If you want your content to engage with your audience, the least you could do is find a unique image and knock it over the sucker.
Be it social media posts, blog posts, wise sayings, a unique image gives your idea some wings to fly.
The good news is there are a couple of websites sitting on the internet with thousands (in some cases, millions) of beautiful images you can download and use for free.
But these images are everything but unique.
Almost every creator who wants a free image customarily heads to Pexels or Pixabay or Unsplash, coughs in some keywords, and yanks out some pictures from the first page.
Sad because most times we enter similar keywords and similar images pop up on the search pages.
Images that have been used to death.
People won’t click.
They’ve seen the image before. More like they’ve heard the story before.
But Pexels and Unsplash and Pixabay aren’t the only photo-sharing websites in the world. Why the heck are we stuck on using them? You say it’s subconscious? Yeah, maybe. Maybe not.
It’s time to change that.
Here are some beautiful alternatives to download free images online:
1) Free Nature Stock
Free Nature Stock houses some of the best nature images you’d ever find on the internet. The cloud at night; peaceful looking bird on a dried branch of a tree; bright deep-blue purple flowers, silent sea waters, angry rocks with dead sharp edges… Free Nature Stock has them all.
On the homepage, there’s a phrase almost every creator love. It says: Use them however you want.
Burst is an online photo-sharing platform powered by Shopify. I can only imagine that Shopify wants to create an all-inclusive platform to serve business people with all their photo needs. And that’s exactly what Burst is.
She is huge with images in the categories of business, nature, office, home, backgrounds, fitness, beauty, animal, food, and every other category entrepreneurs would need to conceptualize their ideas.
From Shopify’s statement on burst, you’d gather that they’re eager to let people use their photos for both personal and commercial purposes with or without attribution.
3) Creative Commons Search
Creative Commons Search is a tool that lets anyone search and discover licensed and public domain works globally. There are over 500 million ready-to-use images in CC Search.
When you search for images on Creative Commons, it returns a huge collection of creative commons licensed images from different sources on the internet. While the images returned by CC Search are creative commons, you’re advised to double-check the license before use.
It’s like searching on google for images. Except that CC Search gives you creative common images.
Flickr is about the largest photo-sharing platform on the internet. It is home to tens of billions of photos from different creators globally. Enough to let you any level of creativeness and madness.
Not all the images on flicker are free, but there are enough free ones to get you floating on the waters.
Freepik is a big online graphics house. It has millions of high-resolution graphics, vectors, illustrations, videos, and of course stock images.
Freepik has both premium and free-to-use resources. You however need to attribute when you use the free ones.
Stocksnap is sweet, big, and beautiful. You’ll find beautiful images for almost any keyword on Stocksnap. The images can be filtered by categories, dates, and number of downloads.
If you so wish, you can mule over the images on their trending board.
Stocksnap is one photo platform highly underused by creatives. You do not only have to download images, there’s a beautiful dashboard to edit images before downloading. It offers you the ability to edit contrast, colors, shades, transparency…
Stockvault has thousands of creatively captured images you can use for almost any project. A lot of the images on Stockvault are pre-edited with beautiful graphics and shades you’ll like.
Splitshare started as a one-man side project for sharing photos online for free. Today, it’s been downloaded millions of times. There are thousands of beautiful stock photos and videos on splitshare. Best of all, they are completely free to use for both personal and commercial purposes.
Here is another beautiful alternative for downloading fresh and unique images. Picjumbo is big enough to return stunning relevant images for almost any keyword you enter. All you need to do is enter the keyword and scroll through till you find the right image.
It to does not require any attribution.
10) Raw Pixel
RawPixel is a ‘waooooo’ photo-sharing platform. Everything here speaks beauty and quality. Scrolling through their army of resources feels like everything’s been sorted and selected for quality. Many of the pictures are pre-edited and you’d find them appealing. They operate on freemium, which means not all the resources there are free.
Morguefile offers free images for creatives by creatives. It houses over 400k post-production file photos for commercial uses. The community behind Morguefile is a vast one that features both amateur and professional photographers. Hence beautiful creations of all sorts.
That’s all there is for now. You can’t possibly have the time luxury to use all these sites at once. But you can keep the list handy and change your source once in a while. It’s a cool way to breathe fresh.
Sometimes we’re just freaking lazy to scroll past the first page
And it sucks.
It sucks that after spending several hours on a piece of writing, we throw in the towel by just picking any random photo to represent it.
If you respect your work as a work of art, you’d take the time to give it a befitting image.
Here’s How To Get Creative with Images.
- Don’t be lazy, baby. Enter your keyword and keep nexting the pages. Go down down where not everyone cares to reach. That way, there’s a chance you’d find some unique images.
- Use Alternative sites. It still boils down to you not being lazy. There are tons of photo-sharing websites on the net. Use them. I know you want to pass a message with your image. Yeah, the reason you should dig deeper than sea level.
- Relationship? Nadar. Did you say your images have to relate to the topic? Well, not exactly. Do not be tied by that. People won’t decide to click or not because the image matches the title. they would however click on the image that surprises or make them curious.
- Stop using generic keywords. What a lot of people do when searching for images is they enter generic keywords like marketing, nature, trees, happy man, sad soldier, etc. Don’t. Instead, enter specific keywords that elaborate on your idea. Here’s what I mean: If your post is about procrastination, don’t enter the word procrastination into the search bar. What’s your unique idea about procrastination?
A wretched old man on his death bed?
A malnourished bamboo tree?
A fat man munching on 100 different varieties of food?
Those are the keywords you should enter.
PS: Are there some amazing ones you use that you think should make this list? Why not break them to us using the comment box. Thank you.