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Visual content makes all the difference in a site’s appearance. It’s like the cherry on the cake.
Images, videos, infographics, and other media-related material are among the most important elements you can include on your website. All successful bloggers and marketers know that the best way to ‘decorate’ and customize the looks of a blog or website, is through stock photography. And, as a course creator, the same principle applies to your online school.
So, what exactly is stock photography and how can you use it to your advantage?
Let’s find out…
- What is Stock Photography?
- Using Stock Photos
- Ready to Get Creative With Stock Photography?
What is Stock Photography?
Stock photography refers to the online sources of images that are available for downloading by individual people and companies. Stock photos are generic photos that show people, places, and things that are licensed for commercial use. Some stock images have no copyright restrictions or are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, (CC0 license) which means they become available through a public domain and they are free to use and download.
Using Stock Photos
Often used to personalize a client’s brand, business, or specific commercial projects on a website or through social media, these royalty-free images have much to offer.
Some sites include other visual material such as video clips, audio, images for mockups, vectors, illustrations, and editorial content, which often comes with a price. In short, they offer some awesome multimedia material to enrich your online course!
Want to exploit this immense potential?
Well, this article lists 15 stock photo directories where you can find and download free images of all sorts that are not strictly corporate-related. These include everything from office-space images to cat photos, or other creative and inspiring content that can enhance the on-site learning experience for your users, improve the appearance of your school, or update your online course material.
Go through our list of suggestions to find out where you can get all the best free stock photos for your website.
FreeImages lists many photo categories you can choose from, ranging from popular sectors such as business, arts and education, and other specific subjects e.g. flower/trees, home designs, celebrities, and many more that you can make relevant to the subject you teach. The site offers you the option to search for images in terms of price availability, submission date popularity, and editor’s picks.
Unsplash offers beautiful HD and sentimental photos that you can use not only for commercial purposes. What’s great about this site is that it lists photos as collections that are curated by brands like Magazine, Trello, Fujifeed, and Squarespace. As noted on the site, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable non-exclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free.
On Pexels you can literally find anything you want. The site is easy to use and navigate as it offers a browsing tool that suggests categories for search. It offers a range of high-quality photos and collections of very specific things, places, and people. Pexels adds new images every day and allows you to check the profile collection of top photographers or even contribute with photos of your own. Attribution is not required, and you can modify, copy and distribute photos freely.
Pixabay has over 1.2 million images, vectors, illustrations, and videos that you can browse and download for free. It has an editor’s Choice section and photographers’ profile collection that you can check out differentiating them by most active, popular, and newcomers. The content is released under the CC0, which makes them safe to use and allows downloads without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist.
Stocksnap is one of the most popular stock image resources you can use. The content is beautiful and attractive to the eye. Every week it gets updated with new photos and you get to check which ones are the most trending. The site offers ‘truly CC0’ free pictures for websites from a range of categories e.g. food, nature, travel, technology, sorting the search by relevance, date added, popularity, views, and downloads.
Another website for stock photos that is worth checking out is Burst. Supported by Shopify, it offers a great deal of visually appealing images you can use for any occasion. While it has a relatively smaller collection compared to others on this list, you can search for any category you want through ‘all photos’ and popular collections. Burst also offers some useful tips and business ideas that you can take inspiration from.
Welcome to the world of pix. LifeofPix has a gallery of free high-resolution images you can choose from. Although somewhat limited in the numbers in each category, the site offers the opportunity to search for more photos through the photographers’ profiles, check free videos, and upload your own material.
If you are selling online courses where food is your key subject, then you are going to love FoodiesFeed. Here you can browse more than 1,700 photos and find vibrant and colorful pictures that are all food-related. Popular search tags to help you find the stock photos you need are vegan, healthy, top view, fresh and close up, giving you a great number of options to choose from.
MorgueFile offers a site that’s easy to use as it comes with handy search tools. With over 350,000 free stock photos for websites available, you can search for images of any type whether it is for inspiration, personal or commercial use. Also, you can browse videos or even upload your own creative content once you create an account.
StockVault is one of the most popular websites for free images, which you will need to add to your list. Apart from free stock images though, it also offers ‘ready-to-use web layouts and photography logo templates to those who don’t have the means to gain access to royalty-free agencies. For those who do, there are also some premium products that include photos, music, textures, and footage. The site is very easy to use as it offers a huge variety of categories you can choose from.
PicJumbo is a large photo database that has over 2,500 images. If you are leading big projects and looking for free stock images, backgrounds, and high-resolution images for your website and blog, PicJumbo is the ideal choice for you. Apart from that, it also comes with many photo categories and packages for premium content, allowing you to download a large selection of images all in one package for a small fee.
Reshot comes with a rich stock photo collection (25,000+), SVG icons, and vector illustrations. To help creative professionals, the company gives emerging photographers the opportunity to share their best work online and promote it further. What’s great about Reshot, is that it allows you to download images in SVG, PNG, and vector formats with no additional cost and allows instant downloads.
Gratistography is a free stock image website that was created by Ryan McGuire, a photographer and graphic designer who likes to experiment with images. Unlike other stock photography directories, on Gratistography you can find photos that have a surreal and humorous touch. If you are looking for whimsical or images that are more creative and out-of-the-box, this is where you find them.
SplitShire offers a large variety of beautiful and exclusive free stock photos and videos in many different categories. The site makes it easy to find exactly what you are looking for by dedicating a page to Top Best Photos and New Stock Photos. From there you can check what’s new in their photo collection or choose any of their image suggestions.
Kaboompics is a stock photo site that stands out from the rest. By promising to find the perfect picture photo for you, it shows you all the featured images but also lists the newest to oldest, and then the most, and least downloaded photos. A unique element it comes with is the search feature that allows you to choose a color palette for the image you are searching for.
Ready to Get Creative With Stock Photography?
In this article, we have searched and found the best websites for free photos. Start browsing their galleries to choose eye-catching and popular images for your website and school to make great first impressions.
While you are at it, go with the ones that are as specific as possible. Using keywords on search tools can help you find what you are looking for even though sometimes you may need to come up with a unique one that works along with the topic of your online course or e-learning material.
These photos have the power to influence your brand’s image, reputation, and your customer loyalty and can guarantee that you get high-quality images shot by hired photographers.
So, what’s holding you back? Try any of these websites today and tell us what you think!
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.