Many can be downloaded for only a few bucks from sites such as Istockphoto, and they’re royalty-free.
Her blog item is a good reminder for Publicity Hounds that you, too, can use stock photos in a publicity campaign—in certain instances.
When stock photos aren’t OK:
—On the home page of your website. I see more home pages ruined by generic stock photos than I can count. Why not include, instead, a photo of the owner of the company so potential customers can see who they’d be doing business with? Or a photo of your product, or a photo of you providing a service for your customers or clients?
—In media kits. All photos within your media kit should be original.
—Never use stock photos of certain products or services and try to pass them off as your own. This is deceptive.
When stock photos are OK:
—Let’s say you need a photo of Abraham Lincoln to accompany an article about the Civil War that you’re submitting to a magazine. Submitting a stock photo is certainly acceptable.
—If you’re writing an article about a tourist attraction, the sunsets in Key West, Florida for example, and you don’t have your own photos, by all means use a stock photo of a sunset in Key West.
—“Mood” photos that serve simply as illustrations to accompany an article.
–Photos of special events you’re writing about, such as the Boston Marathon.
My ebook “How to Use Photos & Graphics in Your Publicity Campaign” offers lots of tips on other places to find stock photos, and advice on how to create your own information graphics.