We are always hearing about how important images are for our social media posts. Indeed, statistics show that images are the most compelling form of content on Facebook – accounting for 87% of interaction, while Tweets with an image get 35% more retweets on average.
This creates a sustained need for engaging, high quality images, but what do you do if you have neither the time to take photos yourself or the money to buy professional stock images?
Never fear, we have compiled a list of 10 fantastic resources where you can snap up great free images for your website, blog, newsletters, Facebook and Twitter, totally free of charge.
Gratisography was founded by NY visual artist and photographer Ryan McGuire, who enjoys capturing “eclectic and whimsical” images.
Very kindly, Ryan has decided to make some of his awesome images available to download in high-resolution, for use in personal and commercial projects – 100% gratis.
New pictures are added weekly, ranging from funny faces to far out Photoshop creations. These images will certainly make your posts stand out!
Unsplash allows altruistic photographers to submit their images to be shared with the world free of charge. Every 10 days, the creatives at Unsplash pick 10 images to send out. Since the curators are from varied backgrounds, it brings a wide range of photographs and different styles to the featured photos.
The Unsplash license allows for photographs to be used for any purpose — both commercial and personal. Blogs, art, book covers, t-shirts, and more — paid or unpaid projects — they’re all allowed under the license.
As its name suggests, this site aims to replace the cheesy stock photos so often used in marketing materials with striking, original images. It was founded by two photographers, Allie and David, who realised they could help brands create “rich digital experiences that elevate their visual aesthetic” by sending out packs of their images that would otherwise be gathering dust.
Sign up and you will receive a monthly selection of images you can use for commercial use. The pictures come accompanied by stories about their provenance so users know “they come from the heart”. Nice.
According to StockSnap “this is not your typical crappy stock photo site”. The site curates the best stock photos from around the web and uploads photos from select photographers within its network. The end result is a “bad ass” repository of beautiful stock photography.
All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons – CC0 and do not require attribution. That means you can copy, modify, distribute any photo on the site, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission!
Need photos of bright young things tapping away on MacBooks or scrawling brainstorming sessions on the whiteboard? You’ll find them here.
There are no fancy categories or search functionality, simply one long, scrolling feed of right-clickable high-resolution images. You can also share them directly to social media.
Photographer Jay Mantri wants you to “make magic”. For that reason he releases 7 new photos every Thursday that users can “do anything” with.
There’s a beautiful, artistic selection of architecture, nature and abstract images available. A million miles off the typical stock offering.
We’re sure you are no stranger to Flickr, but many people may overlook the usefulness of this social photo sharing site. With over 92 million users (Oct. 2014) and with a million pictures shared daily (Oct. 2014) it’s clear that Flickr can be a great place to come to for both professional pictures as well as more authentic, user-generated images.
Just make sure you check the licensing before using the images.
Pexels is a database of more than 2,700 free images, updated every week with at least 70 new high-resolution photos. The images are sourced from other free image sites, so you may seem some duplication, however it is intended as a handpicked, ‘best of’ selection.
This means you can save time looking for the perfect picture, and there’s also a useful search feature allowing you to search by content or concept.
Viktor is both a photographer and a web designer. He started Picjumbo because he couldn’t find a stock photo agency that wanted his images – when you check out his portfolio you will find this hard to believe.
But their loss is our gain, because here you will find a fantastic database of free images, sorted into categories ranging from people and nature to technology and architecture. Being one himself, Viktor understands the requirements of designers, and provides his images in full resolution (mostly 3500+ px in width). Do what you will with them. All he asks for is attribution, but that is also up to you.
Life of Pix is the brainchild of Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal, Canada, tapping into the creativity of their network of talented photographers. Rather than letting their beautiful pictures “die on a hard drive”, photographers are urged to donate their work to the public domain.
The result is a collection of very high quality photos available for personal and commercial use with no copyright restrictions. In addition to still images, sister site Life of Vid offers free Vimeo videos suitable for corporate use. Subjects range from tranquil waterfalls and sunsets to action at the airport and on the streets of NYC.
There’s simply no excuse for visually bland blogs or posts. These sites offer a wealth of artistic talent that will breathe creativity and character into your event marketing. And, best of all, they’re all completely free of charge. Time to get snap happy!