Are you looking for Free Stock Photos to boost your brand? Stock photography is an industry term that has become ingrained in digital marketing and online businesses over the past decade. The industry that produces these materials has seen a rise in demand as companies tap into a larger global audience through an online presence.
Stock photography plays a significant role in digital marketing and advertising. It’s essential to understand its purpose, how it works, what it does, how it impacts companies, and how it will continue influencing industries and help online sellers.
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What is a stock photo?
First, let’s clarify what “stock photography” means. At its most basic, stock photography is an industry that creates or sells imagery in the forms of photos, illustrations, and videos and can be bought for use through different licensing models.
Customers pay a fee to purchase the rights to use any stock photos or videos they desire legally. They can then incorporate them in their marketing strategies or personal projects as required. This fee is divided between the artist who took the footage or photo and an agency or service that manages the picture’s sales.
Customers can download the image within minutes and can use it immediately. The copyright of the material is retained by photographers, while agencies profit by facilitating the transaction.
Types of stock photography
Since the beginning of the 20th-century, stock photography has evolved into three major types.
Macro stock – Macrostock photography can also be called traditional stock photography. Customers pay a higher price to license macro stock imagery to ensure they have exclusive rights to the image. This preserves the uniqueness of the photos being used. Some photos in macro stock are not entirely complete. This means that only a few customers can buy the rights to the same stock image.
Mid stock – Mid stock photography offers stock photography at a price that is between microstock and macrostock. It’s often used online and provides exclusive and non-exclusive options to use imagery.
Microstock – Microstock photography is affordable because it removes exclusivity. The microstock model is relatively new and has seen a lot of growth since 2000 when more stock agencies took advantage of the technological advances to become established. Microstock can be purchased at lower prices and in larger quantities, which means that multiple customers may buy the rights for microstock imagery.
20 best free stock photo sites for commercial use
Shopify – Burst
Burst, a free stock photography site powered by Shopify, is available. Our image library contains thousands of high-resolution images that were taken by members of a worldwide community of photographers. Every week, new high-definition images are added. These images are available for personal or commercial use.
You can search the site for images by keyword or popular category. Burst also has a section called “business ideas”. You will find free stock photos that you can download, and business tips are broken down by niche. This includes women’s fashion and art supplies.
Pixabay offers a free stock site with more than 2.2 million stock photos, videos, and music clips that the Pixabay community can download. It provides royalty-free photos by contributors that anyone can modify and use without any attribution to the artist.
Pixabay stock images have been described as mediocre for most of them and cover a wide variety of topics. All photos are released under the Pixabay license. This license is slightly less restrictive than the Creative Commons CC0.
Unsplash offers over 2.5 million beautiful stock photos that were taken by a worldwide community of photographers. Unsplash offers new images every day so that you can use all images for your personal use. You can create a free account on this stock photography website to collect photos and have them accessible from your computer, iPhone, iPad, or another device.
Pexels provides a free stock photo and video library under the Pexels license. This license is similar to the CC0. Pexels licenses images that you can copy, modify, distribute and distribute. The stock image site contains hundreds of thousands of images, all hand-picked from photos submitted by the Pexels community. The site’s discovery pages make it easy to find all photos.
Shutterstock provides licensed stock images, vectors, and illustrations for both businesses and consumers all over the globe. It boasts a community of more than one million creators and constantly adds hundreds of thousands of new creative assets.
Shutterstock has downloaded over 1 billion images and video clips to date. Shutterstock has over 300 million stock images and customers in more than 150 countries.
Getty Images provides stock images, editorial photography, and video from a library that contains over 200 million assets. Getty Images is more geared towards corporations and creative professionals in media and advertising.
Images are usually not available for free. You will need to purchase a license to use them. You can, however, use some photos free of charge with Getty’s embed feature. This is only for non-commercial use. But here’s the kicker: You can’t get rid of the Getty Images watermark on the free images.
Free stock images are available on the Canva website, which is a well-known graphic design tool. Canva’s library contains millions of stock photos that can be downloaded or used in its design editor. You can toggle between images and colors by navigating between tabs.
iStock is another top stock photography website. You can find millions of photos, illustrations and clip art on this site. It is also well-known for its ability to pay contributors well for their contributions. Although most assets require licensing fees, iStock offers weekly stock photos for download.
