Where to get photographs for publication

“But I don’t want to take photos”

You’d rather concentrate on writing and not worry too much about photography?  That’s fine.  If you feel that way, you’ll be better off focusing on what you’re most comfortable with and what you’re best at.  There are some sure and easy ways that you can avoid photography altogether and still supply editors with photographs:

If you’re writing about anyone or anything FAMOUS, your target publication is sure to have many suitable photos on file.  All publications keep photo files.  Big organisations keep whole libraries of photos.

If you’re writing a travel story, any big travel agency is happy to supply photos free of charge (this includes airlines, shipping companies, hotels).  Just phone their PR (public relations) departments, preferably in advance.  Or, ask ALL of them.

All countries, states and regions have tourist and trade information services.  Try the phone book and the internet.  These government or locally-funded promotion organisations are desperate for publicity and will gladly cooperate in supplying at no fee, free photographs.

All businesses need publicity and will go out of their way to cooperate with you.  They all have PR people who will fall over themselves to supply you with photos.  Ask before starting your research and interviews, and ask again for photos when you’re there. Always get business cards, names, addresses, email addresses and so on.  Be sure to thank people who help you with free photos.

Another way (which I don’t recommend) is buying a photo from stock libraries.  They are expensive, but they are a last resort.  One well known example is www.istockphoto.com

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