10 Places to Find Low-Cost (or Free) Photography
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The research is pretty convincing—use a photo and boost your social media results. Facebook posts get 2.3 times more engagement and tweets get 150 percent more retweets if they have a photo. So why aren’t more small businesses using them? Cost and copyright restrictions. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some of the best stock photo websites that offer images you can use for little or no cost.
This is a membership service that will send you a photo pack each month. The pack includes ten photos within a given topic they select. A premium membership is available starting at $12 a month that delivers 20+ photos each month, unlimited downloads, and access to a web app. The profits fund creative projects to keep the site going. Be sure to consult their licensing agreement to see how you can use the images.
Don’t browse this website on an empty stomach or you may be raiding your refrigerator. It offers over 1,200 free food photos. The images are often in context rather than sterile photo shoots. You can search by topic or by popular tags like “trending photos.” Consider this one if you have a food-themed campaign or are featuring a new menu ingredient at your restaurant or coffee shop.
Here’s a website that curates images from hundreds of stock images. You can search by keyword or browse by categories such as business images, icons, people and teams, or work environment. Since the content comes from several sources, you will want to pay attention to the usage requirements for each image. It also offers a website building tool with WIX.
The site reports that over 70,000 people from 209 countries visit it each month to find royalty-free photos. Its search engine can locate images by keyword, orientation, mode, category, and color scheme. They are most popular for lifestyle and interior design—specifically fashion, food, and landscapes.
The idea behind this website is to offer a style of images that include out-of-focus areas that frame a high-resolution image within. That tends to draw the visitor in for a closer look. They offer a number of categories including business, technology, work, and people. Or you can search based on a specific topic or color. All images are free and available for commercial use. And they also have tutorials for web design.
If you’re looking for a vintage photo, this website should be near the top of your list. You’ll find photos from the public archives, free of known copyright restrictions. There’s a search feature but you’ll likely find more images for newsworthy topics like presidents, Christmas, or astronauts. Think of this source if your campaign centers on a historical event like President’s Day or has a nostalgic theme.
Since it was created in 2013, over 6 million free photos for commercial or personal use have been downloaded from this site. You can search photos by categories including business, holidays, fashion, or people. They offer a premium membership starting at $10/month that gives you access to extra stock photos and collections via Dropbox.
This website has a collection of over 1.6 million photos, illustrations, and vector graphics. Their robust search function allows you to search by media type, orientation, color, and size. You can also browse by categories including business/finance, animals, health/medical, places/monuments, or emotions—to name a few.
Their name says it all. This no-frills website offers free, tech-stock photos for startups, bloggers, website developers (and everyone else). It does not have a search feature. The photos can be copied, reproduced, and modified with no compensation to the image creator.
Browse from 850,000+ free photos in their library. This site prides itself on the uniqueness of its images. They also curate photo collections with related images on the same topic. That can save you some search time. You can also follow your favorite photographers and be alerted when something new is posted.
One word of caution: While a photograph may not have a copyright restriction, it may be licensed under creative commons public domain. That means you can copy, modify, and distribute it, even for commercial purposes. But you may need to cite the source near the image. To avoid issues, you will want to double check how an image can be used.
Great photos can help you tell your story and boost your marketing results. Start with these stock photo websites to find just that right image.