We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and we know that we should use great images on our websites, but why?
- Our brains process images faster than words
- Images evoke emotion
- Images make the process of interacting with our websites richer and more engaging
Because of this, selecting images should be more than an afterthought! Don’t spend all your time crafting the perfect blog post, award-winning sales page or the perfect brochure copy and then grab the first image that comes up on Google images search! Why?
- First of all, that’s illegal – many images that appear in the Google Images search are copyrighted and you could be sued for copyright infringement. Don’t think it will happy to your small business or your personal blog, think again!
- Second, I doubt the first Google search image is the most engaging, emotion evoking image!
Ok… I get it… I need good, powerful images. I can’t take them from Google Images Search. So, how do I find images?
Use your own original images
- You can hire a photographer to take photos of your product, of you interacting with clients, of your office space and so on
- If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional, brush up on your photography skills and take your own photos
- You can also create your own custom graphics using programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Pixelmator, Canva and even PowerPoint.
But Melinda, I don’t have images and I don’t have time to take pictures and you say I can’t use Google Images. Now what?
Enter Stock Photos and Illustrations
Many photographers and illustrators sell their images for people to use, and some even provide their images for free! It’s important that you read the fine print on the photo sites and understand that even if someone is providing the image for use at no cost, sometimes you are required to give them credit. Most websites will spell out what type of attribution, or credit, is required.
A few important things to remember
- All of the stock photo resources shared in this article are Royalty-Free. This means that anyone can purchase the image (or in some cases use for free). Anyone! Including your competitors. For most people, this is ok. But for high profile campaigns, you may want to look into Rights Managed images, or use your own original images.
- Always give credit, if the source requires it.
- Never just “borrow” an image.
- Beware of the stock photography time vortex! It’s very easy to spend way too much time searching for the perfect image.
Paid Stock Photo Resources
The price of paid stock photography and illustrations has dropped quite a bit over the past few years, and while there’s many free options available, sometimes it’s easier/faster to just pay for an image. Some of my favorite paid sources include:
- Deposit Photos – stock photos, illustrations and video files
- iStock Photo – stock images, illustrations and video files
- Creative Market – stock images, illustrations, and tons of templates (WordPress Themes, PowerPoint Templates, Brochures and much much more)
Free Stock Photo Resources
The majority of these resources are Creative Commons CC0 license, which means that you are not required to give attribution, or credit, when you use an image. But please double check the listing for any image that you wish to use!
Do you have a favorite stock photo resource that’s not listed here? Any other questions or other image related posts that you’d like to see? Please leave a comment below!
This post was originally published on Halloween, so the above images were selected from Gratisography to set the tone for the day.