the best route to go is to always do it yourself.
ofcourse the main question is time vs. money. are you better off paying for the images or putting in the time doing it youself?
i have sold an ecommerce website in the past where all the product images were mine. i personally took them and used photoshop to enhance them. i was able to collect a premium for those images. alternatively, many choose to collect royalties from images as well. they get paid for every week/month/year that their images are used. some do it on a per sale basis. bottom line is that its always good to have your own. but you have to weigh out the pros and cons involved and may very well decide to pay for them instead.
you may also decide the 50/50 route. you take the images and then hire someone to enhance them if you don`t know how to use photoshop or a similar program.
the challenge when deciding to pay for images is that good images are rare to come by. stock photos are too ordinary and common in my opinion. you might find many competitors using the same. an alternative is to hire a photographer to take pictures of your products and enhance them for you. or you can outsource the enhancement job. also trying posting wanted ads on sites like craigslist and you never know what you can find. when i was developing my ecommerce website, i found a guy in the west coast who had over 3,000 professional images of the product i was selling. i ended up buying his CD rom collection and paid him annually for an updated copy because newer products were added to it.
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