Close
Close

Where to Get Product Pictures for your Blog

reader-questionsFrank Johnson (no url provided) asks – “Darren – my question is how you find product photography for your product-related blogs. Do you 1) take photos of the products yourself; 2) grab them off the manufacturers’ websites after asking for permission to use them; 3) grab them off the manufacturers’ websites without asking for permission (assuming it’s fair use); 4) do something else? Thanks!”

I generally take the approach of using a companies product shots without permission (if they’re the original producer of that content). In reality I am generally emailed press releases when a new product is launched which includes a product shot (or a link to one). Most major manufacturers also have press sections on their sites which generally have image galleries specifically designed for use in the press or online media.

The key is to compile a list of the official sites and keep an eye on them (hint: don’t just look at the US sites, often products are released in Europe and Asia before the US).

When I can’t find these I also have relationships with a couple of other blogs and sites in my niche where I have reciprocal agreements to use pictures that they’ve used (and they can use mine).

In a last case resort I’ve asked for permission to use other site’s shots if they’ve specifically taken them but it rarely comes to this – manufacturers are pretty good at getting pictures out pretty quickly once a product is released.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Roman says:

    Yah, I use the same way. First I ask other bloggers for the pictures. If there are some logos on the pic so dont leave them. Some bloggers use a “water” logos which are hard to read. They just want to know who really backlink to the original pic. So if you see a logo and it’s hard to read just add a backlink somwhere around the pic. Your relationship will be then stronger =D…

  2. Daniel says:

    Whenn blogging I think almost any material can be considered “fair use”.
    I had a little trouble posting movie pictures/posters/screnshoots… that was until I descovered “fair user” :)

  3. Bob Angus says:

    If you have an affiliate account, most affiliate networks have product links or feeds that give you images, useful specs, and of course links to make money. This info comes straight from the manufacturer or merchant.

  4. TP says:

    If it’s a product blog like mine is, then use a combination of things. I take my own pictures when possible, or use pictures off the companies websites without permission – I figure that’s why they are there and want the best image of their product out there anyway. I sometimes use google images, but if it is obviously a picture taken by another blogger, definitely ask permission first. I’ve even gone as far as to take my camera with me to the supermarket (which is where my products are) and take the picture there so I don’t have to rebuy it.

  5. I’ve used Google’s image search for a lot of my pictures. Everything has has been in public domain I have not had an issue using in the past. As long as you are not editing the picture the companies usually do not have a problem with it. If you are editing you should ask first because most big companies have strict branding guidelines and you don’t want to be in violation of them.

    Google’s image search can be found at http://images.google.com/

  6. MorgueFile.com is a free stock photo resource.

    Evan, grabbing images from Google is pretty risky, actually. If I pay for a stock photo posted to my site, it can be found on Google’s image search – and if someone else takes it, that’s definitely not in the category of ‘public domain’. You have such a great site, so please be careful. :)

  7. Nick says:

    I’m a free member to two stock photo websites where I can use the pictures basically however I please. They’re all high res, so it’s really nice. I also purchased a large group of travel wallpapers online for $5, so I can use those as well.

  8. Huckleberry says:

    My first stop is usually to the manufacturer or creators website. Like Darren said most will have some sort of press area or at least product shots of some kind on their website. If I can’t find it their my next stop is to Google Images. And if all else fails there is usually something on Flikr.

  9. A Marques says:

    If I need product pictures I use your approach: use the ones released when the product is announced by the manufacturers. If I need a general photo, Flickr is a great place to find some, Lot’s of pictures there are released with a Creative Commons License and as long as you follow the rules (attribution, no editing, etc.), I think you are safe to use them. From me, usually owners get a link to the photo page and to their profile on Flickr.

  10. Mike Panic says:

    Stock photography? iStockphoto.com is dirt cheap, sxc.hu is free.

  11. This can also be effective for product photography:

    A couple months ago I wrote a detailed article on How to Find Great Free Photos for Your Blog.

    It focuses on the proper ways to use Creative Commons licensed photos on your blog for free. You can find excellent, high-quality editorial photographs all over Flickr, you improve your blog, and you can support the Creative Commons license all at once!

  12. Matt says:

    I can relate to this directly. I have to source images for products on a daily basis. I do this in a number of ways-

    1) manufacturers website
    2) press/media area of manufacturers website
    3) Google images
    4) Competitor websites
    5) direct contact with manufacturer

    In general it never gets past step 2, how ever it is fairly common for google images to be the end source.

  13. One of the reasons I love the Amazon.com affiliate program is for the images. Before the WP 2.2 upgrade, I loved the Amazon plugin – it made getting images from Amazon so easy. I am anticipating its new release at some point.

  14. I use affiliate programs a lot, as mentioned by Bob and Char above, especially Amazon. Granted with a TV related site, there are plenty of related DVDs, soundtracks, books and such that fit in quite nicely. For me a nice graphical link to a TV show DVD set works really well as a nice visual cue about what you might find in a post. Not to mention that if somebody actually clicks on it and buys something, I make a buck or two. With the many product lines Amazon now has, I could see this working for many different blog niches.

  15. My blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence, so I can not use the companies product shots.. Which sources would you recommend instead. I usually use creativecommons.org and the wikipedia (de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Public-Domain-Bilderquellen) as source.

  16. Frank Johnson says:

    Darren – thanks so much for answering my question in such a helpful manner. Thanks too to all those who have comments. Lots of good information. Frank

  17. Brian says:

    Is it bad to snag images off corbis.com? My understanding is that even their royalty free images are not supposed to be free. But I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for this either. Does anyone know?