Every blog or small business needs a stock photo once in a while, whether it’s for their website, blog posts or social media. There are some really great resources for gorgeous, high quality, and free stock images out there, and there are also many posts about where to find them.
Of course, Death to Stock is fantastic. You sign up and they email you a pack of beautiful photos every month. Gratisography, Unsplash, and Pixabay are all great sites to grab some free stock photos too. The only downside is that we all want free, beautiful images, so we all end up using the same ones.
Here are a few tips for finding images that are a little more unique, and not in every other pin on Pinterest or ad on Facebook.
☛ Unsplash. So I mentioned Unsplash above as a too-commonly-used source. The are updating the features on this site faster than I can keep updating this post. It used to be much more difficult to find less-commonly used images on there than it is now. There is now a search feature that’s easy to use, but it still won’t pull up ALL of the relevant images because the search function relies on volunteers tagging images for them, and only images that are tagged accordingly will show up in your search results.
So if you don’t find what you’re looking for, start checking out people’s “Collections.” Once you enter your search term, you’ll see a menu under the word you searched. See here, there are only 335 photos tagged “Pink,” but 858 people have created albums revolving around pink. So click on “Collections.”
I have a bunch of collections I’ve saved for myself and my clients that you can browse here for some ideas. And if you create an account, you can save your own collections for future use. You can even make collections private, which I have a couple of for my own brands.
Another way to browse for less common photos is by clicking the name of a photographer under an image you like to see all their other photos.
☛ Flickr. Flickr can be time consuming because almost all of the public domain photos (free for any and every use) are low quality. But if you take a little time, you can start making your own list of talented photographers that share their photos with no restrictions. (Always, always check for restrictions on every single photo. It will be on the right side, just underneath the photo. Some require you to credit them, others are just free, but it’s always polite to link back to someone, required or not.)
☛ Creative Market. There are some images on here that are more common than others, but look around, there are thousands to choose from. And of course, since they aren’t free, there aren’t as many of them floating around the internet.
Happy photo shopping!