Getting high-quality images for your brand might seem complicated and expensive, especially if you don’t have prior experience. To make great visuals, you have to find a photographer whose portfolio you like, negotiate a price, and hope that the result will meet your expectations. Or you can choose a simple path and turn to popular image stocks to find free, high-resolution pictures.
Would that be worthy of your time and effort, and benefit your brand image? Yes. Read further to learn about the importance of using high-quality pictures to boost your content and the perks of image stocks.
Why Should You Use Quality Stock Images for Your Brand?
- It is affordable
Years ago, the only way to get appealing visuals was to hire a photographer, illustrator, or designer to create them for you. Now, free high-quality stock images look just as good as the ones made by paid professionals. Many creators upload their works to stock websites for promotion and passive income.
So, if you are a small brand owner who cannot afford to spend huge sums on visuals, image stocks can be a better option for you. Stock pictures are either free or offered for an affordable price. Besides, there are so many files available that you won’t have any trouble finding visuals matching your vision and branding.
- It helps communicate your brand culture and values
High-quality images not only help make your content visually attractive, but they also help your audience notice, understand, and remember it better. Each brand has a target audience and values it wants to promote. Using visuals created in a specific style helps convey these values. For instance, if your brand is bold and energetic, you might want to stick to using free stock photos with lots of colors, bright backgrounds, and people who are actively doing something. And if you have a more reserved brand, your option might be calm, pastel colors and minimalist aesthetics.
Choosing visuals with people is often one of the best options for branding, as you can also boost your brand influence with them. Using photos of people that look like your target audience will help your audience relate to your brand and connect with it better.
- It simplifies your content marketing process
Due to the massive number of visuals that websites with free images offer, you won’t need to hire a professional photographer even if your branding is unique. Instead, you can use stock pictures and adjust them to your design: add patterns, remove backgrounds, or add colored outlines. Then, you can use such images in collages or thumbnails, make photos black and white, or manipulate them in other ways.
It helps increase brand recognition and is one of the easiest ways to stand out among the competition, and promote your products and services. Besides, if you have something unique and outstanding in your branding, this will help people remember you better.
How to Choose Reliable Image Banks
- Learn the basics of licensing
Copyright-free stocks are a great solution for those new to licensing and who want to avoid legal issues but struggle to understand the differences in license types. You don’t have to spend hours figuring out which license to use with stock websites – they usually offer a few convenient licensing options and describe their features clearly.
Generally, royalty-free is one of the popular licenses on image stocks, but it comes with a few differences. Some platforms allow using free pictures without attributing the author or source; others offer free files only with attribution. Some allow using images in your social media content, website design, blog illustrations, and advertisement material. Others can also allow using it for sales purposes, but you have to pay an extra fee. Some platforms even offer multiple licenses depending on where you’ll be using the content: prices can differ for marketing, TV, social media, and other uses.
- Find a website that features diverse content
Although there are plenty of websites to find free photos online, not all of them are the perfect option for your brand. For instance, some image stocks may offer average to low-quality content uploaded by amateur contributors. So, you might be better off looking elsewhere and discovering other free photo stocks. Some websites could be trendy among marketers, and as photos there are in demand, they can be frequently used by other brands. Some image banks can simply offer a poor selection of visuals.
If you are new to image stocks, it is better to pick a website that offers what you are looking for. Here are some platform characteristics you should consider:
- It must feature various image types (photos, vectors, illustrations) and diverse file formats (JPG, JPEG, SVG, EPS, and more).
- It must offer trendy image collections and thematic categories for easier browsing.
- It must provide intuitive navigation and advanced search filters.
- It must support the payment option of your choice, e.g., PayPal or a bank card of your country.
Where to Find Free HD Pictures for Your Projects
Depositphotos is one of the largest stock content marketplaces on the web. It offers over 230 million high-quality stock images, videos, and music. You can browse the extensive library of royalty-free photos, illustrations, and vector art, and download 70,000 free unwatermarked files. Free images are available for commercial purposes with attribution.
The photo stock offers a variety of trendy image collections and thematic categories to simplify the choice process. It also has a Search by Image tool to help you find licensed visuals when you already have a reference picture you’d like to use. When browsing the Depositphotos library, you can adjust search filters by color, orientation, number of people, origin, season, and other parameters.
Pixabay features over 2.6 million royalty-free visual and audio files. You can browse colorful photos, illustrations, and vectors on the platform. A Pixabay license allows you to use the content for personal and commercial purposes without attribution.
You can search for visuals by type or by using keywords. Moreover, you can specify the image’s orientation, size, and color in the filters section. The platform offers a limited number of thematic collections, but you can also explore images created by particular artists or captured using specific cameras.
Pexels offers free to download royalty-free images and videos. The platform provides various collections and thematic categories to simplify your search. Collections differ not only by topic but also by type. For instance, background images or bright-colored photos are listed separately, just like wallpapers and pictures with white backgrounds. This makes it simple for you to find needed visuals if you’re looking not only for a specific type but also for a particular aesthetic.
You can also explore the Leaderboard with the most famous creators on Pexels, or browse the open library. You can use images without attribution and even customize the downloadable picture size.
To sum up
Appealing, high-quality visuals are a great way to diversify your content strategy and increase brand recognition. These days you don’t have to hire a photographer to get eye-catching HD photos quickly. Instead, you can turn to photo stocks to download free licensed pictures.