By Elizabeth Dubos
If you’re in a creative industry, you’ve probably come across the term, “stock imagery.” Stock imagery consists of photography, vectors, and illustrations. You can use stock images for commercial or personal purposes. There’s royalty and royalty-free licenses; depending on the license you get it’s free for commercial use or you must pay a fee and credit the artist to utilize the imagery. Either way, it’s important to read the licensing, so you understand the restrictions in the way you can use the images. People use stock imagery for social media, presentations, branding material, and more. Stock imagery is beneficial because it saves time and money.
If you search “stock imagery,” on Google, you’re going to be presented with Shutterstock, VectorStock, Adobe Stock, Dreamstime, or iStockPhoto. These are excellent websites for finding high-quality stock imagery, however they’re a bit pricey. So if you’re on a budget it’s best to stick to free stock imagery. But free stock imagery can be challenging because it can be difficult to find the right photo for your project.
I completely understand the struggle to find free high quality stock images. When you’re in design school, you’re expected to produce exceptional projects. Therefore, to achieve this, you must use premium imagery; but premium imagery is costly (so is design school.) Plus, searching for free stock images that will meet your project’s needs is extremely time consuming. So, instead of you spending hours and hours searching for free high-quality stock imagery, here’s a list of websites.
Unsplash. Unsplash believes that stock imagery has a bad reputation, so they offer thousands of free high-quality stock imagery.
Pexels. Pexels offers free stock photos and videos that can be downloaded for personal and commercial use.
Pixabay. Pixabay offers copyright free photos, vector graphics, illustrations, videos, and music. There are over two million high-quality options for people to choose from.
StockSnap. StockSnap is another website that provides high-resolution imagery that can be used for personal and commercial use. Hundreds of high-quality images are uploaded each week, so you don’t have to worry about outdated material.
Freepik. FreePik offers thousands of photos, vectors, PSD files, and icons for free. If you want to access more content, you can pay a fee and upgrade to premium. However, this website is better suited for personal projects because it’s very limited for commercial use. It’s vital that you check the licensing before using it to avoid getting in trouble.
Adobe Stock Free Collection. In October 2020, Adobe added free 70,000 stock photos, illustrations, templates, and videos to their platform. The free material meets the same licensing standards as the paid ones; therefore, it can be used for commercial purposes.
Stock imagery can be a lot of fun to use because it can enhance your projects. While free stock imagery can a challenge to find, it’s worth it to have it in your projects. So, try using a few of these websites to help save on time when you’re searching the perfect stock imagery to use. What type of projects would you like to create with stock imagery?
Edited by Emelyn Ehrlich