When designing a website or brand, photos and illustrations are a must to create a lively, authentic and imaginative experience for the user or customer.
And there are amazing free resources available for everyone.
Photographers have been making their artwork available online. And it is amazing what you can find for free. For our convenience, photo platforms have emerged compiling huge amounts of free stock images and offering them to the public along with tags, categories and related images so that we can easily find what we are looking for.
Here are my top 4 picks when I am looking for inspiration or high quality photos to support a brand and website. All of them published with the rights for everyone to use.
Pexels is the place I first go to when I am looking for photos and inspiration.
They offer an amazing variety of beautiful stock photos which you can use anywhere on your website as they are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero License. This means that the person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain and waived all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law.
You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
All photos are tagged and therefore easily searchable.
Recently I came across Pikwizard and I have been using it ever since. I love their extensive library with images free to use without attribution. .
Another reason I like Pikwizard is, because it includes a built-in image editor. Select an image, click on EDIT IMAGE and it will open up the "Design Wizard" with a great selection of editing tools including filters, templates, shapes and text overlay. This is very handy if you wanted to change the feel of an image by applying a filter or if you are creating a banner or poster with words on top.
So head over and give it a try :) I am sure you won't be disappointed!
Another favourite of mine is StockSnap.io also offering high resolution images. Every week they extend their collection by hundreds. In this collection you might find the more unusual shots that Pexels is not listing for you.
Their photos are also free from any copyright restrictions.
It is like a treasure chest and worth having a look around.
The fourth portal I would like to recommend is Unsplash. They have over 300.000 free high-resolution photos on offer. The photos on this platform are very artistic and polished and highlight the personality of each photographer.
In this blog post I introduced you my top four sources for photos that can be used in websites, promotions or banners:
When you look through the different collections, some images overlap of course. There are, however, still differences and you might find just the perfect match on one but not the other website.
In some instances of course, it is worth is spending a few dollars to get the license for the perfect image to complement your brand. Since Getty Images are automatically integrated with Squarespace, I like to have a look there as they are just one click away.
Otherwise, Shutterstock offers 5 images for $50 and they provide a hug range of great images and illustrations.
As a last note, it is good practice to thank the artists by sharing your finds on Facebook or Instagram. Just make sure you tag them on Instagram or Facebook so that your followers get to know about these talented people too.
What is your go to source for images? I am curious to read your comments!