A lot of businesses use photos they find online. They do this because of their lack of time and they still want to post on social media, maybe you do it as well. But this isn’t allowed, as these images belong to someone else and if you use them without permission and source you can actually get into trouble. I wouldn’t like someone else using my photos without my permission neither.
Luckily there are stock photo websites that have suitable pictures for your company. I’m sharing my list of stock photos and tell you all about the pro’s and con’s.
Stock Photo websites: Are they really free?
I often get asked the question if these websites are actually free. Yes, certain websites and photos are free, even for commercial use. I do advice inspecting the license first as a lot of websites ask you to credit the source. So you can only use those photos with the name of the author and link attached.
A handy list of stock photo websites for businesses
There are both free and paid websites, the last two years I’ve collected a lot of them. But there is a difference between the two. When I’m looking for photos for my clients I check the free images first and the paid afterwards. Shutterstock can charge you a lot, so I always check the free alternatives first.
Free stock photo websites
- Pixabay (The best results using Dutch search terms)
- Canva (I have a premium account which gives me access to a lot of images)
- Stock adobe
- Raw Pixel
Cons of using stock photos
Now you know there are a whole lot of stock photo websites, it doesn’t mean you should just use any image. Personally I’m not that big of a fan of stock photos, as the company is better of investing in a photoshoot that incorporates their identity. I only use stock photos when there aren’t any other readily available images, as there are some big cons with stock photos:
- Stock photo websites are increasing in popularity. Most people know how to find the right image leading to them being overused. Originality and stock photos don’t really go hand in hand.
- The images are often clichés, I can’t stress it enough but a picture of two laughing coworkers sitting at a desk doesn’t say a lot about your business. If you search long enough you could find more natural images that could be what you’re looking for.
- Stock photos say nothing about your business. When I’m taking photos for my clients I use their house style: their colors, text and fonts are always in function of an identity.
Alternative: a corporate identity photoshoot for your business
So obviously I’m not a fan of stock photos. So I offer my clients photoshoot packages at fixed rates. I visit the locations, work out a moodboard in advance and bring all of the necessities with me.
After editing, I upload all of the photos in a shared online database, that way they can always access these images.
The big advantage of a photoshoot is that all of the photos are in a certain theme, they show the value and identity of your business.