Stock photos and images are essential parts of marketing these days. You certainly don’t have the time to create and curate your own photo collections, but you’re not going to succeed without visual content. We’ve talked a lot about the value of photos, videos, and other visual content in the marketing of your business. Of course, there’s always the million-dollar question that we hear all too often:
Where can I actually find free images that are worth using?
The short answer is that there are a lot of options. However, there are several potential answers to this question, as well as several factors that will determine the correct choice. Unfortunately for those of us on a budget, almost every image that has been created within the last three decades still has copyright protection, which means its owner has exclusive rights.
On the upside, there are a growing number of stock image sites, including those that have free images, and you won’t have to settle for second-rate quality if you know where to look. Just remember to double-check the licensing rights before you use any content, and stick with sites that deliver both the quality of material and the variety of selection that you deserve.
To help you get started, we’ll talk about 10 of the best free stock photo sites out there today and what they have to offer.
We love Unsplash, and use it for our own blogs and other posts. It has a license of its own that allows you to use images in any capacity without paying for them. Of course, the caveat is that you can’t use the images to create a competitor site. If you need quality visual content, we suggest starting here.
This is a great free stock photo tool for those who use Shopify. The images are free, as well as royalty-free, and there are even some business ideas to help you get started. The site makes it easy to use photos anywhere, not just on your Shopify site.
Pexels is another site that has its own license that tells you what you can and can’t do with its image content. Fortunately, their license is pretty open, allowing you to use and modify the images for personal and commercial use, for free and with no attribution required. They have a huge selection of images, too.
Canva is more than an image gallery and stock photo site. it’s also an online graphic design tool that makes it easy for your business to create custom graphics with or without the images included. In a matter of minutes, you can take these free images and create a custom graphic to put on your blog or social media sites.
Flickr has plenty of different images in its photo library. The image hosting platform has content that can be modified and used for commercial purposes. When you go to the filter that says “Any license” select “Commercial use & mods allowed” and you’ll return only results that are free to use. You also might want to check the rights on each image before you download it because they will vary from one to the next.
Getty Images offers a high-quality collection of commercial use photos that you can use on your blogs, website, or social media posts. You can use the images on non-commercial sites free of charge by embedding them on the site. You can’t download/upload images, but embedding is an option for those who want to use quality images and don’t mind the additional branding.
Pixabay is full of images that are licensed under what is known as Creative Commons Zero. This means anyone can use the images without requiring permission or crediting the original owner or artist. The site also reminds you to check the content to ensure that it doesn’t infringe on any rights before you use it.
At Free Images, you’ll find more than 300,000 stock images that are all free, held under the site’s own license. This means you’ll enjoy a broad range of uses, including for your own blog or social media posts. There’s also a list of restricted use rules to keep in mind.
Stocksnap.io is a site that operates with the Creative Commons CC0 license, which means all of the photos are free to download. You may also edit them as you wish and they can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. Thousands of different photos are categorized and tagged so that they’re easy to find.
This free image site also has its own licensing, which means you can do just about anything you want with the available images. Right now, the collection is a bit limited, but the quality is impressive and there are plenty of images that we’d consider using ourselves.
At Smith.ai, we know the value of having the best content, and that includes visual content. You have a lot of opportunities to put photos to work here and any of the sites listed above will be sure to point you in the right direction. Of course, once you’ve got all those new leads coming in, you’ll want to make sure that you have systems in place to manage them all.
That starts with a 24/7 answering service like the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. Not only that, but we can offer assistance with live website chat, scheduling and lead intake, and even your outreach campaigns to bring the leads in the first place. Plus, it all comes with a custom strategy to manage every last detail so that no matter what you’re doing, your business never misses a beat.
To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business promotions, lead qualification, and more. You can also find us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 727-6484.