Tag Archives: stock photography

Photographer uses Stock Images to Help Sick Children

Through his Drawing Hope Project, photographer Shawn Van Daele uses his photography and photo editing skills to help children imagine a world outside their sick bed. Using his photos of the children, mixed with stock photography he purchases online, Van Daele places the children into realistic versions of their own drawings. The images are filled with pirates, fairies, kids in space, kids stepping up to bat at a Major League Baseball game, kids deep sea diving and pretty much anything else a kid can dream up.


Wednesday Tech Tip- Keep Learning

??????????????????“You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.”- Conrad Hall 

There is always something new to learn, especially in the world of modern photography, but we don’t always have time in our busy schedules to go to a school or studio and take a class. However, because of the advancements in e-learning, often we can learn at our own pace, wherever we are!

Some of the best photography e-learning sites are:

Udemy - studio lighting, wedding photography, DIY lighting setups, both free and reasonably priced classes.

Skillshare - wide variety of classes, general and specific from headshots to photoshop and fashion photography to “urban explorer” photography.

Lynda - Lists classes by skill level and features  both commercial and creative photography classes, plus end user classes that can help you to know how people use photography in their work and designs.

If you have something unique to teach, these sites are also looking for content!

 Don’t forget to refer your friends.  We have an excellent referral program!

What is a stock photo and how can I use a photo I find legally?

We hear this question a lot on social networks and user feedback emails so we thought a short post would clear up some of the misunderstandings that image users had.

Stock photography is the supply of photographs and vector art which can be licensed for specific uses and also broken down basically into three types. Rights Managed, Royalty free and Free. Those three types come with different rights that describe how the person who downloads the image can use them. Anyone working on a creative assignment would use these images and illustrations instead of hiring a photographer. In today’s world, stock images are organized in searchable online databases generally called digital asset management systems. Using online technology, stock agencies and individual photographers let image buyers purchase and download imagery online.

There are four different levels of stock photography.

1. Macrostock: Known as traditional stock photography and generally has higher priced, exclusive stock photos

2. Midstock: Stock photography priced between micro stock and macro stock, generally between $20-100 USD.

3. Microstock: Lower priced, royalty free stock photography

4. Creative Commons or Free: Generally requires attribution or a link back to the source but this stock photography can be downloaded and used for free

For more information on what a stock photo is and how you can legally use a stock image visit Stock Photo License.

Cutcaster Celebrates 1 Million Images, Quality over Quantity

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Cutcaster, one of the internet’s premier sources of high quality, royalty-free stock images, announced a major milestone as its image collection surpassed 1,000,000 photographs, illustrations, and vector art.

“Everyone’s proud of the recent milestone,” says John Griffin, CEO of Cutcaster. “We weren’t the first or the fastest to a million but from the start we stressed quality over quantity and that guided our image growth strategy. Cutcaster is about providing world-class images to our customers and that will remain our top priority.”

The one-millionth image was submitted by Serbian photographer, iMarin, of a woman singing into a retro microphone. “I have been selling stock since 2006 and uploaded my photos to Cutcaster because of their high commission rates for sellers and their low $25 payout request for getting my earnings,” iMarin explained.

With a global customer base spanning many different industries including publishing, advertising, web design, blogging and product design, it’s crucial that Cutcaster provides images suited to a wide variety of applications as well as innovative solutions to meet their customers image needs. Image buyers have nearly limitless creative options when using Cutcaster images, which are provided under a royalty-free license with the option to purchase additional extended rights.

“Due to the smaller budgets, we are seeing an increased demand for affordable, premium royalty-free images,” Griffin noted. “As a result, Cutcaster is directly addressing the changing needs of the marketplace by providing an expansive selection of high-quality stock images via an affordable, user-friendly licensing model.”

The company attributes its tremendous growth to its innovative business model, which harnesses the power of talented photographers and illustrators worldwide, who regularly upload their work to Cutcaster’s website. Over the last 6 months, Cutcaster’s library has been adding 20,000 new images per week or nearly two images every minute. Cutcaster’s expert review team screens every image for quality and compliance, enforcing some of the strictest standards in the imagery business. “Two out of every three images submitted by approved artists are now accepted at Cutcaster,” Cora Reed, the companies creative director noted.

“The photos I find at Cutcaster feel authentic and work perfectly within my layouts and budget,” says Mike Armenta of Taylor Stitch in San Francisco, who uses Cutcaster’s affordable images to make the newsletters he creates more appealing. “The website is simple to use, has fast search and great customer service.”

Earlier this year, the company introduced the commercially available search engine, SpiralSearch that was custom built using a unique controlled vocabulary and faceted search. SpiralSearch is just one of the many features of “Spiral” which is their custom framework used to build Cutcaster. Today, customers can find great stock images faster, more easily and with precision using the Spiral framework.

Cutcaster was founded in 2007 and has grown into one of the internet’s largest pay-as-you-go and credit-based stock image agencies. The company crowdsources the talent of more than 30,000 digital photographers and illustrators from around the globe who collect earnings each time a customer downloads their images.

