Use of graphics and photo images are extremely important in creating a visually appealing website. Selecting images with real impact requires consideration of resolution, size, copyright protection/licensing, color, composition, relevance to your message, and, for images with people, many additional factors like age, gender, and mood. Images may be your own, purchased stock photos, or photos taken for you by a professional photographer. Resolution, shape (landscape, box, square, or portrait), and format (jpg, png, vector) are also important considerations. In order to optimize page load times, images must be properly compressed. Image resolutions are lower for web applications than print applications. In addition to photos, a graphic designer may be used to create scalable vector graphic images (e.g., logos) utilizing graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
It is important to select images that either licensed for use by you or are not protected by copyright laws. Many people have been guilty of using protected images found through online searches and some individuals have even received legal demands for penalties and fees associated with violating copyrights. Also, be careful about using images of people you have taken without getting a release. Best practices include purchasing licensed stock photos, downloading images from credible free stock image sites, or taking professional photos of your own. Google also now has an image search feature that filters images by usage rights and the copyright free images are generally not very good. Licensed stock photos cost about five to ten dollars each depending on the volume of images purchased. There are also many free stock photo sites that may have suitable images for your application, a few links are provided below.
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