A picture IS worth a thousand words. And in the life of a content marketer, who writes words for a living, that matters. Substituting and complimenting text and thesis of blog articles and white papers with meaningful graphics and illustrations is vital for their success and amplification strategy.
Posts with images pull 35% more retweets than those without an image, according to Twitter.
Top 17 Sources of Free Stock Images
To define your identity with quality design resources (even when on a budget)
These sources of great free stock images most are available under a Creative Commons Zero licence (CC0). This means that they are free from copyright and the need for attribution. However, attribution is still a common courtesy and can help these sources stay afloat.
Some free stock photo sites deliver photos monthly and some are available 24/7. Here’s the overview:
See the beautiful feature photo by Patrick Tomasso for this article. All Unsplash images are simply stunning photos you can use without a fuss. There are many photos to choose from sorted in curated sets rather than by keyword.
Pexels is my second most favorite source of high quality, meaningful photos that you can use as backgrounds or illustrations for professional business work. The images are of extremely high quality, unique and … free for you to use. Of course, donations and paid packages are also available, if you so desire. However, for most if not all web-based images, you can stick to free. Yes. Really.
3. Life of Pics
Free high-resolution photos, that are donated to the public domain. These images have no copyrights restrictions. They are for personal commercial use. The Leeroy advertising agency in Montreal and its photographers add new photographs every week.
4. Public Domain Archive
5. All The Free Stock – (Searches Multiple Sites)
For amazing free icon sets.
7. Free Stock Photos – (Searches Multiple Sites)
This is a great site to start, as it bring searches multiple other sites of free stock photos for you. Personally, however I work mostly with number 1, 2 and 4. And 6.
8. Stok Pic
9. Hi Res Stock
10. Designer Pics
12. Iso Republic
13. New Old Stock
16. Death To Stock photo
These are seventeen sources that involve professional or at least very good amateur photographers. And here’s a bonus that I came across after this article was written originally, that I also have found to be excellent.
18. Pikwizard. Not sure if I leave the best for last, but this website has over 100,000 free images. 20,000+ of those are exclusive to them. The first few images they’ll show you are from a paid service, mainly Shutterstock. So, just scroll down and there you see a wealth of free images for your use.
Integrating Stock Photography into your Content Marketing & Storytelling
‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it.’Ansel Adams
His quote applies to images for content marketing and photo art. Socially sharable images that are click-worthy require a close connection between the image and the article. And that’s something you ‘make’.
As stock photography usually does not directly reflect the text or Call-To-Action, your content creators will have to make these mental links for the reader. You or they can do this by adding other images, image overlays, shapes, forms, colours, text and icons – or a combination thereof.
How to Alter Stock Photography?
With a favorite tool, PicMonkey.
Choose your professional photo material from these top 17 sources of free stock images. Then head over to PicMonkey Pro to do the rest. Picmonkey has tons of features so you can create, export, save or share your professional-grade images. Membership starts at a mere £4.50/mth, paid annually. Worth every penny.
Why Stock Photography? – Conclusion
Stock photography can save you a significant time delay of getting photos made specifically for your article. However, it is important to give your team time to transform stock photos into tailored visual storytelling assets. It won’t cost as much time as it would take to to write a 1000 words, and you’ll be pleased with the results.