Wouldn’t it be great if there was an image exchange for e-learning professionals to share quality photos and graphics they’ve created themselves?
Let’s face it most of what’s out there sucks..
I’m designing a compliance module on Risk identification at the moment.
Last night I took a break from my scenario writing hell and started looking for some images.
If you’ve ever had to source images for anything online, you’ll know this is almost always a frustrating and time-consuming process. Lately I’ve stopped trying to find free pictures and forked out for some istockphoto credits. I’m sure this pays for itself in time saved, compared with trawling the free sites. But as the example above shows it’s not exactly a guarantee of quality or originality.
I thought I’d try to find an even shorter short cut and so I took a look at the elearning art and elearning brothers sites. They offer high quality isolated images of people doing lots of different poses, which is great because even on sites like istockphoto it’s hard to find collections of the same model, in the same clothes etc. doing different facial expressions and poses.
However they are really expensive for what you get. A single collection of one model is $100 on elearning art. I have about 16 scenarios, all of which feature two or three characters, who all need to look different. And while their images are high quality, they all look a bit cheesy from a UK perspective. I want gritty realism, not super shiny teeth and spray-tans. Sorry guys – that just won’t cut it over here.
Of course there is another option – take your own photos. We’ve invested in some nice kit at work; a set of soft box lights and a compact DSLR camera. This is great in theory, but the module I’m working on is going to show people getting a lot of stuff very wrong and even committing fraud, so it’s unfair to ask colleagues at work to pose for the images on this occasion. The only alternative is to hire models, not something I’ve looked into, but I’m having a hard time picturing that purchase order getting approval.
Then I started to wonder if that was the only alternative. Couldn’t we as a community pool our resources somehow? We could use an eLearning network event to get the ball rolling;
- A day in a photo studio or frankly just someone’s office somewhere with a few white sheets.
- The attendees could be the models
- Maybe get a photography pro in for tips etc
- Then spend the afternoon learning how to edit them professionally on Photoshop
- At the end of the day upload them to a suitable site for all members to share.
It could be similar to the recent eLearning event – How to Produce Rich Media Material which worked really well and it could create an ongoing resource. The collection can grow over time; no charges, just credits for sharing – you get what you give.
It could save a lot of us a lot of time and cut the number of people using stock images like these. Who’s in?