will not be closing anytime soon, saving you from the heartache of losing your primary stock image bank once again.
- No additional fees and auto-renew. Most stock photo websites have auto-renew compulsions. You need to cancel a month before your subscription ends if you wish to terminate. With 99 Club, you do not have to worry about it. It also does not involve additional fees. It is a one-time payment. You do not have to worry about anything but downloading.
These are some of the features and benefits of choosing 99 Club as your Dollar Photo Club alternative. It is the best stock photo website for bloggers and web designers. With your deadline around the corner, two things you don’t need to worry about are auto-renewals and draining image downloads.
A number of stock photo agencies are flooding the market. Each of them offers tempting features and plans that you can take anytime. So, what makes Alamy stock different than all of them? The stock site has a massive collection and tools to help users complete their project and educate them as well. Here is a short list of why graphic designers, bloggers and businesses like you should choose Alamy over other stock photo agencies.
- Compelling Imagery. Alamy stock provides a compelling way for you to create amazing designs for advertising and promotional materials. It gives you access to over 65 million of high quality stock images from all around the globe. You can purchase and download the images individually, saving you from hefty subscription plan prices and other hidden fees.
- Budget Friendly. Since Alamy does not require you to register or purchase any subscription plan, you can purchase the image in a much lower price. While this may be a bad option for people who needs more images in a regular basis, this is perfect for those who only require a handful. Alamy stock provides an inexpensive alternative to hiring a professional photographer as well.
- Quality Images. Most stock photo sites’ reputation is based on the quality of the photos they sell. The world’s largest stock photo collection does not disappoint too. It offers millions of high quality stock images for every budget and project. The images are pre-screened for content, quality and uniqueness. With Alamy, you can be sure that you are getting quality images for your creative projects.
- Time Savings. Like most stock photo agencies, Alamy stock offers time savings to designers, bloggers and businesses. A photoshoot of even the simplest requires a lot of time, effort and, of course, money. Most times, it does not make sense to conduct one at all. Whatever you are looking for, Alamy’s massive collection will surely get you covered. This will help you cut time and budget, which you can spend on other important things.
- Innovative. The stock photo website is also innovative. It consistently looks for ways to develop its website to improve user experience. In fact, the current website has successfully incorporated some key features that is useful for bloggers, web designers and one-time purchasers. It has also released an iPad app that opens up opportunities in the microstock market.
The list of reasons can go on and on. Alamy does not only sell stock images, but also educates their users through their website tools. The stock site helps you with using tools effectively. It also supports your need for communication and understanding through the stock photo glossary. Moreover, you can take image sizing and resolution lessons to help you get the perfect size and resolution for your projects.
There was a time not too long ago when photography was an industry where only an elite few had the ability to make a substantial living. That was about 30 years ago. Fast forward 15 years and we begin to see several microstock agencies pop up all over the Internet.
This turned the photography industry on its head as these microstock agencies were purchasing stock photos from photographers all over the world. A new age of digital photography was born.
When we look at the microstock agencies now, their libraries average over 40 million images.
To give you an idea of where Adobe Stock came from, we have to dig back a little further and talk about the inspiration for Adobe Stock: Photoshop.
The People Who Brought You Photoshop
A disconnect existed within the audiences of these microstock agencies. The people behind the most famous digital photo manipulation software Photoshop, Adobe, never offered a photo library of their own. Instead, Photoshop users had to import images into Photoshop from external sources. Although they could import photos that they took with their cameras, most of them chose to purchase stock photography from these microstock agencies.
Catering to the Creative Professional
Adobe has always had a different and unique audience. As the forerunner for digital creation and manipulation software, the majority of Adobe’s audience has always consisted of creative professionals. Creative professionals who have always used Photoshop were all-too-familiar with the fact that Photoshop is useless without importing raw material to work with in the form of a digital image.
Before the advent of cloud computing, Adobe’s software had to be paid for upfront before Adobe licensed it to an end user. That meant an investment of well over $1000 for single program – and people always bought more than just Photoshop. This equated to an investment of thousands of dollars.