Freepik offers great stock image sites for creators looking for beautiful stock images and professional Photoshop (PSD) templates. You can also download more than four million assets from vectors to illustrations. You must give credit to Freepik for any commercial or personal use.
picjumbo was created by Viktor Hanacek, a designer, and photographer. Because all other photo websites rejected Viktor Hanacek’s photos because they were “lacklustre,” it was born.
Picjumbo has thousands of high-resolution images and social media elements. Images can be found quickly and are displayed in collections. This allows you to see the same image from multiple perspectives and locate the best images for your project.
Life of Pix
LEEROY Creative Agency created Life of Pix, which offers high-resolution stock photos that are true to life. There are thousands of stock photos available, covering everything from people and food to architecture and textures. Each week, the site features 10 new photos from a selected Photographer of the Week. Distributors are subject to some restrictions.
Depositphotos offers stock images worldwide. There are over 202,000,000 assets available to download. Browse through thematic collections for free stock photography and media trusted by companies like TripAdvisor and Forbes. The site has around 69,000 high-quality images that you can download free of charge.
ISO Republic is a website that provides high-resolution Creative Commons CC0 photos, videos and other content. It boasts a growing library of over 6,000 photos that are free to use for commercial or personal purposes, with no attribution.
FreeImages has over 380,000 free stock photos available for you to share. These photos can be used in ads, printed materials and websites, and any other projects. Images for fashion, fitness and family, as well as travel concepts, can be downloaded free of charge.
Gratisography, a website that offers free stock images different from any other one on this list, was created by Ryan McGuire. You can download it completely free of copyright restrictions. Gratisography photos are the best way to communicate your brand and leave an impression on your viewers.
Stocks New and Old
Are you looking for vintage photos to use in your project? Old stock is the best place to look for vintage photos. Although the stock photography site no longer adds new images, you can still browse old photos from Flickr Commons-listed institutions or public archives. From New England’s gold mining to NASA’s in the 1970s, photos of everything will be available.
Kaboompics, another popular stock image site with more than 20,000 photos, is also free. It’s owned by one photographer/entrepreneur and has a stock photo license that covers both personal and commercial purposes without attribution (although it’s appreciated). Site search allows you to locate photos from over 1,500 collections. Advanced sorting options will enable you to find the best match. Kaboompics also offers expert advice on design and marketing.
Freerange has an extensive library of stock images that are free to download. Photos can be submitted by contributors or shot in-house. These collections include backgrounds and textures, animals, insects, technology, vintage photos, and more. Daily new photos are added.
Adobe Stock has a reputation for high-quality stock photos and a high price tag. Did you know that it offers free photos and videos? Browse through curated photo collections that feature popular themes such as springtime, Nature, and landscape. You can also download free templates and illustrations from the site to use in your next commercial or personal project.
StockSnap.io, a free stock photo site, was created by the same people behind Snappa. You can find hundreds of high-resolution images, and more are added each week. It is easy to use and allows you to sort by popularity, downloads, favorites, and other criteria. This library was built from user submissions. It reflects a modern, trendy style that you can use in your projects without copyright restrictions.
Stockvault has a large collection of more than 138,000 photos covering a variety of topics. You can download photos from other creators worldwide and make your own. The photos are of excellent quality. Stockvault only has one problem: it offers three licenses. Make sure you check that the photo is allowed to be used for your intended purpose.
Foodiesfeed has the best food photography stock photos site on the internet. With intuitive search functionality and tag management, you can browse more than 1,700 photos. Foodies feed is ideal for food-related websites looking for high-quality, trendy photos.
Formerly called MMT, FOCA stock has a complete archive of stock photos that are free for commercial use. Every week, new photos are added. The site focuses primarily on macro stock photography and nature stock photography. It is easy to use and allows you to sort by tags, color, orientation, and category to find what you are looking for easily.
How to use stock photos legally for your Amazon brand
It is essential to be familiar with the different licenses when using stock photos legally. When sharing images, stock agencies usually use one of three types: Royalty-Free, Rights Managed, or Extended license. These licenses allow you to use the stock photos without restriction freely.
