How to use images for free
They say an image speaks 1000 words, but where do we get all the images from?
We know how important it is to have visuals for our brands, they help tell our story and connect with our ideal customer, but how can you include photography on a bootstrap?
What not to do
It’s easy to think that you can grab an image from a Google search and that no one will ever know, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Even though an image appears in a Google search. It doesn’t mean it’s free to use, in fact far from it… someone somewhere owns the copyright and well that’s a whole can of worms I don’t fancy opening.
Good news there are free and low-cost alternatives which leave you sleeping better at night… stock photography.
If you use Canva to create content, you will have already come across stock photography. These are the images that are there when you click on ‘photos’ some are paid for but a whole chunk of them are free to use.
winner… or not…
I don’t know about you but it does feel like we’ve seen them before… and well quite possibly when there are 30 million monthly active users!*
So what are your options?
Time to check out some other stock libraries, here are just a few:
But doesn’t stock photography, well, look like stock photography?
The look and feel of stock photography has changed considerably in the 20 years I’ve been working.
Yes, you can still find some cheesy examples (always a bit of fun) but stock libraries can be filled with amazing creativity. You need to have the patience to look, but once you find a photographer who feels right for your brand it’s worth seeing what else they have available. Ideal if you are filling a website.
What if everyone else is using stock photography?
Alternatively, if you’re a product-based business, then learning how to use a decent camera could be a skill worth investing in so you can take your own shots.
Just a few things to remember.
Quality, make sure you download decent file sizes. If it’s too small you can end up with blurry images.
Connection, keep your ideal customer in mind. Make sure you’re choosing photography they can relate to.
Relevance, is the image relevant to what you’re writing about? The shot might look fab but if the image you use has no relevance it will make no sense.
Do make sure you have permission to use the photo. It’s best to always check the licence to ensure you can use it on whichever platform you are intending.
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