You might wonder what the lightbox feature on most stock photography websites is, right? Well, this is pretty easy to answer. A lightbox is a way of taking a closer, or second look at the images you saved during your image search
It is also a way of saving images during your photo search so that you can look at them later without having to search again. And finally, it is a method of creating a helpful gallery on a stock agency’s site so you are able to compare images and decide which works best for you or your client.
Think of it as a ‘shopping cart’ feature that lets you save the photos you want so you can come back to see if you still want to purchase it later.
In the digital age, the principle is not much different from its film counterpart, except it is more of a digital asset management (DAM) tool. It is used to create and store a list of images on a stock photo site that can be viewed, referenced, compared, and purchased at a later time.
It is an overlay on top of the image search result pages that gives you a closer look at a selected image. Lightboxes are also used to place the photo you are interested in above a solid background, often black, to enhance the features of the particular image and filter out what other images may take away.
The lightbox also allows you to review images that you saved earlier and lets you compare the images and examine them thoroughly before deciding. It also allows you to separate the ones you are interested in from those you don't. Basically, you can think of it as a ‘shopping cart’ feature.
Another use is being able to send the lightbox gallery to a client so that they can choose the images they want. Along the same lines, if you work remotely with other coworkers, you could compile a contact sheet and share an image gallery via email.
Using a lightbox feature on Stockphotos.com is quite easy, and you can use it for free! We've put together a quick step-by-step guide to teach you how.
1. Sign up for a user account on Stockphotos.com (this is free of charge), or log in to your account if you already have one.
2. Search for images using the search bar. When you find one you want to save to a lightbox, simply hover over it, and you'll see a heart icon on the upper right side of the image preview. Clicking on this icon will save the image to your default “My Favorites” lightbox.
3. You can also click on a specific image to see its details and then click the “Add to Collection” button below the image to save it in your Lightbox folder. With this button, you can also choose the lightbox to save your image.
4. You can access your lightboxes from either your main user page or by clicking the three-line button on the upper right corner of the screen to access the menu, and then clicking on “Favorites”.
5. On your “Favorites” page, you'll see the default “My Likes” folder, and you can create multiple extra collections (or lightboxes) according to your needs and manage them. For example, you can select items from a collection and copy or move them to a different folder, among other actions.
Simply put, a stock photo agency lightbox will help you organize images into different folders (or ‘lightboxes’) so that you can take a look at all the images you saved during an image search.
It is also great to use one to save your image selections instead of just purchasing the first image you see. When you save a folder full of images you can go back and delete the ones you want and pick which one you think is the best by comparing all the images together.
To learn more about how to do a thorough image search, read our ‘Top 5 Tips Helping You Waste Less Time Finding Stock Photos.’