Good photography can be a powerful tool for your marketing campaigns and creative projects, providing visual impact and helping to communicate your marketing message effectively. Unfortunately, good photography can be hard to find. It is often costly and requires plenty of advance planning. None of which are ideal if you have projects with a tight deadline or little / no budget.
We have curated a list of what I consider to be the 6 best free marketing images sites. We have considered the quality of imagery available, the imagery content (how usable for general marketing projects) and site search functionality (as we don’t want to be spending a great deal of time searching for images).
Generally, these sites have images which are great for digital content blogs, social media posts, digital ads or digital brochures. When it comes to print I would make sure you check the resolution of the image is high enough or look at paid stock imagery alternatives. As a guide for A4 image @ 300dpi you would require resolution in the region of 2500 x 3500 pixels.
Many of the images on these free marketing image sites are free from copyright restrictions and are licensed under the creative commons public domain. This means you can use the images commercially to copy, modify and distribute without requiring permission or attribution. That said, I would always recommend that you check each individual image license before publishing or using in your work.
Benefits of free stock imagery:
- Save money.
- Make your marketing and communications more engaging.
- Avoid infringement of copyright and lawsuits.
- Great for blogs posts and responsive digital marketing where there may not much of a budget allocated.
Drawbacks of free stock imagery:
- It can take a little longer to find the image you want
- Always check the image license, you may need to credit the photographer (which can be kind thing to do)
- Images are not always high enough resolution for print and are often more suitable for digital marketing.
- Not such a wide range of images as paid stock imagery sites.
A wide range of good quality images all licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. A great starting point when searching for new images, there is also a reasonable selection of UK based / location images. Images are reasonably easy to find but if you are struggling to find specific images try broader search terms.
Pexels has a good range of images (currently over 30,000 images) and includes with its search results a selection of high-quality images from other imagery sites like Pixabay, Unsplash and Freestocks. All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license but always double check it each image. The site has good search functionality making it easy and quick to find images and generally image resolution is good.
Burst is a new free stock imagery site powered by Shopify. Images are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. You will not find many images that are specific to the UK but they do generally have some nice images. Not a huge selection of photos (currently over 1000 images) but I would expect this to grow quickly.
Pixabay has a wide range of images all licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. The image quality varies so may it take you longer to find those better-looking images. They also have a selection fo free videos and vector illustrations but you may need to search to find the gems as many of the vector illustrations have a ‘clip art’ feel.
They offer a wide range of images (all licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license) which makes them great for finding suitable images for your marketing. The great thing about stocksnap.io is the search functionality and sorting, you can search by category or keyword but different to some of the other sites you can sort the images by different categories ie. views, date, downloads etc.
If you like your images to make a make a statement and be bold, colourful and out there then Gratisopgraphy is for you. The image quality is good and you can find images with reasonable ease using their search bar and categories. Images are under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
Still Struggling to Find the Right Image
If you are still struggling to find a great free image for your marketing I have added some additional sites below to hopefully help you out.