You’ve got your social media profiles all set up and you’re ready to post. You scour the internet for that perfect picture only to find that it is protected by copyright or behind a paywall. LAME. So what do you do? Right now, you can’t afford the monthly fee for some stock photo sites but you REALLY need a picture of a desk. Here are a few of my absolute FAVORITE sites for FREE stock images.
Freepik is a graphic resource site that includes a ton of different image types. PSDs, vectors, and stock photos are all available for free! But there’s a catch: Freepik requires you to credit them on the picture or in the post whenever you use one of their images. Not a total deal breaker! I’ve used them for a while, and even though they’re sometimes my last resort, I still really like the variety they offer.
Photosforclass.com was concocted after the developers saw teachers’ and students’ need for images that were safe to use. I actually learned about them through the web development course I took last year. I don’t use them that often, but they are still a great resource.
I’ve talked about them before, but I want to again because Rawpixel.com has quickly become my FAVORITE free resource for graphics like PSDs. If you’ve been keeping up with me on social media, you know that I’ve been tinkering with graphic design to a very small degree. I did freehand the bee that I drew, but for other things, I use elements that I get from Rawpixel. It should be noted that Rawpixel has a huge selection of free graphics, but they also offer ones that you can pay for as well. Rawpixel is super easy to use and has been my saving grace on many (and I mean MANY) occasions.
I could go on all day about Unsplash, but I’m going to try not to. I also learned about them through the web development course I took last year and I can say with confidence that I’ve used an image from Unsplash in at least 40% of my social media posts. The site is so clean and user friendly and you can type in just about anything and get exactly what you need. Everything from landscape imagery to mockup style photos is on this site. And it is 100% FREE to use these images! They like you to credit the author and I’m really bad about not doing that, but it isn’t a necessity to use the images. You can even create your own collections of images that you like and categorize them. I love Unsplash so much it hurts.
Before I go…
I compiled this resource list because I’ve found that there are quite a few people who don’t know that the use of copyright images without permission or license to do so can get you in some pretty hot water. I had a client for my other business send me an image that she found on Google that she wanted me to use for a post for her that still had the watermark on it and she wanted me to try to remove it! You can’t do that, folks. Also, if the photographer/artist stipulates that you credit their work in an obvious manner for you to use it, DO IT. Don’t tell them that it’ll “ruin your aesthetic” when I guarantee you it absolutely will not. Instead, ask them for alternative ways to credit them (social media mention, tagging, etc.). Most importantly, keep you and your brand legally safe by only using images that you have the license or permission to use.
Where do you get your free stock images from? Do you use any of these currently? Let me know in the comments!