Why designers ought to flag 123RF.com

Multitasking is the way of the web. Why do you think a spider needs eight legs? Savvy designers these days look for sites with great content for their projects, and which allows them to interact with fellow peers from around the world, gain recognition plus earn rewards – all these at one go. Oh, and the catch is… it has to be hassle-free. Crazy? You betcha!

Most would already have a list of sites up their sleeves which they would regularly fall back on. But, if you’re feeling short of a couple of aces in your card deck… then, it’s worth a flick in the wrist to check this site out. You’ll find that this is a site that should be right up your alley as it represents excellent value as a Royalty Free image library – for not only does it save you money, it also offers money-making opportunities for the creative among us.

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When the going gets tough…
The after-effects of the 2009 worldwide economic downturn is projected to take a longer time to recover. But budget crunch shouldn’t be reason enough for designers to cramp their style. In fact, the opposite ought to happen and that’s why go-getters dig 123RF.com. There, members play multiple roles i.e. buyer, seller, student, mentor.

123RF.com constantly upgrades itself to facilitate its community, but I’d grouped them into three main areas where members can generally benefit from:

1: Image Search & Purchasing Options

(a) Industrial wide analysis have shown that 123RF.com is indeed the cheapest stock image library in the market now in terms of the credits or subscription packages it offers.

(b) Its library is a reservoir of visual/vector designs for the picking – Be it choices for creative advertisements, marketing collaterals, website designs, blogging, editorial articles, etc.  Plus, choices come with extended licensing options to suit the usage.

(c) Contents are contributed by professional photographers, and undergo a stage of strict Quality Control by 123RF’s content team. So the benchmark for quality is pretty high.

(d) FREE images are offered by fellow contributors and will appear for as long as 30 days for registered members to download from when they log-in.

(e) Members can view their own profile to see their downloads, credit balance, and reward points when they sign in. It also has a nifty credits calculator which helps members decide which plan suit their budget best i.e. either credits or subscription packages, depending on their needs.

(f) What sets 123RF.com apart from the rest is that they reward loyal customers for repeated purchases with shopping vouchers and gadgets – even extra credits or subscription packages.

(g) Members are able to safely purchase images online with ease via credit card, Paypal or Moneybookers.

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2: Easy access to a large, and interactive network of creative resource

(a) Fellow members are instantly launched into a worldwide network of peers who speak the same lingo. Each equipped or provided with a wide array interactive tools such as personalized avatars, blog/comment posting areas. It also has a site mail feature which allows other members to contact each other directly in private.
(b) Members are able to publish and share their lightboxes to the public. This makes it easier for peers to review an image or illustration voted most popular within the community. Viewers can also rate images by adding the image as their favorite item.

(c) Photographers from all backgrounds are featured through it’s monthly Hear-It! segment on the website. Members are exposed (no pun intended) to respective individual’s comments and experiences about their views on the industry, photography, working traits and style.

(d) Visitors can also enjoy free access to the latest Adobe Photoshop tricks and know-hows from 123RF’s team of Photo Retouching experts in their Tutorial Blog section.

(e) Blogs are published on site each month comprising musings, recommendations, interesting topics for discussion to whet its community’s appetite for information relevant to their trade and industry.

(f) If you’re feeling particularly creative, you may also join the 123RF community as a contributor and submit your own creative designs or photographs to be sold under a Royalty Free or Editorial License. Nothing like earning cash whilst doing something you’re passionate about. Just nip down to the “Make Money” section to find out how you can start referring friends and family to 123RF.com.

3: Additional sales support available

(a) 123RF.com reaches out to its customers via Twitter, Live Chats and phone calls 24 hours daily from Monday through Fridays.

(b) The site also provides FREE image research services when your creative team is running on noose-tight deadlines.

If the above are not reasons enough, the 123RF.com community is more than glad to hear out new members that can bring fresh constructive ideas to the table. Register at 123RF.com here.

*A special deal for Image Buyers: Use promotion code “123RFSmashApps” to receive 10% extra credits or an additional 10% discount on any Subscription Package purchased! Valid till end 2010.

Summarized Facts & Background
123RF.com is an RF stock photo library & community-based website that provides an avenue for the creative community. Its platform provides photographers, illustrators and designers a chance to showcase their photographs, vector illustrations and design talent, allowing the community to promote and sell their creations to a worldwide audience. Since its debut in June 2005, 123RF.com today hosts over 6 million royalty-free stock photographs and vector illustrations with over 10,000 photographers and illustrators.

Web address www.123rf.com
Approximate size of   photo collection 6.2 million and growing (8,000+ new content added daily)
Cost of a standard blog    size image 1 Credit
Cost of 1 Credit (basic) From $0.68 to $1.00 per credit depending on number of   credits purchased
Loyalty Program Yes – Get shopping vouchers, gadgets, extra credits
or afree subscription as you accumulate Rewards Points with
every  purchase
Licenses Royalty Free (including Editorial) Extended Licenses:

– Multi seats;

– Items for resale

– printed items (books, mugs, t-shirts, canvas)

– electronic items (mobile apps, software)

Payment Methods   Supported Credit Card, Paypal, Moneybookers, Checks & Electronic
Transfers