Alright. Show of hands. Have you ever needed a very specific image to use for your business and the first thing you did was search Google images? *raises hand*
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually illegal to just Google any photo you want to use in a marketing ad, a social media post, or in any aspect of your business. Yes, that’s right. As a business owner, you can’t promote any product or service you offer by using a photo found online that you don’t have the rights to. Seriously, this can end with a lot of trouble and cost a lot of money. So, does this mean you have to physically photograph every photo used in your business? No!
This is where stock photos become a business’s best friend.
Stock photography describes a type of very general multi-purpose photos that can be used commercially in any way you want. Some stock photos are available for free and some cost to credit the photographer depending on the source. Today, I’m going to be sharing 7 websites that offer completely free stock photos you can use without limits for your business.
Whether you’re a restaurant, a real estate agency, a blogger, and anything in between, these stock photo websites offer millions of photos that can help to really elevate the visual aspect of your business and help you connect with your customers all while not breaking any laws and not costing a dime. What could be better than that?? Let’s get started!
Pexels is listed #1 on this list on purpose because it’s typically my go-to for any project that requires stock images. They literally have an array of everything, and I like how easy their website is to search. From nature to portraits to cute puppies, chances are, Pexels will have something you’re looking for and more. Like this cute vintage-inspired moodboard above.
And…I recently discovered Pexels has a stock video website too, so if you’re looking for some top-notch video, keep them in mind!
I never realized how many wonderful nature photos Pixabay featured until making this collage, but wow, if you’re looking for stunning scenery or anything outdoorsy, Pixabay is the place to be. One of my favorite categories to search on Pixabay is “city” because they have the most amazing showcase of city light photography.
That’s what so great about all of these stock websites. Although some may specialize in certain types of photography more than others, they all have a variety of images and styles to offer. Give each of them a try to see what suits your business’s aesthetic the best and helps you connect with your audience the most.
Would just look at that aesthetic? *swoon* I’m in love.
I typically go straight to Unsplash if I’m looking for light and airy, more feminine photography. Unsplash showcases very “Instagram-esque” images that seem so simple, yet simultaneously so appealing. Think blogger, pretty flowers, coffee shops, etc. that can really help a business to connect with their audience for a more authentic lifestyle approach.
Scrolling through Barn Images website never fails to make me want to pack everything up and move to the countryside of Scotland where my nearest neighbor is 50 miles away. Like, how are you not supposed to want to travel the world looking at these? Barn Images has a knack for beautiful landscapes and intricate architecture and is perfect for any business associated with travel, simple living, or the outdoors.
Did someone say “color”? If you did, StockSnap is where you need to look. They specialize in brightly-colored, abstract images. These images are great for anyone looking for an abstract background, plenty of textures, and maybe even a very attention-grabbing photo. Talk about a pop of color.
RawPixel is my newest find and man, where has this website been all my life?? I love the earth-toned cohesiveness that most of their images seem to have. They have literally anything you can think of, and not just images. Vectors, Photoshop files, PNG files, mockups, and illustrations! This is a great resource for all my fellow designers out there.
Be warned though: RawPixel only gives 5 free images per day, so choose your photos wisely.
Ahh, good ole Canva. You may have heard of Canva before as it’s primarily a simplified drag-and-drop online design tool. (And they even have an app now which is super amazing.) Canva’s main goal is to give non-designers the tools and resources needed to create simple, yet very attractive graphics for social media, website banners, and even photo editing. Canva also has it’s own hub for free stock photos to use both in the Canva editor and with other programs.
Canva’s photo selection seems to aspire to be very “vintage millenial lifestyle”. They have a variety of moodier, push-the-envelope photos which is great for any business or designer looking for something completely out of the box with an edgy flare.
And that’s a wrap! Those are my top 7 go-to websites to visit when I’m on the hunt for a great stock photo. Stock photography can really help to elevate an image and make it come to life. I hope today’s post helped you in at least one of two ways:
- You now realize the importance of making sure to only use commercial-use images in your business
- You’re now equipped with an entire list of image resources to use in your business however you see fit
Now you can ditch Google images and have millions of beautiful, commercial-use images for free right at your fingertips at all times. After taking a peek at all what these websites have to offer, make sure to bookmark this post or your favorite stock photo site so it’s always close at hand!