The Rights Managed license has a higher exclusivity than the others. This type of license works on the principle that the user must pay according to the use required. Based on factors like:
- Image use
- Image display size
- Displayed image duration
- Visibility of the image
- Geographical location
The license covers only the consigned usage. To use the image in any other way, a new license is required. These licenses are priced according to the use. They are, however, less common because they are exclusive. You should read all terms and conditions carefully before you agree to this type of license image.
The second type of license is Royalty-free. These licenses are priced according to file size. Files with high resolution (e.g. 60 MB) will cost more than lower resolution files (10 MB).
Royalty-free images are free of restrictions. The buyer can use them for digital or print media as many times as they wish. The Royalty-Free licenses can be used generally because they don’t require users to renegotiate the terms if they use the image in another medium.
You should be aware that there are some restrictions when you use Royalty-free images:
- The image cannot be shared, transferred, or gifted to anyone else.
- It must be part of the overall design. You cannot resell the image or redistribute it.
- The photo cannot be used as part of a trademark or design mark.
- This image is not allowed to be used in pornographic or adult content.
- The image should not be interpreted as a negative representation of the properties or models in the photograph.
- It is not a good idea to use the models or properties in the image to make them endorse a product or service.
Extended licenses are an upgrade to the standard Royalty-free license. This extends your usage rights for the image that you purchase. The buyers only pay one time to secure exclusive usage rights for the image they purchase. The extended license allows for photos that are not available under any other model of license.
- Unlimited print run
- You can use it in resale products.
This means that you can use images or photos from commercially sold items like printed T-shirts, mugs, and so on.
Creative Commons License
You can also use legally safe photos on your websites and blogs by using images that have a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons is an organization that provides easy-to-use, free licenses. Stock photos that come with a creative commons license are a great way to use them legally. These licenses allow users to modify or use photos they like.
Stock Photography Vs Custom Real photography? Which is better for your Amazon brand
It is not as simple as you might think to decide between stock photography vs real imagery. Because there is no one right answer, stock photography is not the best option. It all boils down to the person’s needs and what they want to achieve with the image. There are many factors to consider when making a decision.
We’ll begin by defining the differences between stock photography and real imagery in the debate about Stock photography vs real imagery. Real images are photos taken by professional photographers for any purpose you choose. You can access a collection of stock photography photos from the internet. You can use some of these storage banks for free, like Google Images.
Pros of Stock photography
When choosing between stock photography or real images, the first thing you should consider is the price. Many stock photo banks will let you choose from a variety of images at no cost or a very low price.
Professional photographers can be too expensive or time-consuming for those who are working under tight deadlines. Stock photo banks offer many images, and a search function makes it easy to locate the right one.
Cons of Stock photography
Stock photos are not original. This is the biggest problem. Stock photo banks are an excellent choice for many people, which is exactly how it sounds: a solution for everyone. The license you purchase to use the image does not prevent anyone else from doing the same thing. The chances of finding a previously used image are greater than you might think, as most printing shops offer customers free access to the stock photo bank.
Custom Real photography
Real Images are rapidly becoming the most popular choice of users due to their many benefits. People find it appealing to have full control over the image’s quality and how it is used. You or a professional photographer can take real images. You have complete control over what happens next. Branding can be as simple as choosing the right image, rather than settling for something similar.
Pros of Real photography
The greatest advantage to real images is creativity and flexibility. You can create whatever vision you have with multiple shots taken from different angles so that you can get the best result. You have full control over the image’s quality and can format it to suit your needs without paying additional design fees. Many printers won’t format images at any cost.
Cons of Real photography
There are no cons to using real images. It can be costly to hire and schedule a professional photographer, depending on the services you need. Although investing in equipment and software for photography can be expensive, it is not something that you would do unless this were your vocation. The cost of cell phones is not an issue. There are many Photoshop programs available, and the quality of cell phones cameras keeps improving.
No matter which source you choose, good high quality is essential in 2021, especially in the case of online businesses, as there is no physical store, your photos express you, tells your audience who you are; with this article, we tried to share some knowledge on stock photography, also gave the free websites where you can download the high-quality picture, hope it helps.
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