Finding photos of Grandmothers and Grandfathers

It’s been a while since we have put out an image request update but lately, a number of image buyers have been downloading and asking us for more images of elderly people, seniors and grandparents doing everyday things. The range of activities that these mature adults could be doing include working out, dating, eating, playing with younger kids, routine medical check-ups or any type of activity that takes place on a normal day. To give you an idea for what types of images we have of elderly people doing everyday things take a look at these elderly people photo lightboxes. We thank you for your support and uploads.

To download any of the images above please visit Cutcaster.com or the seniors lightbox page which has over 200 high quality images of older people doing everyday things.

1,000,000 Images…Here we come.

Glorious Aerial Sunset

Cutcaster is almost to 1,000,000 new photos and vectors.

We want to celebrate this huge milestone by giving you up to 49% off any image download when you use Cutcaster credits but you have to act quickly. This offer is only valid now until we hit 1 million images so lock in the savings by purchasing a credit package at Cutcaster. See the savings.

When Words are Absent: How to Make your Photo Blog SEO-friendly

Seo-red-arrows-Search-engine-optimization-webJust because you run a photo blog it doesn’t mean you don’t need search engine optimization (SEO). Some bloggers make the mistake of thinking you can only optimize blogs with words, but that’s not true at all. In fact, there’s a lot you can do with your photo blog to make sure you get the maximum search engine benefit from your visual content. Here are some tips.

Name Your Photos

One of the first things you should do, before you even upload any photos to your blog, is make sure they have names that reflect what they are. If a photo is called DSCN2000 or PICT8500m, how are the search engines going to know what the photo shows? On the other hand, if you call your photo ‘Rhode-island-casino’ then there’s no mistake about what’s in the picture. It’s also helpful to resize your photos to the maximum size you want them to display before you upload them – this will help with page loading speed which search engines love. And when you get around to uploading your pics, then make use of ALT tags to provide additional information. Search engines love those too, and it’s also helpful for people with visual impairments who are using a screen reader or other accessibility device. Use the image name for the ALT tags and it will be obvious to every site visitor what your images show.

Titles and Links

What is your photo blog post about? Does the page title tell you? If it doesn’t, it should. Now, this doesn’t mean that you always have to be factual. Sometimes you may want to ask a question about a photo or link photos together in a theme. But generally, use a title that says what readers can expect to see. Titles are also important because they generate permalinks.

Read any advice on SEO, especially for WordPress blogs, and it will say that you should make your permalinks pretty. This is crucial. A permalink is the permanent link to your content on your blog and, just like the names of the pictures, these work better when they are short, sweet and descriptive. As we’ve said, blog software usually generates the permalink from the title, but you don’t have to use all the words in the title in your permalinks. Take out ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘and’ and the like and focus on the main words that people will use to search for your content. While you already know that keywords are important for written content, they are equally important for visual content to help people to find your stuff when they search.

To help yourself with SEO, consider using a plugin such as All in One SEO Pack, Platinum SEO, FLV Simpler SEO or the SEO features built into premium themes from a range of providers. These will encourage you to include optimized titles, keywords and descriptions for your images. This only takes a couple of extra minutes per post, and is totally worth it.

Use Tags and Categories for Better SEO

SEO is not just about search engines, but about helping users to find your content – the two go together. Clever use of categories and tags can help you achieve both aims. Think of category labels as ways of organizing large collections. For example, you might have photos of buildings, landscapes, people and art – each of those could be a category. Then you could tag individual photos by color scheme or location. If you have a travel photo blog, then perhaps you want to create categories for each continent, with sub-categories or tags for the different countries. If you’re writing about cruises, have categories or tags for the different cruise lines (Cunard, Royal Caribbean, P&O). You get the idea.

Do Some Writing

Just because you have a photo-blog, don’t ignore the search engine power of text. A couple of lines of description of the photo will give the search engines something additional to crawl and will provide an excerpt when people link to your content. And you need people to link to you, because that will also show that your site is relevant to others in its niche – and that’s also good for SEO.

And finally, post regularly and include a sitemap optimized for Google and other search engines. On WordPress blogs you can do this with the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. This will ensure that all your content is crawled and you can sign up for a free account with Google Webmaster Tools so you can check on the progress of your SEO efforts.

We would like to thank Izzy A. Woods for her guest post on optimizing your images for search engines.

Thinking Outside the Box – Huge opportunity in stock

In the last year, Cutcaster has seen an incredible improvement in the quality of photos and vector artwork, which are uploaded to the site. The quality bar keeps getting raised as we reach 1 million images at Cutcaster in the coming months. With that said, we still see gaps in our collection that have created massive opportunities. Find out here about what type of images we are actively looking for and are under-represented at Cutcaster. Fill these holes and you might find yourself with a hot seller.
To expand your portfolio into an untapped arena of stock photography, we urge you to create a portion of your portfolio that really shows your “outside of the box” thinking, i.e. get granddad out there on water-skis, or place your old credit cards in your kitchen’s blender or use Photoshop to create unique situations in your images by combining different elements. Get as creative as possible. Take chances and see what works and doesn’t work. Then carefully keyword and upload your new creative shots to Cutcaster.
Here are some examples of pictures we currently have but we’d love to see more of this type of photography and illustrations:

Crescendo Collection

We strive to provide our picture buyers with the unique images they seek. Thanks for your help creating more jaw dropping images that will impress our buyers and increase your long-term earnings potential!
Your Cutcaster team.