If you’re a small business and want to kick your content creation up a notch, you should start using stock photos. Stock photography is the supply of professional photographs that illustrate various situations, people, landmarks, etc., and are licensed for specific use. There are many companies on the web that provide high quality stock images that may cost $20 or more per image depending on its resolution; if you’re a small business looking to purchase stock photos, this cost can add up quickly. However, there are many free alternatives available on the web that provide amazingly beautiful stock photos for free! That’s right—zero dollars! Not a cent! Many of these websites provide images that are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain (the photographers have waived their rights to the photos) and therefore individuals are free to copy, modify and distribute the images.
Here are 4 of the best free stock photo websites I have stumbled upon:
- Picjumbo: This website features a wide assortment of photography that is categorized nicely and the website is very easy to navigate. Categories include: animals, architecture, technology, weddings and more. Picjumbo also has a search bar so you can easily find what you’re looking for without having to browse endlessly through thousands of photos.
- Pixabay: I have reviewed and recommended this website before in one of my previous blogs featuring my favourite marketing tools. Pixabay is very clean and simplistic, and its search function is one of the best I have seen out of all stock photo websites so far; it saves a lot of time conducting a quick and specific search rather than having to scroll through pages and pages of stock photos.
- FreeImages: This website has an absolutely exhaustive directory of curated photography, from nature to business images. You can browse by category or search by keyword. FreeImages also gives you the option of viewing “premium images”, which are those that belong to websites such as iStock and Getty Images, but you will have to pay-per-use for any photos belonging in the this section.
- StockSnap.io: One of my favourite free stock photo websites is definitely Stocksnap.io. This website adds hundreds of images weekly and contains a wide variety of categories. The search function is extremely easy to use, and each image contains information featuring how many times it been viewed and downloaded, which can help you decide if you want to incorporate it into your work or pass for a different image.
You may notice that all of these websites are very similar in their purpose, but you should play around a little and find out which website works best for you. Some of them may not contain the category of images that relate to your industry or business, while others may be filled with images that match exactly what you’re looking for. Try them out and have fun creating fresh content for your business!