Educator Resources

Study Notes: Where to Find the Best Stock Images (For Free)

Study Notes are lessons from Sawyer to help you grow your business. 

Images matter, especially when you are marketing a business. The idea of planning, photographing, and generating professional photos for a business is exciting. Unfortunately, it is also an expensive undertaking. If you want to plan a kid-friendly photoshoot, you might need to plan for a bigger team, talent, and a larger budget. If you lack the time, resources, and experience to plan and execute a photoshoot, you might feel stuck. 

That’s where stock photography comes in. Stock photos are photographs that are taken by creatives and licensed for specific use. We’re here to explain where businesses can find free and low-cost stock images and what kind of images can be used by businesses without copyright issues. 

Business owners can balance their use of custom photography and stock photos to maintain the appearance of a cohesive brand. For example, you might want to add real photos of your studio space, staff, classes, and offerings to your website. These photos are not as difficult to capture, because they do not require a full photo team. It might be harder to capture conceptual images like children at play. Fortunately, business owners can rely on curated stock images to capture moments of celebration, play, movement, and education.  Combine curated imagery of your business with stock images for the cost effective and impactful results! 

Before you start hunting for stock photos, you’ll want to read about Public Domain and Creative Commons media. Often, images that fall into these categories can be used for free for commercial and personal purposes! You’ll want to make sure to read each website’s photo license policy to make sure you know if and when to credit a photographer. 

We’ve compiled a list of stock photography websites that offer thousands of free photos. Some websites specialize in sourcing trendy lifestyle imagery, like the kind of images you see on Instagram or in magazines. Some offer traditional images, like images of curated spaces, illustrations, families, and more. Check out some of our favorite stock image sites below. 

Free and Low Cost Stock Image Resources

Pexels

Pexels features beautiful photos of lifestyle moments and models. Use Pexels for photos that you’ll display on your website, blog, or as activities on Sawyer Tools! You can also use images downloaded from Pexels for print marketing, business promotion, and social media.

Read more about the Pexels License

Unsplash

In 2013, Unsplash started as a Tumblr blog. Today, Unsplash is fueled by creators around the world and features beautiful imagery that doesn’t feel contrived. You are not required to credit artists, but you can support their work by doing so. 

Read more about the Unsplash license

Pixabay 

Pixabay has hundreds of thousands of photos, graphics, and videos that businesses can use copyright free. You can download illustrations and photos from this site and use them on your website, social media, and marketing materials for no extra cost.

Read more about the Pixabay license

Picspree 

Picspree is a helpful resource developed by a creative community of contributors. All images on the site are free to use without credit or permission on personal and commercial projects! There are also additional premium images that users can purchase for a small fee. 

Read more about the Picspree license

Reshot

Reshot is a wonderful resource for stock images that feel genuine. Reshot would be great to use for stock images for blogs, social media, or moments where you want to connect with your customer in an elevated way. 

Read more about the Reshot license

Burst

Burst is a free stock photo platform that is powered by Shopify. We love that Burst curates collections of photos and has a special section just for Facebook photos. Similar to the other sites, Burst is totally free to use. 

Read more about the Burst license

There are countless digital resources where business owners can find free stock images. Use these websites to power your marketing materials, upgrade your website, and help define your brand. Being a children’s activity provider is never boring — make sure the images you use reflect the inspiring work that you do every day! 


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