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A Lightning-Fast Way to Grab Graphics for Your Website
Copyright 2005 Ron Hutton

Just the right photo or graphic strategically placed on your website can go a very long way to achieving the desired effect, whether it's motivating someone to spend their money, click a link, download a free report or just keep reading. However, finding graphics that are available for your use without copyright infringement can be a real challenge when you don't want to pay a huge subscription fee for access to professional photos and graphics.

NOTE: This article has a free companion video tutorial that demonstrates how to quickly and easily grap copyright-free graphics for use on your website. The video can be viewed here:
http://www.gothrive.com/snag-a-photo.htm

As a marketer or webmaster you surely appreciate the fact that original graphics works on your website belong to you and as far as everyone else is concerned, the sign says "Hands Off". It's only fair. If your blood, sweat, tears and moolah went into the creation of your site's graphics, you'd be upset if you found that someone else had blatantly stolen your copyrighted work and was using it for their own commercial purposes. That's just not cool.

So, where can you go to find photos and graphics that you can use without having to spend an arm and a leg? Here are a couple of sites that offer tons of copyright-free pictures:

Stock.xchng http://www.sxc.hu/

I learned of Stock.xchng from another marketer and if I could remember this person's name, I'd gladly give him credit. I've found the inventory of photographs available at Stock.xchng to be excellent, especially consider the cost! Here's what you'll read on their home page...

"Welcome to Stock.XCHNG, the leading FREE stock photo site!

Whether you just want to browse our huge image gallery or want to share your personal photos with others, this is the site for you!

Browse through the categories of our huge gallery containing over 100,000 quality stock photos by more than 9,000 users! Need a wallpaper for your desktop? Need a pic for your commercial website design? Looking for inspiration? Have a look around."

Next...

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org

The following two paragraphs are quoted from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

"Wikipedia was created on January 15, 2001 by founders Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger, and some enthusiastic collaborators. Three years later, as of December 2004, there were 13,000 active contributors working on over 1,800,000 articles in more than 100 languages. As of today, there are 700,437 articles in English; every day hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world make tens of thousands of edits and create thousands of new articles to enhance the amount of knowledge held by the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

All text in Wikipedia, and most images and other content, is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the GFDL license ensures the content will remain freely distributable and reproducible (see the copyright notice and the content disclaimer for more information)"

You'll find additional supporting documents and links to documents explaining the terms of use for graphics available at Wikipedia. You may find this site to be very useful.

So, now you've found a photograph that suits your purposes perfectly, but it's provided in a high resolution file format that just won't resize well. You've tried altering the image dimensions in your photo editing software and the resulting image quality is just plain poor. Now what?

My favorite program that solves this problem is call Snag-It. This outstanding little piece of software offers lots of slick tools and features, but as it applies to this discussion, the simple screen capture function is indispensible. More information on Snag-It is available here: http://snagit.gothrive.com and the following video will show you just how quickly and easily Snag-It will give you the perfect graphic for your website. Go here to watch a short demonstration of Snag-It:
http://www.gothrive.com/snag-a-photo.htm

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Ron Hutton is a 20 year sales and marketing veteran with a passion for coaching and training. Subscribe to "GoThrive Online", for Free Video Tutorials for Internet Marketing and big juicy marketing tips in small, easy-to-chew, bite size servings. Free Video Tutorial Archives Here:
http://www.gothrive.com/free-video-tutorials.htm