You’ve got your site set up, your content is written, it’s looking great. I just needs one more thing, the images!
Never underestimate the value of quality images on a web site.
A web audience is VERY different to a hard-copy-reading audience. Web pages need to be kind on the eyes and short on the text. A web site without images (or poor quality images) is a sure-fire way to repel your customers and damage your reputation.
Unless you’ve started your business with a huge investment (or investors), you won’t have the budget to hire a photographer (yet) unless you are in cahoots with a photographer, of course. So what do you do?
Enter, Stock Images.
Stock images have a bad reputation. They’re either mega expensive, really over-used or super cheesy. Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco superbly made a mockery of stock photographs available as a promotion for their film, Unfinished Business. You can view them online if you’re keen for a chuckle.
What would you say if I’ve found some stock image sources that are not only stunning, but also FREE! And there are plenty of options available. No more using the same old tired images everybody else does. I’m not kidding, this unicorn really exists!
Here are some of my favourites:
Pexels is usually the first place I look when searching for a stock image. They have a huge range of choices in their catalogue and their all high resolution.
Stocksnap.io has literally thousands of images available to download for free. They are also conveniently categorised for browsing.
I’d be surprised if you weren’t able the perfect image you need within their catalogue!
Burst images were created by Shopify to help their customers create beautiful web sites and stores. Some images are covered under the Creative Commons licence, while some are covered under a Shopify specific license. It pays to read the find print before you use these ones.
No doubt you’ll see some of the same photographs being used across the internet, but there are so many to choose from that you don’t need to choose the same images.
If you’re still not finding what you’re looking for, here are some low-budget options to think about:
Whatever you do, don’t get caught out ‘borrowing’ images from the internet. Chances are you WILL get caught and the repercussions are damaging and expensive for your business. It’s truly not worth the risk when there is such a range of beautiful options already available for free.
As always, double-check the license for each image before you use them on your site as conditions may have changed since the publishing of this post. Make sure your images are available for commercial use, and see whether they require attribution.
If you end up using images from any of the sites I’ve recommended above, pop your link in the comments below. I’d love to see how you’ve been able to use them for your business.