Adobe’s Business Model Change
Thanks to cloud computing, Adobe changed their business model to make their software much more affordable for the average user. This Increase their user base by putting the possibility of becoming a legitimate paying user of Photoshop into the hands of people who don’t have a budget of thousands of dollars to invest in Adobe’s Photoshop software.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud
Adobe no longer packages their software in neat little boxes for customers to purchase outright. Adobe now offers their software under the acronym, “SAAS,” which stands for, “Software-as-a-Service.” This allows them to charge a mere $20 per month for access to Photoshop. The difference is that access to Photoshop became a monthly obligation rather than purchasing it the software upfront and having that feeling of ownership.
Adobe integrated every one of their software titles into this new business model. Users were now required to create an Adobe account with their own credentials to sign in and use Adobe software. When Adobe rolled the service out, they called it the Creative Cloud.
The Acquisition of Fotolia
Adobe’s Creative Cloud was still missing the fundamental disconnect between photo manipulation software and the source of the photos. Adobe recognized this and went on the hunt to close the gap. In December 2014, they offered to purchase Fotolia for $800 million in cash. They now had access to an entire library of stock photos at their disposal. It took Adobe another six months to roll out Creative Cloud’s newest addition. In July 2015, Adobe introduced Adobe Stock (click here for Adobe Stock review from Stock Photo Secrets).
A Genius Business Decision
In the midst of Fotolia’s acquisition, Adobe made a genius business decision. Even though Adobe already had their Creative Cloud, they chose to do something unconventional. Under normal business expectations, Adobe was initially expected to dissolve Fotolia and integrate them into their Creative Cloud. Adobe decided against this and had since allowed Fotolia to exist as a separate business entity.
People don’t like change. Adobe read into that and decided that it would do more harm than good to force people to close their Fotolia accounts and migrate over to the Creative Cloud. By allowing Fotolia to exist separately from Adobe, the value of the company skyrocketed.
Creative Cloud’s Newest Addition
Adobe Stock is a new service. It took Adobe six months from the acquisition of Fotolia to roll out Adobe Stock. It makes sense – Adobe Stock is not a program to be utilized separately from Adobe’s current software titles. Adobe had to fundamentally change how each software title worked so that they could integrate Adobe Stock into their software.
The Integration of Adobe Stock
The result was phenomenal. This new change enabled users of the Creative Cloud to acquire new photos from directly within their application. You see, the previous method of acquiring new photos from stock photo agencies was a tedious one. Users had to log in to their account with a third-party microstock agency. Once they found a photo that they were satisfied with, they had to purchase a license and download it. Only after the photo was saved to their computer were they given the option to import the photo into Photoshop to edit the picture.
Adobe turned this method upside down. By integrating Adobe Stock directly into their software titles, users can now shop for, purchase, download and import these photos without ever leaving the app. This new process enabled creative professionals to save hundreds of hours when working with their images.
Adobe’s Grand Reopening
Adobe has been planning a grand reopening for their users for quite some time. As Adobe’s newest software change in years, Adobe faced the task of spreading the news. With Photoshop and other software titles being much more affordable than they were in the past, coupled with the integration of a stock photo service built directly into the program, Adobe successfully more than doubled their customer base in a relatively short amount of time.
Get 10 Images for Free
Adobe’s Grand Opening is still going on – but not much longer. Right now, you can get 10 images from Adobe’s stock library free of charge simply by creating a Creative Cloud account and adding Adobe Stock to your account.
Despite the incredible value the stock images added to any marketing strategy or to the projects of these creative professionals, people have arrived at the consensus that stock images are not cheap. This is especially true for services that provide libraries of quality. Adobe knew that if they did not purchase a quality library, the acquisition and significant operational change would hurt them more than it would help. Needless to say, the proof is in the pudding – Adobe Stock has a unique library with nothing more than high-quality photos.
