Choosing photos for your marketing materials can be tricky, because although you are speaking to a professional, business-minded audience, that doesn’t mean they are boring or bland. Your presentations shouldn’t be either. I try to develop engaging, colorful presentations, but sometimes that’s hard to do when the most inspiring copyright-free photo on Google Images looks like this:
I set out to compile a list of sites that offer rich, creative, completely copyright-free photos that can be used in blog posts, Powerpoints, websites, or anywhere your heart desires. Here’s what I found. I’d love to hear what sites you like to use, or if I missed any!
Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. Photos are quirky, artsy and interesting, and there are a huge number of them to sift through. They have a “magical search bar,” but I’ve found just scrolling through their images can spark creativity and give you ideas for fresh ways to use their photos.
2. Life of Pix
Broken down by galleries such as animals, black and white, and city, Life Of Pix’s photos are elegant and classy, and of course come with no copyright restrictions. New photos are added weekly, “hand-made with love,” by Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal.
Startup Stock Photos delivers exactly what they say they will – great generic business photos perfect for a startup, general website photos, or any time you need to convey “professional but human.” The only downside is there’s no search bar.
4. MMT Stock
MMT Stock is full of large, clear photos from many different themes, all free for commercial use. They have a large collection of technology, city, and for marketers, great workspace photos. They have a great search tool, or you can easily peruse the galleries.
One of the superior sources of free images, Pexels has over 15,000 free stock photos, and every month at least 3,000 new photos are added. Photos are high-quality in both creativity and resolution, and their database is huge. This site is really a one-stop shop.
Magdeleine presents hand-picked, free photos for your inspiration. The photos are more artistic, and many are of nature, but it can be a great source of creative options for marketers who like to be a little more artistic.
7. Jay Mantri
As their tagline indicates, this site offers, “free pics. do anything. make magic.” A very stripped-down site, there’s no search bar, but there are some great black & white photos, and plenty of travel photos to choose from.
8. Stock Snap
Another superior site, Stock Snap offers thousands of beautiful, free stock photos. This is probably the first site I’d go to looking for business appropriate photos. They offer creative, classy photos of workspace settings, and a plethora of other categories.
Resplashed currently offers 1,172 free HD images for your web and design projects. Their site is easily navigable, and contains images from all categories. It is heavy on nature and architecture, but there are some great finds in other categories as well.
Unsplash offers “free (do whatever you want) hi-resolution photos.” Gotta love a straightforward tagline. Their unique collections (with titles like bohemian love child, beauty-full people, and folksy images for web design) have stunning, original photos that are really a cut above the rest. I had a hard time deciding on “the best” photo to display, because they’re all so great.
11. ISO Republic
From Croatia to sushi, there’s a seemingly endless supply of colorful, original hi-res images to choose from. All their photos are free to use on your commercial and personal creative projects, and they have at least 600 images to choose from, with more uploads happening weekly.
With a convenient business category, Raumrot has a beautiful gallery of hi-res images completely free for use. They are self-described as “stunning lifestyle imagery for modern creatives. Creative and outstanding normal.” I’d put them on the artsier end of things, but there are some great options for business use as well.
A very basic site, Getrefe is a Tumblr account full of beautiful photos. While there isn’t a search bar, there are enough inspiring photos to satisfy any purpose. They are heavy on travel photos, but have tons of business-oriented options.
Definitely one of the more original of the free photo sites, Splitshire has hundreds of unique photos to choose from. It started as a “simple aim of giving life to photographs that would have gone into oblivion without any utility.” Their About page is so well-written you might just be inspired to use them every time.
Another strong contender for “best free photos site,” Pixabay is chock full of beautiful hi-res photos, ripe for the picking. They also have many of the types of photos that would traditionally be used in Powerpoints and on presentations, except perhaps a little more interesting.
Another highly original site, Negative Space will even let you sort their photos by color, and where you’d like the copy space to appear. Clearly this company has marketing in mind.
Picjumbo offers a Premium subscription for a reasonable fee, but there are plenty of unique, hi-res photos to choose from in their regular free galleries! They have lots of photos of people doing various activities, which can be great for marketing materials.
This is an amazing site with beautiful HD wallpaper/ desktop background images. Of course, you can use them for whatever you want, as they’re downloadable in all sizes. They boast 4,000 images, and they are all breathtaking.
Before printing this blog, I conducted a “mini test” on my past posts to see how the new photo options fared. I have to say, it made quite a positive difference! When you want your materials to stand out in a crowd of stick figures and flash art, these sites are sure to satisfy your need for high-quality, stunning photos. Now go create something!