Top 5 Free Stock Photo Sites for Small Businesses

free stock photos, small business tips, stock photos

When you are creating your visual marketing pieces, it is always a good idea to try to use authentic photos either taken by yourself, a team member or a photographer – but sometimes a great stock photo can really fill a gap in your marketing needs. You can find gorgeous stock photos on a variety of sites, but some can be pretty pricey, especially if you want to use them in print marketing.

Here are my top 5 favorite FREE stock photo sites:

SKITTERPHOTO
https://skitterphoto.com/

Love the concept of this site – Skitterphoto was launched in 2014 by amateur photographers with day jobs from Groningen and Drenthe in The Netherlands. They are running a small business doing photography and offering it to us for use!

From their site:
We decided to let our pictures go and publish them online on our own website. Why? Because good quality free photos are were hard to find and we had some of our own.

We saw our photos being used in all corners of the world and this motivated us to make better pictures. Two and a half years later we renewed our website to allow photographers to upload photos as well. Be welcome on our website, we hope you enjoy it!

PEXELS
https://www.pexels.com/

This is my personal fave for my marketing needs. They almost always have exactly what I am looking for when I begin my search, and offer a variety of sizes for quick download depending on whether I need a pic for a print or web project.

From their site:
Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.

Currently we cover over 30,000 free stock photos. And every month at least 3,000 new high resolution photos will be added. All photos are hand-picked from photos uploaded by our users or sourced from free image websites. We make sure all published pictures are high-quality and licensed under CC0.

BURST
https://burst.shopify.com/

Burst is a free stock photo site that is powered by Shopify. They have a great selection of photos broken into helpful categories (food, business, baby, etc) and also have an interesting section of their site called “business ideas” which can help users to visualize their marketing directed towards a specific goal (ie: sell bracelets online, etc.)

From their site:
All the photos on our platform are offered under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means you’re welcome to use the photos for any purpose. We built this site to empower designers, developers, bloggers and entrepreneurs to create stunning websites and marketing campaigns. You can use these pictures for absolutely anything — hero images on your blog or online store, backgrounds for school projects, shots for social media campaigns, client work, and beyond. For more info, read our license page.

UNSPLASH
https://unsplash.com/

This site boasts over 200,000 photos available to download and they are stunning. Beautifully captured photos of landscapes, animals and people.

From their site:

With a huge library of photos and hundreds more being added each day, chances are we’ve got a photo for you. Find inspiration in the new photos we hand-select every day or use our search to find and download exactly what you’re looking for.

PIXABAY
https://pixabay.com/

With over one million photographs available, this is the most comprehensive photo sites in this post, so you are likely to find a photo to meet your needs here. I will say however, that these photos feel a little more “stocky” to me than some of the options on the other sites – but sometimes, that is exactly what you need!

From their site:
Free images and videos you can use anywhere. All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this list – be sure to complement your stock photography with authentic photos of your business, your team and your product. Consider hiring local photographers to shoot for you to support your small business community. Often they will offer special pricing and package deals to other local small businesses.

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