If you have a good budget for images I would recommend hiring a photographer to take shots which are of your brand, for your brand.
However, if you can’t afford to do that, your next step is stock photography sites which offer royalty free or rights managed options. These sites often operate on a credit basis, meaning you purchase x amount of credits for £x. Different sizes or formats may cost a different amount of credits. A popular one is iStockphoto.
If you’re a start up or a small business with a tight budget then you may find that you can’t splash out on the required credits. It can get pricey, quick! On the other hand you may have never thought about stock photography because you simply use Google images to find images. You should definitely stop this as you probably don’t know the specific licenses for each image (using the Usage Rights search tool probably isn’t 100% accurate either) and you may get a letter or email demanding payment from a photography or a company like Getty. I hear they’re going on a rampage.
So, what to do?! Well, here’s some sites for free images to use commercially – but please don’t take my word for it, ALWAYS double check individual photo licenses.
- freeimages.com / Huge collection
- picjumbo.com / Quite a large site with an easy to use search function
- getrefe.tumblr.com / Infinity scroll tumblr site, no search function currently
- imcreator.com/free / You can browse through collections or use the search bar to see if there’s something for you.
- gratisography.com / Another infinity scroll, you could be here for hours, but luckily if you’re in a rush there’s a search bar. Also, rabbits.
- picography.co / Pages and pages of just pictures – with a search bar woop!
- jaymantri.com / As stated, free pics, do anything! Another tumblr based site without a search bar.
- pixabay.com / Another extensive site with over 650K visuals.
- designerspics.com / They’ll either suit what you need completely or be far from what you require…
- pexels.com / They add 50 new pictures daily apparently. Woosh!
- lifeofpix.com / This one adds new pictures weekly thanks to a network of photographers who donate them to the public domain.
- stocksnap.io / Plenty of pics for you to check out, search via terms or filter by, for example, downloads.
- unsplash.com / Minimal site, focus on the snaps. Filter by term, collection or by how new the images are.
- splitshire.com / There is a search bar, but that advert at the top that looks like one, is definitely not one. >.> But click on it anyway because the pics are free!
- startupstockphotos.com / Prepare to scroll….
- deathtothestockphoto.com / Get free photos by email every month. They have now ventured out and do other projects like short films and wallpapers.
- Sad mention: Little Visuals / A site put together by a 26 year old named Nic who sadly passed away late 2013 due to S.A.D.S (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome). If you’re between 14-25 you can be screened, sometimes it’s free (funded by a local CRY charity or memorial fund) other times it’s around £35. I’ve had it done, there’s lots of wires and it takes five minutes. Get it done! Find out more here.