stock and branded images: where to get free stock photos and how to develop branded images(1)

Stock and Branded Images: Where To Get Free Stock Photos & How To Develop Branded Images

It’s always a good idea to include some form of media on your social media posts. They catch the attention of people scrolling through their feeds a lot more than a post without a picture. According to Twitter, Tweets with photos receive an average 35% boost in Retweets. Social media strategist Jeff Bullas reports that Facebook posts with photos receive an average 37% increase in engagement. This being said you might be asking yourself, where can I get free stock photos? We’ll show you where to get the best free stock photos.

Best Free Stock Photo Websites

Having a visual on your social post is important but where can you get stock photos without paying for iStock. You have a few options for free stock photo websites.

The first is Pexels. They have a vast amount of royalty-free images that resemble images found on Stock. Their images are high-quality photos and they also have free stock videos. Pexels is the go-to image source for many different types of bloggers such as food bloggers.

Unsplash, is another great free stock photo site. Photos on this site are very artistic, abstract, creative and professionally produced. They have a huge collection of photos that can used for a broad range of commercial purposes and of course all completely free. Plus you can download your free stock photos in whatever size you want.

Plus if amateur photographers can create a free account and have the opportunity to upload their photos and share them with the world.

Gratisography has a quirky selection of photos, in fact, its something they pride themselves on. They can’t compare with Unsplash in terms of quantity, but that’s not their aim. They excel at offering free photos that are unique and less “stocky” than what you see elsewhere plus they have a good selection of vintage photos. As with all these options, their photos are high-resolution images.

Rawpixel has a diverse collection of pictures. They also have vectors, PSD mockups, and public domain content like famous Japanese wood panel prints. This is a great option for designers who are looking for totally free images for their designs.

Finally, there is Pixabay. This site is somewhat more oriented towards business and marketing than Unsplash, which is often helpful for content marketers and bloggers. They also offer free vectors and illustrations.

Types of Image Licenses

There are a few different types of image licenses that you’ll see when trying to find photos for your content.

First, there is a flat fee license. Also known as contracted work, a flat fee license relates to a single photo that is licensed and intended for one user.

Rights managed refers to the purchase of a photo that can only be used one time and as specified by the license.

Then there is creative commons. Creative Commons license is a public copyright license that allows the copyright owners to freely distribute their work but they control the condition under which their work is used.

Finally, there is royalty-free images. This license allows you to use the photo multiple times and in any way but you will need to pay a one-time fee.

What Are Public Domain Images?

The public domain images are images whose copyright has expired or never existed in the first place. In Canada, copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 years following the end of that calendar year.

Public domain photos can be used by anyone for personal and commercial projects. are free images that you don’t have to pay for. Free stock photo sites like the ones listed above offer many high-quality images that anyone can use without any copyright restrictions.

Is It Stealing If I Use An Image From Google?

One thing you cannot do when looking for photos is go to your search engine, type a keyword and choose whichever picture comes up. This is called copyright infringement. If you didn’t already know, “copyright” means “the right to copy.” Only the owner of the picture has the right to copy it. By copying and pasting the image you found on Google into your blog, website etc you are breaking the law. 

So what do you do? There are 3 options. The first option is to buy the rights to copy the image on websites such as iStock or Adobe Stock Images or to whoever the owner of the picture is. The second option is to use websites that offer free stock images (like the ones listed above). You can use these images as many times as you want with no consequences. The third option is to filter out the images that are copyrighted on Google, although the likelihood of getting high-quality images is slim. It might be better to use the free stock image websites. 

To filter out copyright pictures on google follow these steps

  1. Search for the pictures you want and then select the “images tab”
  2. Select “Tools” that is off to the right hand side of “more”. A menu bar should appear below where you selected “images”
  3. Click “usage right” and then click “creative commons licenses”

By doing this you are telling Google to only show you pictures in which you can reuse. 

How Do I Know if An Image is Copyrighted?

The first thing you can look for is a watermark. If there is a watermark over the photo then it’s protected. You’ll see this on photos found on the Adobe stock website. They’ll most likely have an adobe stock watermark overtop to stop people from copying and pasting their photos without paying for them.

The next thing you might see is a copyright symbol that looks like this: ©

You might also see a note that has the owners name

Branded Imagery Instead of Stock Photos

Additionally, it may be fitting for you to begin developing some consistently branded imagery. This is particularly useful if you plan to post blogs on your website on an ongoing basis. Below are the steps to creating useful and reusable media. 

  1. Decide on the platform that you will be using this branding reusable media. This will determine the size of your picture. 
  2. Decide if you want to build your reusable branded image from scratch or use a template. If you decide to go with a template, Canva has hundreds of examples that you can utilize and change to fit your brand. You can also use Canva to build pictures from scratch but other options include Illustrator and Photoshop. 
  3. Gather your brand colours and start designing! You want to make it so that it’s easy for you to change it each time. 

Knowing where to get free stock photos is half the battle, contact us to improve your marketing strategy today!