Images are king when it comes to creating quality content but it can be tough to find free images for business use. You can find free images, but the quality isn’t that great or the subject matter isn’t relevant to your business at all. Then when you finally find a high-quality image with relevant subject matter, it isn’t a free use image.
This is when many business owners resort to one of two options. Either they hire a photographer to take pictures for them or they start buying commercial use images. While there’s nothing wrong with either of these images, not all businesses have a budget available for this.
This guide will help you find free stock photos that you can actually use for your business.
The images on Unsplash are stunning. This is because they’re curated by professional photographers. With the consistent quality, you can depend on this site to give you what you need.
If you make an account you can create collections, which is incredibly useful and eliminates the need for repetitive searches.
The downside of Unsplash is that the volume of images is lower than some of the other websites on this list. It also doesn’t have consistent new inventory, which can limit your options.
What’s nice about Pexels is that you can search for something specific or for a general category. This comes in handy when you aren’t sure what you want, but you have an idea. So you can find images that relate to a location, an emotion, or an activity.
Pexels also stands out if you’re looking for mockups and templates. These are perfect for displaying interface mockups. If you have a new website or app, then these will come in handy.
One downside of Pexels is that there are some images that are for limited use. For example, you can find some amazing space photography. But it’s the type of imagery that you’d get from NASA and it’s only appropriate to use it in specific applications.
When it comes to accessing a huge database, you can’t miss Pixabay. There are over a million images to browse through. What’s really nice about Pixabay is that you can choose the size of the image before you download it. There is a Captcha, but you can avoid that by creating a free account.
The biggest downside of Pixabay is that the catalog isn’t curated. This means that the quality can vary greatly. If you’re using your images for business use, you’ll want to be careful. Don’t choose an image that will not look professional or create a negative impression of your brand.
One other thing to be aware of is that Pixabay allows images that are not work safe. You can avoid these images from appearing in your search results by enabling their SafeSearch feature.
If your business is a bit quirky, youthful, or outside of the standard professional business, then you need to check this stock image website out. The images you’ll find here are not your typical stock photos. Strange, surreal, and alternative are all words that could describe the images you’ll find on Gratisography.
While the selection of images isn’t as large as you’ll find on other stock image websites, new images are added every week. This means that you’ll need to frequently check back for new content.
There are thousands of images on Pikwizard that cover a broad range of topics. The quality is decent, though maybe not as polished as some of the other stock photo sites.
What makes this site stand out is the natural feel of the people images. You’ll find normal situational images that feel natural. None of that cheesy, overly posed, and obviously fake stock photography.
The downside of this website is that not all of the images are free use. This can make finding the perfect image frustrating. You’ll need to be careful to verify the license given with each image you download.
PicJumbo is a great resource when you’re looking for free use professional quality stock images. There are a wide variety of categories and the search function is easier to use than other image websites.
Where this website lacks is that the pictures can be a bit overly commercial. They can also be overly processed to have too many special effects.
Lesser Known High-Quality Photo Sources
While I’ve listed out some of the more popular and well-known websites for royalty-free images, they aren’t your only options. This list of lesser-known websites has high-resolution images that are available for download. You’ll find a variety of copyright restrictions and genres with these free stock images. You’ll find that they are most useful when looking for a niche category of images, such as vintage photos.
How to Find Relevant Free Images for Business Use
Start your search by knowing what type of image you’re looking for. Then you can go to the right stock image site that’s most likely to have what you want. As you search and use the different stock image websites you’ll get a better idea as to which ones have free images for business use that are right for your needs.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re searching is that the database of images isn’t perfect. When you enter a search term, it looks for images with a relevant tag. This means your search results are totally dependent on the person uploading the image.
While it’s smart to have an idea of what kind of stock image will work for your needs, don’t get stuck on that idea. You may not be able to find an image that exactly matches the image in your head. Or you may find that going in a completely different direction will work better with your written content.
Find Great Looking Free Images for Business Use
As you can see, there are several options when it comes to finding professional-quality public domain images for business use. While these aren’t the only image websites, they are some of the best and most consistent and curating high-quality images.
Remember, if you sell a product or have a retail location, don’t solely depend on stock photography. You’ll want to showcase your goods, location, or service. This means hiring a professional photographer to capture some quality images that are custom to your business. You can then intersplice them with stock photography.
The images you use are only half of the equation. You need to have high-quality written content to pair with them. I can help you with that. My content writing services will help you bring the images to life through the written word.
What Is a Creative Commons License?
Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization that photographers and other artists use to gives other people license to use their work. There are six different variations of licenses available. Each gives a different level of sharing the ability to the end-user. When choosing images for your business, pay attention to these licenses to ensure you don’t violate the permitted use limitations that the photographer has placed on them.
There are six different types of licenses available, and you need to understand them. That way, you don’t accidentally violate the license associated with an image.
All six of the licenses allow you to copy, publish, display, and communicate the image. All of them also require attribution to the original work. Pictures that are considered public domain don’t require this.
The differences start showing up when you want to use an image for commercial purposes. You can only use images that are public domain, CC BY, CC BY-SA, CC BY-ND. The other limitations focus on whether or not you can modify or adapt the image and if you can change the license for your modified version of the original work. Ignoring the known copyright restrictions can result in you getting an angry email from the image owner.
Sometimes you will see an image with a CC0 license or Creative Commons cc0. The Creative Commons Zero designation is for scientists, educators, and artists to make their content placed into the public domain as much as possible. These are royalty-free photos that are available for a web designer, bloggers, marketers, or anyone else to use.
Use High Resolution Photos
As you can see, there’s no excuse for using poor quality or unattractive images in your commercial projects or graphic design projects. If you need help with your image search, I can help you. With a little assistance, you’ll be downloading new photos in no time.