The same is true with website photography... at least at first. For small businesses, using stock photos is an immediate way to look professional. Photos are often the first impression of the site. When you have good photos, the audience will read more, click more, and get a better sense of your company culture. Stock photos save time and money and are often of better quality than you could replicate yourself without great equipment. That being said, not all stock photography sites are equal. Essentially, the less stocky the photos are, the better. Here are our suggestions for the best free stock photography and videos you can use on your website.
Pexels is our go to site for great stock photos. Not only is their website clear and easy to navigate, but the photos are fresh and original.
What makes these photos better than others? They aren't ridiculously perfect or planned. Especially when photographing people, things can look staged. Landscapes can sometimes look too touched up. This mountain scene is a good example.
A nice picture, but also a fairly normal one. Pexels does a great job of filtering through photos and only presenting you with the best options. You'll find dozens of quality pictures for just about any scenario.
Another site we use is Unplash. Like Pexels, Unsplash uses quality, natural-looking photos. One of our favorite functions on Unsplash is the "new" tab. You can see the latest uploads onto the site. This is important because it may distinguish your brand from others. Nothing is worse than seeing the same stock photo you used on your site somewhere else on the web. Using new photos decreases the chance you're using a common picture. Another feature that distinguishes Unsplash is the one click downloads. Right from the home screen, you can hover over the image and immediately download.
Here are a couple examples of Unsplash pictures:
Another reason we stick to these two is for efficiency. Knowing there are just two sites we use saves time. We don't go looking very far for our photos. If you're in the mindset that there's always a better photo out there, you'll wander around site after site and never be satisfied. By limiting our options to these two websites, we actually give ourselves more satisfaction in the photos we choose.
We just came across this site recently and it’s pretty awesome. Icons8 offers a free photo creator that has tons of backgrounds, cutouts of people and a robust filtering system. Create your own image within minutes. Here’s a couple that we created for this post. You can go more serious or pretty crazy and everywhere in between.
You've probably seen websites with a video instead of a picture as the main header. Lucky for you, they are surprisingly easy to access! Pixabay is one site offering free stock video. While you probably will only use one video as a header on your site, it can add a new dynamic and emotion to your brand.
What’s great about these videos is that many of them are in nondescript locations and have seamless loops. That means the viewer can watch the video several times without knowing where it began or ended.
When displayed as a header, the video would loop and continue playing. The progress bar that typically shows while a video is playing will also be hidden.
Coverr is another great option for free videos. Coverr.co has hundreds of free videos you can use on your website. These videos also are in nondescript locations and the site is easily searchable to find something useful.
There's no need to search the internet endlessly for that perfect photo. These 5 sites should serve you well to get you started down the right path of great visuals for your business.