Every brand should use photography as part of their content mix, and free stock photo banks are. The best digital marketers post new photos on a daily basis. This is a great idea for businesses that can afford it.
What do you do if you aren’t prepared to hire photographers? Luckily, there are websites with large collections of high-quality photography that you can use for free. These photo banks are a huge resource for e-commerce brands.
Your competition might not be aware of the existence of free stock photo banks. This is a big opportunity to get a competitive edge.
The History of Stock Photos
Stock photo banks first become popular in America in the 1920s. That’s when H. Armstrong Roberts, a former scriptwriter, started the world’s first stock photography agency. This was a novel idea at the time.
Roberts was the first person to understand that magazines and newspapers all needed the same kinds of photos. It didn’t make sense to hire photographers for each edition of a newspaper. He could collect all of the best photos and offer them as a package deal for much more affordable rates.
Best of all, companies could see what they were getting ahead of time. When they hired photographers, they had to pay at least part of the fee up front and hope the photos were worth it. With stock photography, they could assess the quality of the collection before paying.
Nowadays, there are free options that are far better and more extensive than anything available in H. Armstrong Roberts’s day. This is a great time to be a brand that uses content marketing.
The Best 10 Free Stock Photo Banks
Here are the top 10 free stock photo banks for your e-commerce brand.
PicJumbo stands out from other free stock photo banks thanks to the quality of its images. The photography on this website is top notch. There’s not a single grainy photo in the bunch. All of the usual categories are covered, along with a nice selection of abstract photography that you won’t find elsewhere.
A unique feature of PicJumbo is the option to get the site’s full collection of images as a single download. You can make a donation of your choice in exchange for the download link.
Gratisography is one of the most entertaining sets of free stock photos available on the internet. Each photo is colorful and creative, offering great choices for whimsical brands. Ryan McGuire updates this collection of fun, left-of-center photography once per week.
Free Nature Stock
As its name suggests, Free Nature Stock focuses entirely on nature photography. You won’t find a better free resource for photos of trees, rivers, or the night sky anywhere else on the internet. Adrian Pelletier is the founder of this website, which he updates daily.
Ten new photos are added to UnSplash every ten days. This is a simple rule that keeps the curation focused on quality over quantity. You won’t find every kind of photo here, but you will be delighted with the quality of the collection. UnSplash is one of the best curated free stock photo banks on the internet.
You can visit the “made with UpSplash” page to see examples of remixes of UnSplash content. This page can give you inspiration on creative ways to use these free stock photos.
Jay Mantri’s website is little more than a scrolling list of chilled out photographs. His style is clean and relaxed, and many of his photos are black and white. This is a photo bank to scroll through when looking for new ideas.
Pixabay has a vivid collection of photography that evokes nature and movement. It’s an active set of photos with a lot of color and life. The quality varies from photo to photo, but there’s a lot of good stuff in here.
Find a Photo
Find a Photo is a wonderfully curated collection that combines the contents of several other free stock photo banks. This website is noteworthy for organizing its collection by color. You can find the perfect photo for the color scheme you are working with.
Apart from the color search, this website is worth checking out for its interesting collection. There’s a lot of personality in the photographs on this website.
Life of Pix
Life of Pix is a thoroughly modern website, with lots of interesting visual effects as you scroll around. The photographs in this collection are huge and detailed.
A new photographer is featured on the site each week. This setup makes it worthwhile to check back on Life of Pix weekly to see the chosen collection. You’ll find some excellent new images this way.
Pexels has thousands of photos and adds 30 new ones each week. It’s not the largest collection, but it’s a well-curated selection of larger-than-life photography. One example includes a sun-drenched shot of hot air balloons lifting off over a beach.
One glance at the Pexels home page tells you that this is a special set of photos. Clicking around this website is a rewarding experience.
With over 350,000 photographs in their free collection, Free Images is a good general resource for brands to rely on. If you need a specific kind of photo and don’t where to look, this is a good place to start. You’ll usually find something that fits your needs.
The quality on this site varies. It’s a tradeoff for the huge selection that you’ll need to be careful about which photos you pick. There are many great images here if you have enough patience to find them.
It’s possible to launch e-commerce, even with a low budget. With these 10 free photo banks, you now have all the keys to launching e-commerce with a little amount of money. More and freer tools are developed every day and they can be a wonderful way for you to grow. Do not hesitate to try them and to draw out the best from each one!
Image credit : Jason Smith