Why is this important?
Well, first of all, the more visual your presentation, the more it will be mentally imprinted into your audience member’s brains. The reason for this is because humans are visual and we remember things a lot easier when there is a visual. Remember the old saying, a picture speaks a thousand words? Well, the perfect picture will speak a thousand words and rocket your presentation to the next level.
Second, you don’t want to be downloading copyrighted images from Google or whatever because there’s always the chance that you’ll get caught. You might be asked to stop using the image, which isn’t so bad, but you could also get fined, meaning you’ll have to cough up some money, which is bad.
So here are my three favourite places to get pictures for your presentations.
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Number one, Wikipedia, at wikipedia.org.
Yep, you heard me rightâ€¦ I said Wikipedia. And the reasons why are because Wikipedia is easy to search, the images are usually high quality, and the images are copyright free. The only things I don’t like about Wikipedia are that you might not be able to find that absolute perfect picture that has a powerful emotional meaning to it and there’s usually only one or two options to choose from. If you don’t like the image, well, you’re outta luck.
The second place I like is StockExchange, at sxc.hu, sxc.hu.
StockExchange is good because it’s a proper photo site and because the images are all free to use. All you gotta do is sign-up for a free account and you’ll find plenty of choice, butâ€¦ it can take some time to find really awesome photos that look totally professional since some photos are submitted by amateur photographers. The other drawback is that not every image can be used any way you like. You have to check the usage rights for each picture before you download. But usually, all you have to do is write a comment stating what you’ll use the photo for and you’re good to go.
And that brings me to my third choice, which is Big Stock Photo at bigstockphoto.com.
Wikipedia and Stock Exchange are good for free images, but when those aren’t good enough or when you really need that perfect image that shows the emotion you’re trying to express, then Big Stock Photo is the place to go. Personally, I use Big Stock Photo a lot because of my work for clients. But Big Stock Photo is not free.
You do have to purchase credits to buy the photos.
What I’ll usually do is buy a hundred credits for $169. And what you get for 1 credit is one photo at 900×600 resolution. Now that may seem small if you’re going to use it as your slide, but let me tell you a little secretâ€¦ the photos are such high quality that you can stretch them up to 1280×720, which is HD resolution, and not lose any of the image quality.
In fact, this is what I always do because the images are just so awesome and professional. And speaking of professional, all the images on Big Stock Photo are from professional photographers, so you really can’t go wrong.
Plus, there’s a ton of choice so you’re sure to find the exact feeling or picture you’re looking for.
But I know you’re thinking that $169 is a lot to spend on a bunch of credits you might not use. Or you might not have the budget to be spending money on pictures. And you know what? I totally agree.
Unless you really need professional photos or you’re sick and tired of wasting time looking through the free photo sites, then I wouldn’t recommend spending the money. For me, I needed to find what I was looking for a lot faster and since I get paid to make presentations, I can easily justify the purchase.
If you do decide to go with Big Stock Photo you’ll find a link at the bottom of this post and in the sidebar on the right. Full disclosure hereâ€¦ the links are affiliate links, which means if you click the link and buy photos from Big Stock Photo, I will get a commission. You certainly don’t have to use the link, but this is one way for us to help cover the cost of running the site.
So let me recap the three photo sites I mentioned here.
- First was Wikipedia, great for free images but limited in choice.
- Second was Stock Exchange, great for free images, more choice, but make sure you check the usage rights.
- And third was Big Stock Photo, great for high quality images, lots of choice, but you have to pay.
There you go, hope that helps. Let us know if you have any questions or have other photo site suggestions.
Now go and create that killer presentation and blow the competition out of the water.
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