Free stock photography is something I wish I knew more about early in the start-up phase of my business.
There has been countless times while working on my blog and branding where I’ve been in need of good looking, not overly-staged stock photography that doesn’t cost a dime!
Here’s a short list of resources I frequent regularly for good, free stock photography:
THE KEY TO USING STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY
Make sure the photography is actually free.
This is a BIGGGGG thing to note. It is illegal to be seen to be using someone else’s work for your own commercial projects if the work (art/photography) isn’t in fact free for commercial and personal use. You may notice on some websites offering stock photography it becomes very obvious when the imagery isn’t free because there won’t be any option to download the imagery without pre-purchase. Others may be harder to spot.
Always check on the licensing of each photo you’re planning to download and use and ensure it is clearly stipulated that the imagery is free for commercial and personal use because no body wants to be hit with copyright infringements!
Use imagery that reflects the flavour of your brand.
Since I love talking about branding around here, it’s important to ensure you’re using stock photography that actually compliments your branding rather than just using an image because it’s free and looks pretty.
It can be hard to find imagery that suits your business but it’ll make your branding all that more consistent if you stick with using stock photos that resemble the flavour of your business in the style/colour themes. For example, if you’re a tech business aiming to score modern millennial entrepreneurs as clients you wouldn’t use imagery of older men and women in conference-style tech scenarios as it just wouldn’t fit your brand. Think about what you’re trying to achieve when using your stock photography and make sure it works within your branding.
Brand the images.
Don’t forget, these stock photography sites and their images are FREE which means millions of others also have access to the very same imagery you’ll be using within your business, so be sure to add your own flair to the imagery. For example, use them within your blog post templates teamed with your colour theme, fonts and logo – make them work within your brand and business so as to look like they belong with your brand and consistent with all of your other marketing material.
If you know of any other great stock photography sites please let me know via the comments or by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll update the list!
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