The 10 images that Adobe is offering will not last forever. It is a limited-time offer as part of their grand reopening with Adobe Stock leading the way.
Bundle Services and Save
When you sign up for a Creative Cloud account, you’re given the option to bundle one or more of their software titles along with Adobe Stock. If you do the math, you’ll discover what an incredible deal this is. As part of the Creative Cloud, Adobe is offering Photoshop for $20 a month. By adding that to your Adobe Stock subscription, take special notice at how the pricing for Adobe Stock changes. By itself, Adobe Stock is not cheap. By adding one of their software titles, you may notice that Adobe will steeply discount Adobe Stock. In the end, you may actually be paying less by bundling services than you would if you were to sign up for Adobe Stock alone.
The Adobe Stock Library Continues to Grow
Adobe has a unique library thanks to Fotolia. However, their library would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the contributions of stock photographers.
The Life of a Stock Photographer
In this age of digital photography, just about anyone with decent photo editing skills can take pictures and add them to microstock libraries. Many people will tell you that it’s not worth the time or effort. You can spend several hours on photo editing procedures before they are ready for library submission. On top of that, microstock agencies will not pay the photographer for ownership of the photo. Instead, when a customer purchases a license on a stock photo, the microstock agency will pay the stock photographer a royalty fee.
This means that stock photographers have to do two things. One, they have to submit high-quality photos that entice customers to buy the image. The second one is a little more demanding than the first. The stock photographer has to work quickly. They have to submit a large number of photos to increase the chances that their photo will be chosen for purchase.
It Pays to Have a Fotolia Account
As you explore the Adobe Stock website, you may notice that there is a little link at the bottom that takes you to a contributor’s page. They will tell you that you may submit your photos for inclusion in the Adobe Stock library, but you must go to Fotolia to do it. Once you go to Fotolia, simply create an account and start submitting your work.
Spread the Word
Now that you know all about Adobe Stock, its history, where it came from, and what it is, the only thing left for you to do is to pay them a visit. Take a minute and browse their library. Then compare it to any other microstock agency. You’ll notice that Adobe chose Fotolia strategically.
Adobe’s customers are primarily made up of creative professionals. Adobe catered to this and chose a library with a special artistic flair. When you’re there, simply create an account. You won’t be disappointed. Then, tell a friend about it and spread the word.
When people think of stock photos, they often picture a low-quality, cliché image that they see everywhere. An iconic theme that everyone has seen before is the cliché of a businessman walking on a tightrope. Stock marketing agencies have worked tirelessly in the last 10 years to shake off that stereotype. For the most part, they’ve done a good job.
Many review sites will tell you which stock photo agencies are the best. However, just like many competing businesses, microstock agencies are not created equal. There’s this belief that microstock agencies stock nothing but images. If you were to look between the lines, you would find that some of them also stock videos. Shutterstock is one of them.
What Makes Shutterstock so Special?
On the surface, Shutterstock appears to be another stock agency competing among a sea of others. However, if you were to look between the lines, you’d noticed that they also offer stock video footage. This offering has earned Shutterstock a much larger audience (check their coupon code for 2016 here) than they would otherwise get if they offered photos alone.
The Value of Stock Video
Without stock video, you would be forced to shoot your own. My question for you is this. Why would you want to? Your time is far more valuable than this. The benefit is not worth the expense. Just to shoot your video, you would need your own video camera. Sometimes, modern smartphones can suffice. However, you will still need to edit the video for sound, lighting, and the insertion of engaging elements. Even if you have the talent, it takes time away from your job as a marketer.
Engaging elements are the parts of the video that serve to engage the customer. They can be little tidbits of video to act as a transition from one scene to the next. It can be between your title introduction and the bulk of the video. Stock video footage can mean the difference between your videos looking like they were shot by a high schooler, and your videos appearing as if you care about your audience enough to give them a pleasurable experience. As the name implies, engaging elements are the pieces of video footage you insert in your videos to keep your viewers engaged.
