Content marketing · Design

What are the best tools to discover quality images for your website/blog post?

Anonymous

April 22nd, 2015

As Airbnb and many other companies have shown us, the conversion rate drastically increases if compelling images are used on your landing page or blog post. What are the best sources that you use to find beautiful images you can copy, modify, distribute and use, without asking permission and without paying attribution?

Alex Eckelberry CEO at Meros.io

April 23rd, 2015

Fake Crow's post above is excellent. Another thing I do is search on a specific free photo site, like Unsplash, using Google Images.

For example, go to Google images, and type "site:unsplash.com" and all the free images come up, without having to scroll endlessly through the site. 

Mary Baum Digital consultant and web developer to the tennis industry. Standard on WordPress and the Genesis Framework.

April 22nd, 2015

Karl is right when he says it will cost you a lot to shoot your own - if by shooting your own, we mean hiring a professional, commercial photographer who charges a substantial day rate. 

Assuming you do business in the US, you will also not own the images. S/he will. You will have very specific usage rights that you negotiate separately from the shooting fee - which will be higher than even Getty.

So when I recommend you shoot your own, I mean exactly that: acquire a good DSLR camera, a monopod or a tripod - and learn to use it. Yourself. 

That's the surest way to be clear of copyright restrictions. 

If you have any experience in the visual fields, you already have an eye for composition. If not, you can take video instruction at lynda.com.

If you have creatives on staff - full-time employees who get benefits - you can also use images they take and claim ownership on behalf of the company as work-for-hire. Note that you cannot claim ownership of images they shoot that you have not specifically asked them for - no vacation pics, no shots of their pets, no using their mother as an unwitting model. 

If you need a shot of a table and chairs, they can shoot the ones in your office - or ones you buy from a store for the purpose. Or they can shoot their own furniture if they want - but it must be clear that they've chosen to use those things voluntarily and specifically.

I could go on forever on this subject - I have been a designer/creative director since 1983 (32 years) and started shooting my own images about eight years ago precisely to meet the needs you now have. I also am shooting and editing video as well, thanks to the ever-decreasing costs of the tools!

Hope this helps!

Mary


Alper Cakir

April 22nd, 2015

Here is a blog post we wrote about this, I hope it helps:

http://fakecrow.com/17-best-stock-image-icon-uidesign-sources/

Annette Tonti Founder, President at The Start Exchange

April 22nd, 2015

Alper- great post!  Thank you

Ernest Lupinacci Founder & CEO of Ernest Industries

April 22nd, 2015

The best / only route i can think of is using royalty-free images from any of a variety of stock photography sites... otherwise, you run the risk of using images that are someone's intellectual property - and if they come after you, It could be expensive and embarrassing. 

pmelcher

April 23rd, 2015

The issue is not with Creative Commons but rather with the possibility that the photograph might not be owned by the person offering it. They might have taken it from somewhere else and uploaded to Flickr as theirs. Because off safe harbor law, Flickr is not liable for this but you, the end user, are. You face the same risk with any of the free photos sites. With professional sites, like Shutterstock or Getty Images, your are fully protected against such issue and part of the reason they charge a fee. How that helps. ~ Paul M (Written on my phone)

Ken Chow Building Effective Marketing Practices for High Growth Companies

April 22nd, 2015

The best is still Getty, but you pay for it. iStock and Shutterstock deal in many of the same images. At some prices, it makes sense to do your own shoot.

Ken Chow Building Effective Marketing Practices for High Growth Companies

April 22nd, 2015

One minor point: sometimes, when I'm really struggling to settle on a theme or image, I'll just Google the terms or similar phrases, see what kind of related searches appear, as well as related images. From there you can better use the search capabilities of your stock service, and search for original sources.

Alper Cakir

April 22nd, 2015

I should also add another one of our blog posts in case you intent to use Google for spotting free to use images:

http://fakecrow.com/find-high-quality-free-to-use-images-for-your-site-with-google-search/

Rajat Saxena

April 23rd, 2015

https://stocksnap.io/ is also good. It has a search function so you can easily search what you want and the service sends weekly emails containing fresh photos directly to your inbox.