Ever wondered why paintings are so expensive? Why you would rather watch a video than read a long paragraph even if the same thing is written on it? That’s because 90% of information transferred to the brain is in the form of visual content, and visuals are processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text.
That’s why we form a greater mental connection with paintings and pictorial content than written text. Visuals are so important that even a slight change in font can affect your thought process and your perception of the message conveyed.
The same concepts are applied when it comes to using photos for marketing your business hence paying attention to web design, using infographics, and suitable pictures for Facebook and other social media platforms can significantly benefit your business.
Why Visual Content is Important in Marketing?
These days everyone has a camera in their pockets. Mobile phones have some of the best cameras and image editing features that you can ever ask for; you no longer have to carry a DSLR around. The trend has increased the consumption of visual content exponentially.
Thanks to affordable internet packages consumption of video content, online shopping, learning, and pretty much everything has been on the rise. This can be seen from the fact that e-commerce businesses are booming even during the pandemic.
Amazon declared that in order to meet the growing demand for orders and deliveries, it will offer permanent positions to 70% of the 175,000 new US workers it hired. If you take the example of Amazon only, it is especially strict with its image policy. The image should not only be clear and large but it should fill 85% of the image space, which further emphasizes the importance of visual content in marketing.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Twitter is like a hub for photos now. Marketing your business with photos on LinkedIn even is not a novel concept anymore. In fact, according to stats, Pinterest has contributed to generating more referral traffic than Google+, Linked and YouTube combined.
Hence, we have brought you, in no particular order, some of the best websites from where you can get high-resolution stock images free of any cost!
Best 10 Websites to Download the High-Quality Images Free
You can get free good quality stock images on SplitShire. The owner of the website clicked these photos himself over the span of the past ten years and hence you can find a vast variety of images that may be hard to find on other stock websites. These photos range from new to old; if you are posting about something vintage you can go for the photos that are older to give it that old-school look.
There are various categories of photos including abstract, wedding, landscape, tech, and a lot more. This is a product of hard work worth ten years by the owner of the website that is available completely free to you, so use this opportunity wisely. The only downside to this website is that if you have to download in bulk, then you will need to pay and subscribe to a premium offer. Otherwise, if you are comfortable with manually downloading one photo at a time, then this can serve as an excellent resource for your social media platforms.
This website has over 1.7 million free images and most of them are of really good quality! You can use any photo according to your personal and professional needs without worrying about copyright because all the images on Pixabay have CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) licensing.
This puts an end to your worries about being penalized for copyright. You are just a few clicks away from creating a masterpiece for your social media campaign.
You can download photos in different resolutions according to your need. Royalty-free vector images and videos are also available on Pixabay along with illustrations. It is a one-stop solution for all your photo needs. Once you visit this site, you probably won’t think about any other.
Pexels is one of the top websites for downloading stock photos absolutely free. This is the first website that even offers free space photos including some from NASA, hence the quality is amazing!
Most of the images that Pexels provide are original and they are tagged, which makes them easily discoverable. You can easily look up your desired theme, location, emotions, and more, and it will display you all the content available in that theme. It is also quite popular among the web and app designers.
Another great website you can visit for high-resolution images for free is StockSnap. StockSnap is filled with a huge variety of images from all sorts of categories including landscapes, portraits, nature, business and so much more.
Moreover, the search feature on this website makes it very easy to find any pictures you are looking for. You can even filter out results and look at pictures depending on the number of views, downloads, and the number of ratings it has received.
5. ISO Republic
The ISO Republic is a platform that adds new pictures and videos to its library on a regular basis. The great thing about all these images and videos is that you can conveniently download all of them for free since they are available under the CC0 License.
Not only can you get your hands on some true HD pictures but you can also access their blog that offers all the latest insights into the world of visuals.
Gratisography is the place you visit if you are searching for images for yourself without any worries about copyright and licensing matters. This platform is filled with truly remarkable pictures, all of which are captured by none other than Ryan McGuire, the man behind Bells Design.
This website offers an extensive variety of high definition images from all sorts of genres such as food, virtual backgrounds, animals, fashion, goofy characters, and much more. And one other neat feature of this website is that you can also search for similar images after opening a certain file and choose from a variety of options of the same category.
