Not all stock photography is created equal. Gone are the days of unrealistically happy office teams and cheesy headset girls (hopefully).
Whether they realise it or not, web users increasingly expect to see online imagery that captures a believable situation. Overly staged, air brushed images tend to make a company look false and harder to connect with on a human level.Stock photography has shifted due to demand as businesses have been building trust online by using real and authentic imagery. But collating relevant imagery for your brand doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.To get you started, we’ve put together a list of our top go-to resources for finding free stock photography for commercial use. Even a quick glance over these sites will show you the standard of imagery that has come to be expected.
Not only does Pexels stock thousands of free images, but all have been handpicked for their high quality and resolution. Images are easily searchable and tagged for convenience.
On the verge of having almost 1 million photographs, Pixabay are known for their sheer quantity of high quality free images. They also have a good mix of stock videos and illustrations to choose from.
Unsplash has a breathtaking collection of free stock, particularly quirky landscapes like sandy beaches, calm oceans and reclusive snow-covered mountains. The site is constantly being updated with new collections from various creative sources including NASA.
This handy site is an offshoot of Unsplash but with a little more flexibility. Users can browse by size, colour, subject and other cool features.
This site doesn’t hold it’s own stock collection but what it does do is pull in the most sophisticated hyper real images from many of the major free stock photography websites, saving time when you’re hunting for that perfect image. You won’t find any dodgy clipart pictures here!
Take your own
Hopefully you find these links useful, but remember nothing compares to the real thing and we highly recommend having your own professional photos taken whenever possible. Yes, stock photography can be a huge time saver, but should be used appropriately. For example organising a professional photoshoot for a weekly blog post may be a little excessive. The main drawback to using free stock photograph is that it’s open for anyone to use. Being so readily available you will often find the same photo being used constantly around the web. If you decide to use the same stock images as your competitors, your originality may be reduced in your customer’s eyes, but also in Google’s too. This is because Google is becoming smarter at spotting duplicate image content, choosing to rank the original over any secondary sources.When finding images for your office, staff and products, nothing will build trust and authenticity more than your own professional photos. If you would like any further advice why not get in touch?