By Lyra Joy E. Almoite

Ever wonder why some photos posted on Instagram have so many likes when the caption is a copy-and-paste inspirational quote which has nothing to do with the picture? By nature, we, humans, are visual creatures and captions in comparison to photos, get lost while we scroll.  Imagery attracts us more so than a plain piece of text. In fact, we process images 6,000 times faster than words. This is the very reason why Instagram, a photo-sharing platform, is dominating over any other form of social media.

With that said, to get more engagement from users, you’ll need to start adding images to your content. However, not just any image, it is best to use high-resolution ones. While Google Images offer limitless photographic options, it is essential to use those that won’t give you any copyright troubles. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to go out and take all the photos yourself–unless of course, you are a photographer. Why make life hard when you can score high-resolution, copyright and royalty free images with optional gratitude and credits as a cost? No, this is not a drill. In fact, here are seven sites that provide a solution with high-quality photos for free:

Unsplash

This one is my favourite, Unsplash offers an extensive library of exceptional quality photos, and it is free for both commercial and non-commercial use. As long as you don’t use their photos to create a competing website, you’re good to go. Their photos are contributed by talented photographers from all over the world. Though it is not required, you can show some love and appreciation by giving Unsplash and those generous photographers credit. Unsplash is also in partnership with Unfold, one of the most well-known Instagram Story toolkit mobile app. Their collaboration makes it easier to curate your Instagram stories.

Burst by Shopify

Of course, everybody who owns a website wants it to be visually appealing. Therefore, website owners need to high-quality photos. Shopify being an e-commerce website provider launched Burst, an online platform that offers free stock photos. They even have a business ideas section where you get in-depth details which include suppliers, marketing tips, business insights, and a free high-resolution photo kit to get you started.

Pexel

Pexels is very much like Unsplash, it has an extensive library of good-quality photos which you can use for free however you choose. The only exception is selling them as stock photos. You might find some images that are available in Pexels and Unsplash as both platforms are powered by a community of contributors. Pexels is available in both iOS and Android. This makes it a great tool if you edit photos on your mobile.

Death to Stock

Unlike the other websites, Death to Stock doesn’t have a gallery. However, you’ll receive 20 free images every month when you sign up to their newsletter. Death to Stock is not based on the individual contribution of pictures as they have their own creative team of high-calibre photographers to shoot, refine, edit. If you need more than 20, their subscription plan starts at $12 per month, which gives you access to their library of roughly 3,500 photos. 

CreateHERstock

While there are a lot of sites offering copyright and royalty free photos, finding photos featuring people of colour can be tricky. CreateHerStock caters specifically for those searching for photographs of women of colour. The website houses an extensive library of royalty free images for personal and non-commercial use. Though their plan starts at $10 per month, you can take advantage of their free photo section which gives you access to 180+ high-resolution images. But hey, 180 photos should be more than enough, right?

Foodiesfeed

Food is a celebrity in its own right. In fact, your foodie photos might even get more double taps than your selfie. Foodiesfeed offers thousands of visually appetising palate pleasers. Their photos are free for commercial and personal use under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means, photos can be used without attribution. However, as their photos are donated by photographers for public use, giving credit is highly encouraged and appreciated.

Vintage Stock Photos

Vintage photos are often hard to find on the Internet. To address the difficulty, Vintage Stock Photos has brought a gallery of antique photographs, free of copyright restrictions, to the world. You can use images from this source for personal and commercial use, with the exemption of redistribution and ownership claims. You can find photos from various categories, ranging from Vintage Road Trips to Cities and Towns, and Landmarks and Attractions.

These sites are undisguised blessings for content creators, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers. With a community of talented and generous photographers who are supporting these free resource sites with their art are saving us from costly monthly subscriptions.

As you can see, there are many possibilities to getting around the copyright fence from a wide selection of sites, each with its own way of doing so. Which site are you trying out first?

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