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I apologize in advance if this may be off topic (I'm new here so I am not quite sure)

But I have sifted through many Stock Photography resources and I have found very little to none, reasonably priced / free stock photo images of masculine men being groomed / or smiling with nice haircuts.

For example, I am trying to find one with a guy getting his hair washed. I found this: but, $300 for 1 photo? That's crazy.

I had assumed that I'd be able to find salon 'collections' available, similar to how you can find graphic design 'collections' of buttons/backgrounds and other types of resources. But I am starting to learn I may be wrong, and this seems like it is going to be much more difficult / financially burdening than I anticipated.

Free sites like are not high quality enough models. (masculine, etc), and have little to none in a Salon type setting.

'Royalty Free' sites like istockphoto or shutterstock are pretty pricy, especially for subscriptions ($200/month?)

Perhaps I am experiencing culture shock and do not understand this environment. If this is the case, if you can link to a good article describing the culture of stock photography as it relates as a resource to graphic design, I'd be very grateful.

If there's a secret I've been missing out on, please share.

If I should just steal images off google search, because the event of legal action against the small salon business I'm doing work for is highly unlikely, I'd love to hear your explanation.


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When you can't find the exact subject you are looking for, it's a good option to consider hiring a photographer to take some real pictures for you. It would cost you like that one photo but you will get tons! – Yisela Jan 10 '12 at 10:48
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think Yisela above has your solution. Hire a photographer, find some customers who are willing to model, and take photos of them IN the salon. The bonus for the salon is that the images will also promote his/her actual business, not just "generic salon." With a digital camera and a laptop, you can review photos on site, and make sure you and the owner have something you are both satisfied with.

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Another avenue would be to contact one of the companies whose products the salon uses. sometimes they have a whole section of marketing materials and the only thing they ask is that you let their logo intact if you use their images.

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Definitely a good avenue to pursue. These would come with some kind of obligation to mention the product in final poster, but that should not be a problem in this context. – Alan Gilbertson Jan 11 '12 at 22:48

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