If you need free stock photos, I have just the solution!
As a freelance writer and blogger, coming up with high quality and captivating images is a must. I haven't heard of anybody who doesn't recommend adding high-quality images to their work. Humans are visual creatures, and there is truth to the saying "a picture tells a thousand words". We find ourselves drawn to, comparing ourselves to, and inspiring to be.. a picture.
Why Stock Photos Are Necessary
It is no wonder then that photos have selling power. They can sell our product, our blog, our image, or our article. However, most of us don't own a DSLR camera or have the time and patience to drive around the world taking captivating and engaging photos (although I wish I did!).
Unfortunately, most of us don't have the budget to have someone else do it for us, either.
Yes It's OK to Use Them
Therefore, we do have the option of stock photography. Unless it's a travel or photography blog, most bloggers utilize some form of photo stock throughout a portion of their work. So how do they get these incredible photos without breaking a copyright law or paying a large amount of cash?
They use royalty free ones.
From royalty free photography websites.
Where to Find Them
Professional and hobby photographers "donate" their photos for use by anyone, anywhere. No permission, no image credit, and no money needed.
I believe it's important to have a variety of sites to choose from. This helps reduce the risk of duplicates, copycats, or looking spammy to sites such as Pinterest. Therefore I compiled a list of 20 of my favorite.
I also added the free programs I use to work with them. Once you have a pile of amazing photos in front of you, it's important to know just how to work them.
Here is the list of royalty free sites for incredible images. Click on their names below to go straight to the sites! Keep in mind, all photos are high-quality and FREE.
Also, do yourself a favor and bookmark them for faster viewing!
Once you get high quality photos, what should you do with them?
Edit and create amazin content using Picmonkey, Canva, and Photopea of course!
Picmonkey is hands down my favorite photo editing software. Not only can you make incredible designs, but you can also touch up photos, eliminate blemishes, whiten teeth.. etc. It's like a simpler, more user-friendly version of Photoshop. It's probably the most common photo application used by bloggers. If you aren't already, be sure to get your free trial by clicking HERE.
My second favorite site for making Pinterest pins is Canva. The best part of Canva is that it comes preloaded with TONS of social media templates to help you create and brand your content. You can get the free version of Canva HERE.
Photopea is a little more advanced then Picmonkey. It's like the perfect Photoshop replacement for handling more demanding tasks (such as adding whitespace, replacing backgrounds, or branding). It takes .psd files (photoshop files), therefore any templates requiring a Photoshop membership I will run through Photopea for FREE.
So how do I use the photos?
- I download the original photos from one of the websites above.
- If I need something specific for a client, I will use PicMonkey to edit the image and its size. I will also edit images from sites such as Unsplash, to make sure don't cause problems from Squarespaced
- If I need a graphic design I will go to Canva (however Picmonkey has some pretty awesome templates now too)..
- It takes me 5 minutes to come up with a beautiful image or banner.
- After the banner is done, I save the edits and upload them to the respective sites.
In less than 10 minutes, I just became a graphic designer ;)
What photo website and editors do you utilize?
What you should read next: