5 Tips for Finding Beautiful Images for Your Website and Social Media
We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This has never been more true than today. In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, the best way to catch someone’s attention online is with an engaging image.
In an ideal world, we’d retain the services of a wonderfully gifted photographer to take all the photos we need for a business — I know a few are members of Mamas & Co. who can do just that! But when custom photography isn’t in the budget, or when it’s not practical (say for use on blog posts and social media) it’s time to look for alternative sources.
Here are five tips for finding photographs for your website and social media.
1. Only use photographs you have the right to use.
This applies for social media as well as your website. As entrepreneurs we all understand what it’s like to create something ourselves and want to protect it. Photographers are the same. Finding an image through a Google search doesn’t entitle you to use it for your own purpose, even if you provide attribution. When you purchase photos from stock photography agencies, check the licence terms first to make sure the use you have in mind is permitted and to find out if and how you need to credit the source.
2. Stock photography doesn’t have to look so stocky.
Recently someone in the members-only forum despaired at the state of stock photography. I know exactly what she meant. You’ve probably seen the image of the frustrated business woman pulling her hair out in front of a computer. It seems so very generic. There are places you can turn to for more artistic photographs. My favourites are Stocksy, Creative Market and Shutterstock.
3. You can find beautiful free photographs.
There are lots of places that advertise free photographs. Quality, as you might imagine, varies. My favourite sources for free, high-resolution photos are Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photo. I use them for blog posts and social media and when I’m mocking up website designs and I don’t have a client’s images yet. In fact, the featured image for this post is from Unsplash.
Just keep in mind that because they’re free, you are more likely to find them used on other websites.
4. Look for freebies.
Many sites that provide stock images offer freebies and deals. Creative Market and PixelBuddha both send out weekly emails offering free images and fonts. You can also find their freebies on their websites, but I get a little thrill from getting them right in my inbox every week.
5. Creating your own graphics is fun and easy.
Using a free tool like Canva, you can create your own professional-looking graphics in minutes. The interface is easy to use — you just drag and drop. You can choose from hundreds of templates in a variety of dimensions, including Facebook cover images, Instagram posts and many more. You can customize them to make them suit your brand by adjusting colours, fonts and even uploading your own photos.
Photo research can be a lot of fun when you know where to look. These are just a few tips for finding beautiful images online. Please feel free to share your own in the comments below; I’d love to know where you find your beautiful images.
Tamara Sztainbok of Puzzle Box Communications helps solo entrepreneurs create websites that are true to the essence of their business and speak to the people who need their help.