Designing Books with Photos

by | Mar 19, 2023 | Book Production - Printing

Designing Books with Photos

Designing books with photos should incorporate the use of a professional photographer. That really all depends on what your expectations are as well as consideration of your budget.

If you need to use photos in your book design or other piece of communication you are producing, you have several options available.

How do you select the right type of Photography to use?

Many photography companies have copyrights, licensing, or other things to consider before you select each image. At this point, you need to know your budget and what you are willing to sacrifice. Here, we will discuss the most popular choices you have available and their legal restrictions, should they have any.

Hire a Professional Photographer

This is the best option for any project. By doing so, you will have the ultimate in quality material, and you can control exactly what you need to photograph, as well as how it is portrayed.

Professional photographers are not cheap, and that is due to multiple reasons. First, they have had to study and master their craft. In so doing, they have had to invest a lot of time in perfecting their art and have made monetary investments into the expensive equipment they carry around with them.

The photographer makes these investments, in order to achieve the quality of work they desire and to produce the high-quality final product you deserve.

There’s also the ever-changing panorama of digital photography that forces photographers to constantly upgrade their equipment to keep up to date.

Unless you agree otherwise – and most times pay extra – the professional photographer owns the copyright of the photos; therefore, they can sell the photos again to a different client.

Nevertheless, it is by far the best choice if your topic requires it and your budget permits it.

Rights Managed Photography (RM)

This is a royalty structure, but a cheaper option than the first. It is still rather expensive. This is where you buy the licensed photography from the company that sells both the photo and the history of the image.

You can also purchase images that have the release of the models pictured, which would otherwise be impossible to afford. However, if there are identifiable people such as friends, family or models, the photographer must get the model releases before a photographer can submit their images to Adobe Stock, a large photo stock company that is a subscription fee platform. In using this platform, you can avoid a lot of pain.

With the photos that fall under this RM category, you must provide the company with a lot of information as to the usage of the material: type of piece, industry, and time of usage. This is good for you because it guarantees that the image you are purchasing was not used two years ago by your competitor. A competitor may have used it in billboard advertising or in some other industry with which your company might have ethical issues, such as smoking or child or age restrictions.

If you need to use the photograph in another piece of communication, you have to buy a new license and specify things like time of usage, etc. Most of these companies are very rigorous in their screening processes, but this is to protect all involved.

Royalty Free Photographs

These are great photographs for general, non-specific things. The cost of the license is relatively low. One of the advantages of this type of photography versus the Rights Managed is that once you buy the license you can use it in as many places you need without having to pay for another license.

Their quality is very good. If you need a generic photo of a nice beach that no one will be able to know where it was taken, this is the way to go. But, beware, since they are very good images you could find that you are using the same corporate meeting photo in your brochure as your competitor.

It is an affordable option, but precisely because of this you should be very careful where you use them. If you are using them for a client, you should always advise them of it, so they are aware of the possible risks.

Free Stock Photographs

There are a lot of very good, free photographs online in different types of free stock photo websites. But be very careful, as one site will just copy images from another site just to set up their website and get affiliate income by you clicking on images that lead you to yet another site, hoping you will buy from it too. They may even set up these sites and not care about the quality of images, just hoping to get click-through earnings from advertisements on their websites. If it looks like a cheap website, just be very careful.

Once you find a site you like and trust, they may charge you a one-time nominal fee to where you can use the picture forever.

Stock images are great for blog posts, social media and used as inspirational quotes, but beware of using them in the corporate setting.

The photo qualities are inconsistent. Some may be a good print size and some will simply be out of focus. Most of the time you won’t notice this until after your purchase (yet the thumbnails looked so good). This is because someone enlarged an image and didn’t care if it blurred.

Nevertheless, you can find very good material that with scrutiny could help you in presentations, newsletters, books and just about anything you’d like printed.

Free Stock Photographs – Public Domain

Other stock photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication. This means you can use them even for commercial purposes without asking for permission, however, many do require attribution. Warning: just because an image is on the internet does not mean “it must be in the public domain so is free to use”.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. Should you have questions, please ask.

By Marina Rivón of Maremar Book Design & More
© Maremar Book Design & More,  All rights reserved.

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