'A picture paints a thousand words’ couldn’t be truer when it comes to the imagery you use on your website. In fact, the average human brain processes image roughly 60,000 times faster than written text. And 90% of information sent to the brain is entirely visual. So, getting your visual content right is essential to the success of your business.
We’ve previously talked about how to master product photography, but today we’re looking at some of the best places you can get free stock photos. Stock photos are great for projects, editorial work, art/design jobs, personal assignments, blog posts, adding images to your new website and social media posts. Images not only convey branding but also gives your customers an insight into what your business is all about.
Let’s take ASOS for example. They’ve built an empire aimed at 20-somethings who love fashion and want to be a bit different. They’ve perfected their marketing over the years, and visual content is a huge part of that. In fact, they’ve won awards for how fantastic their website is, and by fantastic I mean simple and effective. They let the images do all the work.
But not everyone has an ASOS budget! Using stock photos will save you an enormous amount of time and money hiring a photographer or even taking the images yourself. Once you’ve decided on your brand style, you can choose from millions of free stock photos and give your website a new lease of life, with minimal effort on your part. Who doesn’t love spending hours looking at stunning images, am I right?!
There are thousands of stock photo websites like Shutterstock, iStock, Alamy, Bigstock, Fotolia, Getty Images and many more. However, you have to pay for most of them, which is difficult for people on a tight budget. And since the best things in life are free, we wanted to pull together a list of awesome high-quality images that won’t cost you a dime.
You can download these free stock images without any attribution, under the creative commons license, and use them as many times as you want.
Here are 10 cool websites with spectacular free stock photos
Unsplash is one of the new kids on the block but is quickly gaining tractions as one of the world’s leading photography website for free images. It’s particularly well-known for having artistic, unique photos with high resolution.
Images are uploaded on Unsplash by photographers and photo enthusiasts, they are then carefully reviewed, selected and organized by Unsplash’s team of professional photo editors. You can download images for free under the Creative Commons license, allowing you to freely reuse, repurpose and remix photos.
Pixabay is a great source of free, high-quality photos. In addition to images, it gives you free access to illustrations, video footage, and vector graphics. You can use all materials without having to ask for permission, and you can redistribute the photos freely without violating copyright laws.
You need to register for a free account to download full-size images. Registration is 100% free!
Burst is a free stock image website created by Shopify. High-quality photos at your disposal and completely free to download. Burst has an excellent range of product photography, and you might even pick up a few tips on how to style your own product photos.
Again, there’s no requirement to credit the photographer or Burst, and you can alter the images to suit your needs. Burst images are ideal for marketing campaigns, blog post, online store’s website (especially Shopify stores), online projects and miscellaneous tasks.
On Pexels, all images are free for personal or commercial use. Images are intuitively categorized and organized to make it easy for people to search for images. You’ll be able to find trending images and newly uploaded beautiful snaps.
Pexels is also available as a Google Chrome web store extension. Chrome users can add a shortcut by downloading Pexels to view stunning high-quality images with 1 click.
5. Stock Snap
Stock Snap’s user-friendly interface allows you to search beautiful free stock photos unanimously. Their clever sorting system helps you browse hundreds of new images added each week and narrows your search into categories such as date, views, number of downloads, and trending.
With teams of editors manually checking each image uploaded, you are guaranteed high-quality images free of charge, without having to worry about attribution. You can use photos for personal and commercial projects.
Are you are a foodie, food blogger or looking for the mouth-watering images of food to post on your website or social media channels? Foodiesfeed has a wide variety of awesome food photos and they are free to download, alter and distribute.
With food photographers constantly updating the site, there won’t be any lack of fresh content to meet all your food photography needs.
If you’re a fan of quirky images, then Gratisography is your one-stop-free-stock-photo-shop. You can find an extensive range of unique images, often with a slightly humorous feel. Anyone looking to reach more of an alternative audience, you’ll have lots of fun browsing images here.
All images on the site are taken by Ryan McGuire, the site’s author and are free to download. There are weekly updates of new amusing images with abstract themes.
PicJumbo was created by web designer, Viktor Hanacek, in 2013 because he had difficulty finding good free stock images. Since starting Picjumbo, his sites get millions of visitors each month.
With an abundance of high-resolution images, covering everything from fashion to technology, there’s a bit of something for everyone. Aimed at fellow designers, you can use all Picjumbo images for free in themes and template. No attribution is required, and you’re free to download, amend and redistribute whatever way you like without any restrictions
9. ISO Republic
Founded by UK based photographer and designer, Tom Eversley, in 2014. ISO Republic is the go-to place for creative stock imagery, aimed at bloggers, marketers, social media managers, developers, and designers. You’ll find more than 3000 CC0 license gorgeous images, all in high resolution.
The site is maintained by a group of expert contributors and all images are properly inspected for quality. The same team also run a popular food and drink stock photo site, Foodie Factor.
Flickr is a popular site where users upload and share their photos. Photos are released under different copyright licenses, you have access to images under the Creative Commons certificate which permits the free usage of photos. Flickr is widely used by bloggers, teachers, retailers, designers, authors, and researchers.
It is important to note that images are not screened and user’s discretion is advised. Although the site has a wealth of high-quality images, there are thousands of low res photos that might frustrate a perfectionist.
There are loads of stock image websites online, but these are a few of our favourites. The images you choose not only reflects your brand, but also the type of customer you want to target.
Take the time to create your own personal gallery for personal and professional use. Grab a cup of tea and spend a few hours collecting images from some of the above sites. You’ll be surprised who much browsing beautiful images will spark your creativity, and you never know where that journey will take you.
If you need help with web design or choosing visual images to best represent your brand, feel free to book a free consultation with our team of Shopify Plus Experts.