Did you know that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual? Or that including an attractive, full-color image with your content increases readership by 80 percent?
Do you manage a website or maybe even a handful of websites for different clients? If so, you probably spend too much time scrolling through stock imagery sites trying to find an image that looks somewhat authentic. Before you know it, an hour has passed and this is what you’ve come up with …
I’m kidding! Nobody would actually go surfing with a laptop now that we have GoPros, right?
About 46 percent of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies. Fortunately, photographers, artists and business entrepreneurs have filled the gap for digital marketers by creating online resources that provide beautiful, free stock images. Original, high-quality stock photos don’t have to be a hassle to find anymore. To prove it, I’ve listed my five go-to resources when searching for royalty-free stock images.
Unsplash is usually my first choice for beautiful photos. With the tagline “Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos,” Unsplash uses the Creative Commons Zero license, which doesn’t require credit to be given to the photographer. The site publishes 10 new featured photos a day from curators around the world. This provides a wide range of photographers with different styles and varied backgrounds. All of the photos posted by Unsplash can be used for any purpose, both commercial and personal. Use them for blogs, art, book covers, shirts, websites — whatever you want!
The Unsplash team tries to choose curators who have positively affected the culture of creativity or influenced creatives in their field. Even though it’s not required, it’s always nice to give credit where credit is due.
PixaBay is another great resource that posts photos under the Creative Commons license. These photos can be used without attribution or giving credit to the artist. The website is clean and easy to use, making it simple to search the 780,000 free photos, vectors and illustrations available.
Don’t be fooled by the sponsored images that are shown to finance Pixabay. They are usually marked with a ShutterStock logo and often cost money to purchase and use.
The self-described “best of the best”, PicJumbo says it’s had more than 4 million downloads since its creation in 2013. New photos are added daily from a wide variety of categories, including abstract, fashion, city, nature, startup and more. Photos are royalty-free for personal and commercial use.
The website also offers unique paid packages for bloggers, designers and agencies. Starting at $10 per month you can get exclusive access to never published, original images sent straight to your inbox every month.
All the photos on PicJumbo are original, real-life images shot by real people around the world.
Free-to-use original photography by Daria. I like this website because I often find photos that aren’t available on any other site. Daria is a visual UX designer and startup coach who understands how important it is for us digital folks to make things fast yet beautiful.
She also understands that finding images that carry the right message can take hours, and she therefore posts photos she takes in her spare time for all of the internet to use — free for personal and commerical use.
Last but not least, I’m listing the awesome library of resources named Oozled. This site is not just an image gallery, but a full-on web application where people can submit their favorite online tools and contribute to the guide.
The application provides links to top resources from across the web — tools for learning and improving skills such as front-end development, email marketing, motion graphics, project management, sales and pretty much any online technical skill you can think of.
Oozled also has a beautiful library of photography resources such as stock imagery, product mockups, and applications — both free and paid. I highly suggest you bookmark this site because I often find myself finding new tools to help me in my day-to-day marketing initiatives.
As you can see, there is a growing number of fantastic resources for stock photography — and that means there’s no need to rely on cheesy stock photos any longer. Now that I’ve given you my five favorite places for free stock images, it’s up to you to take advantage of them for your email and website design!