Royalty Free Picture Websites for Businesses
You might think that using a high-quality picture doesn’t have that much impact on readers, but it does. That’s where these free picture websites come into play.
22/05/2018 update: We’ve added even more websites that you can source free images from!
A high quality image can bring new life to your blog post; they help to increase readership enjoyment, and work towards increasing the levels of interaction on your site. It’s not all about using Google Images and hastily taken smart phone photos.
Imagine, you’re trying to describe the crystal-clear waters of a Caribbean island sparkling in the summer sun (it’s not hard really is it?), but finding a picture to match really draws your reader in and makes your content more appealing because they can imagine themselves there.
See what we mean? How much easier is it for you to visualise the beach now you’ve got a picture to look at?
Making sure you use images should be an integral part of your content strategy, especially when you’re just starting out. If you’re struggling to get some inspiration, then keep reading for our list of free image sourcing websites, ideal for finding the right picture to match your content.
Free Picture Websites #1 – Flickr
Flickr is a fantastic website for finding high-quality images for your business or blog. When searching, make sure you check “All Creative Commons”. This will filter all search results, and only show you ones that have been uploaded for public use. Visit the site here.
Once you’ve found the picture that fits your content, then hit the download button. You’ll have a range of sizes available, but take note of restrictions that might have been set by the artist. They can be found under the “Taken on…” section.
Free Picture Websites #2 – Wikimedia Commons
Easy to use, Wikimedia Commons is yet another tool for businesses, writers and bloggers to use for free-to-use images. Visit the site here.
For example, Content > By Topic > Fossils > Quality images of fossils > 50 results. It does take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it you can quickly flick between categories and sub-topics.
Free Picture Websites #3 – FreeRangeStock
For high-resolution stock images, FreeRangeStock offers all the usual topics to browse; from Business & Office to Sky and Clouds. Just make sure you’re selecting an image from the “Free [insert section name] Photos” section. Visit the site here.
With this website, its straightforward to actually download the image. You will have to register your details to access them, but if you’ve already done this then just hit “Login to download”.
Free Picture Websites #4 – Pixabay
With over 630,000 high quality photos available for download, Pixabay is yet again simple to use, with a smooth, interactive front page. Visit the site here.
It lets you search by colour, photo, vector graphics, videos and illustrations. As with most other stock-photo sites, you can still browse the old fashioned way, by category.
Once you’ve found the photo that you need, hit “Free Download” on the right-hand sidebar and pick the size you need. Again, you’ll have to register to use this service, but it’s free to do.
Free Picture Websites #5 – Sxc.hu
Don’t be alarmed when this redirects you to freeimages.com. It is still the same website. The different with this stock photo website is that you need to sign up before you can start downloading images. Visit the site here.
The simple yet functional homepage gives you a few options to choose from. If you’re not sure what picture you’re looking for, then hover over “Browse” and take a look through the suggestions available.
The same system applies with Sxc.hu. Click download under your ideal picture, select the size and sign in to download.
Free Picture Websites #6 – Pexels
No, we haven’t spelt pixels wrong…this free picture site gives you tonnes of pictures at your fingertips that are free to use for personal and commercial use. Visit the site here.
They are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license which means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose. You can even modify, copy and distribute the photos without asking permission or providing a link back to the source. This makes the images perfect if you’re going to be using them for social media, for your printed marketing collateral and your brand new website!
Free Picture Websites #7 – Unsplash
Unsplash present a selection of stunning free images offered up by the world’s most generous community of photographers – lucky us, hey?! Visit the site here.
Again, you can use them for commercial and noncommercial activities and you don’t need permission or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash.
So there we go, a selection of the free pictures websites you can use to download high-quality images for your small business, website or blog. You could even use the images to promote your content on social media sites including Pinterest.
Just remember, images are important, especially with online content. They should always be used, but should be carefully chosen.
I do recommend checking out Ultimate Guide to Rules For Using Stock Photos, as they go on to explain some of the legal aspects, the best practices and ways to protect yourself so you don’t run into any trouble when using stock images.
What advice would you give to those just starting out? If you’ve got experience with creating images for online content, then get in touch with us.