7. Life of Pix
Life of Pix is a website by LEEROY, an exceptional Web Design Agency. This website hosts a plethora of high definition images, all of which are up for grabs without any copyright restrictions.
Here, you get to witness the works of famous professional photographers including Bojan Mustur, Julien Sister, Mac Nicolae, and many others. Furthermore, the website has a significant collection of videos for people who want to add a little oomph to their social media profiles.
8. Burst (from Shopify)
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that many consider to be quite a valuable resource. Well, this technological giant did not stop there and brought forward its very own platform for images known as Burst.
Burst has an extensive collection of stock images that can easily fulfill an entrepreneur’s needs. All images here are licensed under the CC0 license or Shopify’s own photo license.
You can get any and all types of photos on this platform. Categories available over here include children, family, holidays, seasons, technology, and much more.
Reshot is a website with a unique collection of free stock images that are not available on any other website. The website claims to have images that have been handpicked for every user’s needs.
The website primarily focuses on images that cater to the needs of entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners, and anyone who just does not want to use the same old pictures again and again.
With Reshot also you don’t need to worry about copyright issues; you are free to use those images in any way your heart desires.
Last but definitely not least, FoodiesFeed is a website for all the food lovers out there. This specific website hosts a huge collection of high definition images that are all about amazing foods.
So, if you are a food blogger or are involved in some sort of food business, then FoodiesFeed is the website where you can find the best food images possible. From cakes to pizzas to steaks, there hardly is any food item that you won’t find over here.
How to Pick Better Images for Social Media?
Visual images always play an important role when you are marketing on social media and stock photos have always been the best go-to option when you don’t want to spend that extra cash on models or photographers. However, there is a catch to it. Using copyrighted photos can get you into legal trouble. The owner of those photos might find out and file a copyright complaint against you for stealing their property or content.
Even when using stock photos, one has to be very careful. So in such a case, the free website we have mentioned above seems like a blessing, especially for people who are on budget, bloggers, or who have their new startup, like students. They cannot obviously afford professional photographers and models, so free stock photos come in very handy.
These websites provide images that are copyright-free or under the creative commons public domain, which is a form of a license. So always do your research no matter which source you opt for, for your stock photos posts.
Some sites may confuse you with the “royalty-free” label. They might trick you into thinking that a photo is completely free, but in reality, it means that you will have to pay one time to obtain the rights, and then you can use that image as much as you want. So do not fall for this trick if you are looking for absolutely free stock photos.
Research shows that 54% of the brands do not include a full person, but a part of the body such as a hand in published photos. Only 41% of the brands used a full-fledged person in photos. Photos that have only a part of the bodywork better than those images that have the whole person, including the face.
The concept behind this is that when a person sees an advertisement with partial body image, it helps them to better imagine themselves using that product or service. Having a whole person in the visual takes attention away from the product to the model’s face. Images that show the partial body part earn 29% more likes than the images with a whole person in it, and 10% more likes than the images with no person or people. So, if you are going with real-life stock photos, make sure you chose the image that at least does not show the face completely of the person.
Choose images that represent your brand ad values well; go for lively and bright photos as they attract more attention from people. Be mindful that images used on Facebook do not always do well with Instagram and Pinterest. If you want to have images that’ll do great on Instagram go for the ones that have a single dominant color theme, a solid color background or a fair amount of background space, images that have low saturation or more pastel colors, and images that are brighter and with texture.
Summing It All Up
Regardless of where you get your stock photos, they should be free from copyright issues. Do your research before opting for any site. Also, always consider your brand image before choosing a photo, as it should clearly represent what your brand stands for. Otherwise, your posts will look out of place and not credible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1- How do I know if an image is copyrighted?
A1- To check whether an image is protected by copyright or not, you have to look at some sensitive details which include image credits, watermark, contact details, a caption indicating an image creator or copyright owner.
Q2- Can I use images protected by copyright?
A2- Yes, you may use any image that is protected by copyright as long as you have a license or any other form of permission from the original image creator.
Q3- Can I download any image for free without permission?
A3- No, you may not download any image for free without acquiring permission. While some images may be available for you without any copyright restrictions or any cost, others are generally protected by copyright and/or require some payment and you need to acquire that permission before you can use them for yourselves.