So you want to create an ad, postcard, or brochure for your business and you don’t have any pictures you can use. You have a few options depending on the number of images you need and your budget for acquiring the images.

Hire a photographer.

Your location, image needs, subject matter, model needs, and timeframe will all be factors in deciding the price of custom photography. Most times, product still-life photos can be done in a photography studio quickly without a rush status for a reasonable fee. And it will save you the headache of doing it yourself.

Take the photos yourself.

If you have a digital camera that you know how to correctly use it, then go for it. Have the patience to adequately light your images, or better yet, take them outside in natural light if you can. If you are taking photos of a product outside, be sure to do it in a setting that will look nice when placed in your brochure. Don’t take the photos of your product in the grass then ask an artist to retouch the photo (photo retouching can greatly increase the cost of your project). Be mindful of reflections on glass – it can be costly to accurately retouch those as well. If you are taking a photo of a location, be sure to do it on a nice sunny day and when the sun is overhead, not directly shining into the camera. If you have the patience and know how this can be a super cheap option for you!

Use stock photography.

Sometimes artists and agencies can offer stock photography for free, but this is often very limited in subject manner. Instead I encourage you to check out the numerous options online for stock photography subscriptions. In some cases for a few hundred dollars you can get unlimited downloads from a stock site for a limited period of time. If you only need a few really good photos check out some of the pay per image services where individual images generally cost about $10 each. You can often find highly specialized and creative images on these sites for a low standard cost.

Ask your manufacturer.

Many manufacturers of things like windows and siding (to name a few) will allow you to use their corporate photography if you are a dealer or reseller of their products. This is often free and can yield some excellent custom photography images, all you need to do is ask them for it!

One thing you generally can’t do is take images off of published websites. Not only are these images too low res for your printing needs, but they are almost always copyrighted. So when in doubt, just steer clear of these or you may end up ultimately paying the price with a lawsuit!

Post written by KRSmith at


ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit or follow us at


There is one comment for this post.

  1. Wedding In Brighton on October 7, 2011 6:43 am

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