We love photography and consistently work to improve our photography skills — and photography equipment, of course. Brainstorming visual strategies with clients leads to great photo ideas and opportunities, and seeing concepts come together aesthetically thrills us. However, there are times we can't capture the shot we need for a client. On-location images and specific weather conditions can be particularly tough, so we keep a handful of trusted stock photo websites on hand. We can't lie — we appreciate the free sites most of all. 

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What to look for when using free stock photos

Make sure the photos you choose stay on brand. If your brand's aesthetic strives for minimalistic lines, a photo filled with a crowd of people will look surprising on your feed, site, or social media channels. While you don't have to stay married to a single color scheme or look, use thought when breaking with your visual marketing strategy. We often discuss the black and white versus color debate with clients. A brand can use both, but it's important to be mindful about it. 

Always check attribution requirements

We do our best to stay on top of our favorite sites to make sure their license options haven't changed. Look for royalty-free images and images that can be used for both commercial and non-commercial use. Many of the sites we use encourage attribution — who wouldn't want credit for those gorgeous shots? — but don't require it. 

Use stock images sparingly

With all the fantastic stock image websites available, using them seems like a no brainer. Remember, there's no substitution for high-quality brand images and brand-directed photos. If you don't feel like you can add "photographer" to the list of hats you wear for your brand, contact us. Take Flight Social Media Consulting offers photography services and can't wait to chat with you about it. 

Our favorite websites for free stock images

  • Burst
  • Compfight
  • Death to the Stock Photo
  • Fancy Crave
  • Free Photos by Paul Jarvi
  • Freerange
  • Function Free Photos
  • Gratisography
  • HubSpot
  • IM Free
  • ISO Republic
  • Jay Mantri
  • Kaboompics
  • LibreShot
  • Life of Pix
  • Little Visuals
  • Negative Space
  • New Old Stock
  • Pexels
  • PhotoPin
  • Picjumbo
  • Pixabay
  • Refe Free Photos
  • SplitShire
  • Startup Stock Photos
  • StockSnap.io
  • Stokpic
  • Superfamous
  • Unsplash

Who takes the photos for your brand?