Toolbox Series #6: Photos for Free
One of the most difficult challenges for any marketer, designer, blogger - basically anyone who creates content for online consumption, is finding the right imagery to go with your work. We all know the value imagery brings to content, but we’re not all fortunate enough to be a professional photographer - or be in a position to hire one for that matter. That’s where royalty-free photo sites come in.
Many people probably don’t know that every photo posted online has usage rights associated with it. So, the idea of just finding an image you like and using it without any background whatsoever is dangerous. Copyright infringement is no laughing matter and the people who’re trying to make a living off of their photography don’t appreciate having their property taken without consent. Best to use a site you can be sure is offering imagery you can use, and even goes so far as telling you specifically that an image is free-to-use, like the ones listed below.
Pixabay: This is an awesome site with imagery of all kinds and the best part - no attribution is required. Just find an image you like and you’re good to go.
Pexels: Another excellent resource for free photos without any need for attribution. You can give credit if you wish - the photographer’s credentials are clearly labeled.
Gratisography: This is a good site for random images with an artistic bent. All of the images are royalty-free and no attribution is required.
StockSnap: This is a good source for images when you want something more generic. They require no attribution for using their selection.
New Old Stock: One of the best sources around for vintage images without copyright restrictions. You can find an incredible range of subject matter for use without attribution.
The following sites are a little bit different, but still incredibly worthwhile. These sites require you to sign up with your email address and then you receive a set number of new images, all free-to-use without attribution, in your inbox each month. This is one of the best uses of your email address you’ll ever find - outside of messaging of course. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the high-quality, often-breathtaking images, and every one of them is completely free to do with what you will. It’s a great way to stock up on images you might need one day and it costs absolutely nothing.
Death to the Stock Photo: This is an amazing source for creative and outlandish photos of things you might or might not find useful. But, you never know when that ostrich chasing a car image might come in handy.
Little Visuals: This service will deliver 7 high-res images to your inbox every week. Some may require attribution if used for commercial purposes, but those types of restrictions are spelled out clearly for those images.
Unsplash: This is one of the best inbox-image services going. They send 10 high-res images every 10 days and all require no attribution. It’s an excellent resource for images of architecture, nature, and similar general subjects.
As stated previously, all of the sites listed carry images you can freely use without fear of breaking the rules. They each offer something a little different than the others and all have value to anyone who often finds themselves searching for the perfect picture to go along with their content. They may just save you a lot of time and frustration, and, who knows, maybe even inspire you to write something completely new.
Bonus: Guess the images above. Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!
I'm Spencer Wade - strategist, designer, manager of people and ideas. Platinum Top Contributor for Google Search, G+ & AdWords - TC Mentor too. I’m the founder of Lift Conversions, a Google Partner agency, located in Chicago. I’ve completed Google’s tests - Search, Display, Video, Analytics, & Mobile, and enjoy being a part of the forums. My agency is also an Official City Partner in the Get Your Business Online effort with Instant Verifier access to help immediately verify business listings.
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