Where to Source Professional Images for Your Website?
The very first thing a person notices when they navigate to your site are the images on your pages. This is why your graphics are are so important. In the first few seconds a visitor will make up their mind about the services you provide and a huge component of that judgement call is based purely on the way your site looks. The very best images that you can use are images that display your services and the people involved. That isn’t always possible so then you are faced with the task of finding graphics that best represent the products or services that your are showcasing.
Below you’ll find a few different recommendations of online sites where you can go to find high quality images. Some of these resources are free, and some are paid services.
The free images are referred to as “creative commons”. They’re free for you to download and use on your websites as long as you provide credit to the owner of the image. One downside of creative commons is that your selection may be limited.
There are also paid graphics, which compensate the author of the images. With paid images, you get access to a very broad variety of stock photos that cover almost every industry out there.
We’ll provide recommendations for both free and paid sources below.
IM Free (Free)
is a free resource from IM Creator and their graphics are free for you to use under the Creative Commons license. We really like a lot of the photos here as they give a sense of realism and authenticity. IM Free categorises the pictures by collections / categories, such as ambient, arts & music, business, black & white, cityscape, education, fashion & beauty, foods & drinks, inspirations, lifestyles, nature, occupations, people, technology, etc. This is a fantastic resource.
Click here to seeIM Free.
Unsplash is a website that gives you 10 free, high resolution photos every 10 days. Once you visit the website, there are almost an endless number of beautiful and professionally taken photos for you to use, absolutely for free. Just keep scrolling down and you can use them as you wish. You should also read the licensing note just so you understand how you should use the images under Creative Commons. For a summary / archive of all the images ever posted, click here.
Click here to seeUnsplash.
500px.com (Free & Paid)
This is one of our favourite places to find free and paid graphics. One thing we really like about 500px.com is that their creative commons are awesome. The quality of these free images are just as good as the paid ones from a few other sources. We find that the pictures available here are more artistic and some of the “real life” shots are much more realistic than the canned pictures from other sources.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Flickr, which is probably the biggest resource of free pictures. At the time of this article, they have over 43 million free pictures for you to choose from. The challenge is that they don’t always have high quality images, but you can find a lot of “natural” pictures as people are free to share their images online on Flickr. So the images are not overly “posed”.
Click here to see Flickr.com
Getty Images has a very big selection of stock photography with over 24 million in their database. Amongst all the paid photography providers, we like Getty the most. They’re not the cheapest, but that’s for good reason as their images are very commercial (meaning they work very well for all kinds of businesses).
Click here to see GettyImages.com
Shutterstock has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of photo, icon and vector graphics (over 28 million). They offer package deals and also monthly subscriptions so that you can download as many images as you like during the subscription period. A drawback of Shutterstock is that some of their graphics are priced on the premium end. However, they do offer one of the best quality images that are exclusive to them, so in our mind, this definitely helps justify their pricing.
Click here to see Shutterstock.com
Bigstock has over 15 million images. They have a fantastic selection of background pictures, portraits, landscapes, fashion photography and much more. BigStock’s selection of pictures and icons is not as comprehensive as Shutterstock, but it has its advantages!
Click here to see Bigstock.com
For more great tips on the look of your site check out 5 Ways To Make Your Website Stand Out