The Shutterstock Coupon
There is a general consensus that stock images are expensive. As stock videos spike in popularity, the same reputation will carry-over. They may be expensive, but the value far outweighs the cost.
Right now, Shutterstock is offering a limited-time coupon that gives you a 15 percent discount on all their stock videos. Before the end of the year, Shutterstock may take the coupon down. The value of this coupon extends beyond the immediate next couple of days. By taking advantage of the 15 percent discount now, you will have video credits added to your account. When you’re ready, you can choose your videos. You’re not being forced to choose videos right here and right now. This means that as you enter the new year, your video stock needs will have been met. This is Shutterstock’s way of giving you the opportunity to knock one more task off your to-do list.
Holiday Marketing and Beyond
In your marketing efforts this year, how many videos have you utilized? If you haven’t used videos yet, you will next year. Video marketing is huge. The holidays are a time to put your best foot forward and create a festive experience for your potential customers.
The Popularity of Videos
2015 was seen as the year of videos. This claim will only become truer and more relevant as time goes on. More videos will be used in 2016 than in 2015. More people are watching more videos on mobile devices and spending less time on laptops and desktops.
Laptops and desktops have cemented themselves as permanent business tools. They are not going anywhere and anytime soon. However, consumers don’t use laptops and desktops to spend their time online. They’re using mobile devices. Honestly, nobody wants to read an article on a mobile device with a 3.5-inch screen. Videos, however, are a different story.
Videos Are Set to Surpass Articles
I’ll be the first one to say that the written word is not going anywhere anytime soon. In other words, videos are not set to replace articles. However, they are on the path to surpass article usage. Content marketing is shifting away from articles and blog posts two videos and video posts.
Articles may have their place. However, a larger part of the online audience are using videos to gather information online, find whatever it is they’re searching for and learn new things. In fact, videos are becoming the primary method utilized online to teach people, convey information and to reach new audiences. Even Facebook – with their new set of video tools – has realized this and is now becoming a major competitor against YouTube.
Spread the Word
More and more people are using videos to convey information online. At the same time, more and more people are using videos to gather information online. If you want to reach more audiences, stay relevant to your industry, and reach new heights with your business, start using videos. Spread the word.
When should you be using cheap images? Should you be using them at all? Personally, I’m an advocate for them – in the right situation. There’re situations that call for stock images and situations that the call for professional photography. Now, I’m not a photographer, so there’s no need to tell you about the weddings I haven’t photographed. However, as a marketer, here’re a few areas where you should not be using cheap images.
1. A Client’s Product
You should never be using a cheap image in place of a client’s product. A client’s product does not have to mean something tangible. A client’s product could be a service. If your client is a carpet cleaner, you may be tempted to use a stock photo of a clean room with a clean carpet. However, as a marketer you should know better. By hiring a professional photographer who can get the lighting and clarity just right, you’re giving your clients an image where they can say “Hey, I did that.”
2. Event Marketing
Sooner or later you’re going to get a client that will ask for your help in promoting an event. This is a 50/50 area. When showcasing things like the venue or past events (assuming that it’s a periodic event), always use photos that were taken professionally. If you’re merely coming up with some background image to let people know that it is a black-tie event, then the use of a stock photo may be welcomed. Stock photos do have the ability to set the mood – if you do it right.
3. Brand-Related Images
At any time when a client’s public image is on the line, professional photography is always recommended. At the very least, if stock photography must be used, allow a graphic designer to weigh in on the decision. Even if it’s unintentional, marketers have still made the mistake of portraying their clients in a negative light. Although the client often has the final say, remember this one word of wisdom – the client hired you for a reason. If you feel that you need to override your client’s wishes for their own sake, do so – but tread carefully. Most clients have no problem with you overturning their decisions so long as you make them feel valued as clients.
Remember one thing – cheap images don’t always equate to cheap quality. If you can help it, never use images of cheap quality. Stock photography – if done correctly – can be seen as professional. However, this takes a skill that takes time and effort to learn. As time goes on, you’ll find that your own value goes up because you do things right.