Healthcare is notorious as being one of the most highly regulated industries. Whether it is within the walls of a hospital or of a clinic, when you have a patient population, protecting patient privacy is part of the business. Makes sense but sometimes when it comes to telling the story of your organization, especially during an age where the latest blog post or tweet can go viral, maintaining privacy can be quite the challenge. For example, you may have institutional media policies that require obtaining consent to take one’s picture. And we’ve all heard of the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” which is another tool in the toolbox that makes the stories come to life. So how do public health professionals or health administrators do this effectively when faced with things like patient privacy policies and limited time?
Just like the internet presents a stage for sharing stories, it houses a myriad of resources where stock photos can be downloaded for free after you sign-up for memberships or pay as you go options, saving you the time of getting the perfect photo in situations when taking the photo yourself isn’t easy. Another benefit to using stock photos is that you don’t have to worry as much about Copyrights and Fair Use Infringements. With the abundance of photos out in the web, you may be thinking, wait a second, why worry when I download a photo from say Google images? I did a quick Google search and learned that the law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed and many of the photos you may find on Google images are copyrighted! So what may be a harmless blog that you just posted and uploaded with a copyright picture of “Dr. Adams smiling” may cost you more than a thousand words! For amateur bloggers like me, this was a huge realization and there are websites with free and low cost stock photos available out there. Just know that you still need to publish a credit which these websites make easy by providing you with the link to copy and paste right into your blog.
Here is a list of my top 3 websites where you can find low cost or free stock photos for health care:
- Photopin.com: Thousands of photos that are free and easy to credit. They have a direct links to local photos available through flickr.
- Freedigitalphotos.net: Search “health and beauty” and you will find thousands of photos once again. Photos are categorized and user-friendly buckets, including “smoking”, “diseases and other medical conditions”, “human body”, and “medical equipment”, etc. This website offers you the flexibility of downloading photos for free as long as you provide proper credit to the website or options to purchase photos or sign-up for an annual membership.
- Everystockphoto.com: Think of this website as a portal to free photos from several sources.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/5443501418/”>alles-schlumpf</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>