With the horror stories out there about bloggers and companies who have been sued for using images that were not theirs, it can be very intimidating to try and find images to use on your website, emails, and more.
But images are such an important part of creating appealing content. And for some of us visual creativity is not necessarily where we excel or feel very comfortable.
That is why I've put together my top 6 resources for finding, and even creating, visual content quickly, easily, and with minimal design capabilities. These are my go-to resources for free images and graphics without the worry of copyright infringement.
This site is extremely useful because it allows you to search a wide range of images very quickly with a few keywords. This resource is great if you want stock photos or clipart. I often use it to spice up a presentation or ebook with a few clipart images that have transparent backgrounds.
The only downside to it is that some of the images are not always the best quality and they don't always exactly match what you are searching for. But overall this is a great resource as it is searchable and requires no attribution on most images.
This option is highly convenient, because for free you can have these high quality images delivered directly into your inbox once a month. These photos are very artsy and are described as: "Images for your vibe and tribe".
The photo objects tend to be outdoor scenes, natural people shots, or inanimate objects. They are very high quality and beautiful images. You can also choose to be a premium member for $15 a month if you want more of these types of images.
The only trouble I have with these images is that they are not always useful in B2B blogging or content creation, as they tend to be very casual or outdoorsy. But I have found these very helpful for local focused content, especially when writing about beach or mountain areas.
This site compiles tons of free stock images into a very user friendly and searchable database. It is my go to for finding more professional and business centric images.
A few tips:
1. Only use a couple of key terms when searching.
2. If you can't find what your looking for broaden your search terms.
3. You will find images on this site you will also find on unsearchable, free stock image websites. But without the hassel of scrolling through hundreds of images.
Looking for fun illustrations, quirky photos, and useful icons? Sumall is your answer.
With captions like "Leveraging Data for Dollars" and "Let's Talk Twitter" (pictured) these images are not only great for your existing piece of content, but might even spark a new blog post idea or two.
UPDATE July 24, 2015:
It appears Sumall has taken down their free images. So as an alternative to Sumall, I suggest a new tool called Snappa. This is a simple design tool that makes creating beautiful images a snap (pun intended)!
Snappa offers several pre-defined sizes for things like social media posts, email headers, and such, but you can definitely imput your own custom sizing for any design you want to make.
It also has a wide range of free images and icons you can use in your designs, and of course, you can upload any images you may want to use from other sources. This tool is very user friendly, and perfect for those of us who may be graphic design challenged *coughmecough*.
This is another go to site for high quality stock images. I love a good search feature and Picjumbo has it! It can be a little hard to find, as it blends in, but it is located at the top right corner on the website.
You canb browse through categories like Technology, People, and Business if you're not entirely sure what to search for. And you can sign up for emails straight to your inbox.
This tool will make you feel like an actual graphic designer - even for those who are definitely not!
Canva offers preset templates you can use to create all types of social media images: for your profile, your profile banner, and even posts. You can also design business cards, posters, menus, email headers, infographics, cards, photo collages and so much more using their preset templates. And you can always use your own custom dimensions if you prefer.
Once you have chosen your template or set your dimensions, you then choose your background, text, and images. Canva offers tons of free options, but also has paid options that are usually around $1 each.
Can't find what you're looking for? You can upload images into Canva. (Remember, you can find clipart on Pixaby!) This gives you the ability to make some very professional looking graphics for any piece of content.
So there you have it: my absolute 6 favorite ways to obtain free images quickly and simply. I no longer dread, but instead look forward to, finding the perfect images for my content: whether that be a blog post, service page, ebook, or infographic.
Did I miss any great resources? Tweet us your favorite free stock photo and image sites @BizTSocial