Whether you’re developing a website, writing a blog post, or creating content for social media, the chances are that you’ll rely on stock images to remove the white space and make your designs stand out.
Though we always recommend original photography to boost brand awareness and add personality to your business, there are, of course, times when stock photography does the job just fine – and the good news is that there’s lots to choose from.
As well as premium services like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, there are dozens of free stock image websites offering access to millions of royalty-free images. To give you a hand, we’ve rounded up six of our favourite resources that you should add to your bookmarks…
Unsplash is perhaps the most popular resource for stock photography on the market and has an engaged community of photographers who upload stunning images every day. The biggest selling point of Unsplash is its huge portfolio of images – in fact, there are more than one million from a community of 157,866 photographers, and their API is used by everyone from Adobe to SquareSpace, making it easier to find the ideal photograph for your project.
What’s worth noting, however, is that Unsplash is used by millions. That means that some of its images have been used tens of thousands of times on blog posts and websites, and they can lose their sparkle. Top tip: sort by newest and you’ll find images that haven’t been overused for your next project. Or reverse image search to determine an image’s popularity.
Although many free stock image sites rehash the same content with their own user interface, Reshot does things differently. It describes itself as offering handpicked “non-stocky” images, and every shot can be used for free for commercial purposes, without needing to give credit.
Reshot says that it’s on a mission “to unify creators via a free exchange of the world’s best visual content,” and one of its best features is Quick Image Packs, which bundle together images on a particular topic – whether that’s Diversity or Everyday Technology – saving you time and helping you find the perfect images for blog posts, landing pages, and Instagram.
One of the newest players on the block, and a firm favourite at Zudu, is Rawpixel, which “changes the way people see stock photos”. With a base in the UK and a creative hub in Bangkok, Thailand, Rawpixel offers new ways to express creativity and authenticity online, and its premium images are only available on its platform, so you won’t find any duplications.
Rawpixel offers a premium subscription service, but prices start from just $3 per month which offers access to thousands of premium photos, vectors, mockups, and more. A free version is also available, with users able to download ten photographs every day.
One of the world’s most popular ecommerce builders launched their own royalty-free image resource a couple of years ago, and many are exclusive to the platform. With thousands of high-resolution images that are ideal for websites, apps, and more, you’re bound to find a shot that works for your project – and you don’t need to credit their photographers, either.
Something else that’s great about Burst is that users are encouraged to send in suggestions for new photographs. If you’re looking for a particular image, ask and they might just add it!
Though some of its best images are hidden behind a premium subscription, you’ll find more than enough images and resources for your next web project on FreePik. Owned by the same team as FlatIcon, FreePik has been running for a decade, boasting 18 million users, 50 million monthly views, and 100 million monthly downloads of its images and graphics.
We recommend using the sidebar to whittle down your search. Choose Photos and Free and you won’t have to spend a penny or upgrade to gain access to more quality content. You can also find vectors, PSD files and icons for your website and app project here, speeding up development time and helping you create an aesthetically-pleasing design for your users.
Finally, a quick nod to Negative Space, another resource that every designer should have in their toolbelt. Photographers are able to share their photography with the world, and many of their images feature tonnes of – you guessed it – negative space, making them ideal for web backgrounds or placeholders, where text and assets can comfortably be placed over the top.
With dozens of categories, covering everything from animals and architecture to food and fashion, you’re bound to find an image that you can use, including lots of virtual backgrounds which are great for green screen videos or disguising your location on your next Zoom call.
If you’re looking for help building an app or website for your business, let the development experts at Zudu help out. Call us on 01382 690080 or click here to send us an email today.