Microstock photos are stock photographs that are for sale at places like iStockphoto.com, bigstockphoto.com and lots of other places. There are even some sites where you can get microstock photographs for free.
Let me be clear, I’m not knocking microstock photos. A lot of times, you can find some really good photos that show just the right “thing” that matches the message that you’re trying to convey.
The original twitter bird was a microstock photo, that should give you an idea of how popular these types of images are and how much designers rely on them.
The problem with a microstock photo, is that unless you pay a lot of money, you don’t own the exclusive rights to use the photo. You essentially license the use of the photograph on your product. Depending on where you buy, there may be different prices for different sizes, resolutions and for the type of media (website, print, etc.) that you intend to use the photo on.
There are millions of photos available for sale on various subjects and that convey all sorts of different moods, messages, etc.
So, with millions of photos available, and possibly thousands of sites to obtain microstock photographs from, how does something like this happen?
Really, I think it’s funny that Gingrich is using a photo that John Kerry already used. There’s just something ironic, or is it moronic? about the whole thing.
I don’t think the designers did this on purpose. I think they honestly didn’t know that Kerry, of all people, had already used the same image a few years ago.
By the way, if you’re interested in buying the same image of supporters for your campaign, go to Getty Images to buy it.