Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Stock Photos
Ever wonder how stock photos work? I’ve been marketing online for over 15 years now and found one of the most important things in marketing online is high-quality photos. This includes the use of stock photography.
I’ve used both free and paid stock photos. I mostly use three to four different sites when I’m looking for photos I can use in my websites or on social media.
The following is a list of FREE & Paid Stock Photo Sites & Specials.
Stockfresh.com – This is a stock photo site that I’ve used the most over the last 6 years. If you have a high need for stock photos each day you can get a subscription that will save you hundreds of dollars.
Pexels.com – Not a lot of options from search, but it does have some extremely nice photos. In fact, it is normally my first search when I’m looking for a stock photo.
Stockvault.net – Another awesome free stock photo site I’ve used recently. One thing that is different than Pexels is that it has a lot of vector style files where Pexels does not
Unsplash.com – This is one of the first stops I make when I’m looking for a really high-resolution stock photo and want it free. The users on this site upload their images for free to use commercial and personal rights with no attribution required.
Okay, not all stock photos depict women laughing while eating salad or awkwardly posed scenarios. In fact, the world of stock photos is pretty vast and far too many business savvy people don’t realize the potential of using stock photos for your business, let alone using them if you make your own website.
Stock photos can be bought from aggregate sites for various purposes, alongside stock illustrations and video footage. Buying stock photos is a great alternative to hiring a photographer to take a few photos. Not only that, the process of buying stock photos is very easy. You only have to purchase credits or pay for the photos in local currency and click to download.
There are many websites that have various types of microstock photos for sale. I can list all the different sites but, instead, I’d rather just tell you StockFresh is what I’ve personally used for years. IF, you are wanting more limited use and willing to pay. If you are wanting something else then by all means, check out the sites listed above. And the best part is… you can get started using stock photos for your business-related purposes today.
How To Use Stock Photos in General
Some people might frown at using stock photos, but let’s be honest: no one has the time or money to always hire a photographer. Stock photos are great for circumventing time and money costs involved with photography. Plus, if you’re savvy with search, you can find practically anything you need via a stock photo website.
How To Search For Stock Photos
You might have trouble finding ‘the right stock photo’ when getting started. To find photos that match what you need, depending on the individual website, you may need to enter in as many relevant keywords as you can.
Something like ”smiling woman happy outdoors summer beach palm tree’ (just an example) may bring up photos you might need to build a web page dedicated to a, let’s say, a vacation resort in Florida.
But please keep in mind that some sites work better with single keywords like “nature”.
How Stock Photos Work
It’s easy to use a stock photo. All stock photo websites will have a ‘Download’ button on the photo’s individual information page. You can choose to download the photo in most resolutions (sizes). Many will have the largest size available, but you may have to purchase an additional license to download.
Most images are perfectly usable under a ‘standard license,’ which enables most microstock photos to be used in most applications. You can reach the terms and conditions regarding licensing at any stock photo site. Just make sure you read the license information before you buy or use any stock photography. It’s pretty important you understand the term of use before, well, you use any stock photos!
After educating yourself, buying and downloading your photos, it’s time to use them. Most of these can be edited, manipulated and transformed into graphics suited for use on the web in graphics editing programs like Photoshop. Just give it a shot yourself!
Keep in mind, depending on the license, these photos can be used on social media sites, your personal blog, inside your self-published book and many other uses. Get creative!
I hope this helps.