Where To Find Your Perfect Stock Image

stock-image-sites

Whether you have a website or posting on social media for your business, high quality images are key to getting your posts, and inevitably, your business noticed.

Because social media is such a visual medium, you need images that will grab potential customers or client’s attention in a couple of seconds. Once you have gained their attention, you can take it a step further with catchy text but that all important image is essential to getting to getting your message across.

Unfortunately, you can’t just copy any old image from Google images and add them to your website or socials. This is illegal and fraught with legal issues down the line.

Always gain permission to use images. Thankfully, this is easily done by using images from stock image sites. When you buy images from paid stock sites, you are paying for a licence to use an image. Sadly, most paid images are restricted to any editing.

Most free image sites are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

However, some free stock image sites require you to attribute where you obtained the image from. You may have already heard of iStockphoto.com(by Getty Images) and Shutterstock.com.

There are images of virtually anything you can think of on these sites.

However, they can be quite costly. Also, a lot of the images are the epitome of stock photos. Think women with whiter than white teeth laughing into salads, for instance. Staged and cringy images, not exactly what you want to use to entice new customers or clients!

If you are looking for images that stand out and are different to what others are using, we recommend Twenty20 and Stocksy. Both sites offer a huge range of images but, unlike standard stock pictures, the images on these sites are more artistic and beautifully curated by photographers from all over the world.

If you have a limited budget, there are a lot of fantastic free image sites around. However, keep in mind, a lot of free sites allow users to upload their own images to the site for others to use, but the photo might have been sourced illegally from someone/somewhere else.

One of our favourite sites is Unsplash. Unsplash has a collection of over 300,000 beautiful, high-resolution images from more than 50,000 contributors. Unsplash doesn’t offer the huge amount of choice as some paid sites, but the photos are top-quality and thousands are added every day. Chances are good that you’ll find something to work with on this free stock site.

Next up is Pexels and Pixabay. Pexels’ vast, well-organised collection of free stock photos is one of the best curated on the internet and one we use regularly.

Pixabay is more oriented towards business and marketing with over a million images and growing daily.

Out of the above stock image sites, we are sure you will have a professional looking website and social media feed in no time.

Image credit : Unsplash Noemi-Macavei-Katocz-