Using stock images for your business is a great hassle-free marketing strategy you should employ. Stock photos save you time, money and are high quality. You should, however, be aware that using the same stock photos can have a negative impact on your business. You need to venture out a little. We have compiled a list of sites offering free images for your business that you will actually want to use.
Before we begin our legal advisor states that it is crucial to understand these terms before one uses these type of images.
Mashable states that ” If any image was created in the United States prior to 1923 then they’re part of the public domain. This means that you’re allowed to copy, modify, or distribute these images without permission.” These are free to use without any attachments. Usually, images with the public domain tag have copyrights that are expired, forfeited, or are inapplicable.
This allows you to use intellectual property without having to pay royalties or license fees. Usually, this type of image with the royalty fee tag may have a one-off payment then you can use it as many times you want. You need to understand that the photographer who created the photo is still the owner of the photo. He/she holds the copyright. Now to further explain this point is that these Stock agencies that we will talk about offering a type of service to us businesses. Basically, all they do is sell licenses that give (us the buyers) the rights to use the photos, but they don’t transfer the copyright, the ownership of the images.
Usually, the photographer waives his or her rights to their work in certain aspects. What we essentially mean is that Creative Commons licenses are free copyright licenses that creators can use to indicate how they’d like their work to be used. Creators can choose from a set of six licenses with varying permissions, from the most open license to the least open license.
If you’re a business like us it means we can use this image to further our commercial gain.
Usually, a person will only be granted use of the image to further their own benefit if they credit the author. It’s kind of like User Generated Content. Where you can tag the person on Instagram for the credit. We have a feature in Heropost to help with this.
Rule of Thumb
Always check the information on the image before you use it. This is very important. Regardless, whether or not it’s stock. It’s just good business.
Now that we are done with the legal jargon below you will find the sites offering free images for your business
These Are The Sites Offering Free Images For Your Business
StockSnap is updated daily which makes it key. You need fresh content for your marketing. Importantly Stocksnap uses the Creative Commons CC0 license so its photos are free to download, edit, and use for both commercial and non-commercial projects. No attribution is required making it quick and easy.
Pexels has a dense database. It is great because the photographers that submit the image are also on Instagram, therefore, making it easy for you to either tag them or follow them. They also have a Paypal option, kind of like tipping the Photographer, which is always good to see. Pexels images are licensed under CC0. Images are added each month. You do not have to be a member to download.
There are great photos here. However, you need to know that these images can not be sold or redistributed. Kaboompics images may not be made available for download on other free image sites. Nevertheless, you can use these images for both non-commercial and commercial projects.
Flickr is great. One thing we noticed is that the licenses vary from image to image so therefore you need to check your images rights. You can also modify the images to suit your needs.
Unsplash is great and well-loved. You can use their images any way you like making it great for us businesses however you can not just take their images and create a similar website. It has over one million curated photos, a community of 157,866 photographers!!!!!! all that creative juice in one place and its totally free. They also have a cool blog you SHOULD CHECK OUT.
Entrepreneurs love this site especially if you have a Shopify store. Anybody has permission to modify the images in any way and use for commercial purposes. There are a lot of categories and this is because Shopify made sure they catered for every type of business entrepreneur. Make sure to check each license as some images have different caveats.
Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright-free images and videos. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes. The images are high resolution and you don’t have to sign up for a membership.
Canva is amazing because you can also edit your photos. A lot of users use it for editing. You can turn an image into a custom graphic to use on social media or your blog. It’s very easy to use and well-liked. However since a lot of users reference this, the image you may end up picking may have been overused already.
It is a great site to check out. It has a lot of fresh images. Membership is free. Images are free to use as long as you stick to the rules in the Image license Agreement. In some cases, you may need to notify the artists about using the images and sometimes you need to give credit to them. You can see these restrictions under the image previews, right next to the Download button.
They state that they are the world’s quirkiest collection of free high-resolution pictures, comprised of the world’s best, most creative images – photos you just won’t find anywhere else. This may be true because when you look at their photos there is definitely something different about them. The images are free of copyright restrictions and new pics are added weekly. Ryan McGuire is the head here so check this site out for something different.
All of the photos on this site are free. Free in cost as well as free to use under a Creative Commons CC0 license. It regularly uploads new photos and its community of photographers continue to rise. It is an easy site to use.
iStock releases a new batch of free stock files every week when you sign up for a free membership. It has some cool images as well.
Dreamstime has over 128 million stock photos and the plus side is that it is regularly updated. It has a deep database worth looking at.
Attention food bloggers or foodies, this site is geared for you. This site has found the perfect niche to exploit. It has the cleanest food images. We like this site because it is different. All the photos are free to download and fall under the Creative Commons Zero license.
Depositphotos is a commercial platform that brings authors of high-quality licensed stock photos, graphics, vectors and videos together with appreciative buyers. They offer free images, vectors, editorial content, and footages, which are updated every week. Check them out they also have a dense database.
Foter uses the Flickr API and searches Creative Commons photos. However, they are not associated with Flickr in any way, other than powering their search results using their API. It has great stock photos you can check out.
We love this one because it is different. Like really different. New Old Stock is a collection of vintage photos which would excite your grandparents or the history enthusiast. They are from the public archives and are free of known copyright restrictions.
Superfamous is by Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter. His amazing photographic images are available under the conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This means that you can use the work for your own purposes including commercial use as long as credit is provided. These images are great, they showcase photographic beauty.
This site is great for landmarks and scenery photos. Thankfully all images are available under Creative Commons Zero.
This is another good site. According to the website, the morgueFile license is for the use of designers and illustrators and it is requested that you give credit to the photographer.
This ends our search for sites offering free images for your business. We hope you take advantage of using stock images for your marketing campaigns or blogs. If you notice we mainly use Pexel for our blog headers.
One of the more well-known sites. It has over 25 million royalty-free images, video clips, and music tracks. But, you’re going to have to pay for access to these images.
Schedule your images with Heropost
Scheduling your images with Heropost is advantageous because it allows you to be constant which is needed for social media effectiveness. We have a biolink tool to help you channel all your followers to the content you want them to see and engage with. At Heropost we have features to simplify your social media presence and we continue to develop our tool.
Over to you
We included sites that we normally use and which we think are easy to grasp. If we missed new sites or ones that you believe are essential, please comment. We appreciate the feedback.