How to find free images for your social channels?
Beautiful images are at the heart of any successful social media strategy. No matter what product or service you’re marketing, it’s hard to get your message across without appealing pictures that will stop the scroller and make him pay attention. For content creators, the COVID pandemic has made it difficult to plan photoshoots or take action photos for your social channels. So what do you do when you need beautiful photos? Here are our tips on finding them online completely free.
Copyright Comes First
The most important message we want to stress here is that you should never, we repeat: NEVER, post images you don’t own. It’s ethically wrong, illegal and goes against the official policy of Instagram and other social networks. How can you be sure you can use a certain image? Use only photos you took yourself (or a professional photographer took for you) or images found on a website with a copyright-free policy. Posting images that appear on the internet, were posted by other accounts or stock images you haven’t paid for, are all a breach of copyright law.
Using Paid Stock Collections
There are lots of stock image sites, like ShutterStock, Getty, or Adobe with a wide selection of images and advanced search options. However, they can run relatively expensive. If you need a constant stream of photos for your Instagram and Facebook, the costs can run high. It should also be said that the style of images from stock collections often doesn’t work for Instagram. The recognizably staged style of many photos on these sites won’t look natural on your social feed.
So where can you find pictures that will illustrate your message and complete your grid? Read on to get our top recommendations for sourcing free images:
Unsplash.com is an amazing resource for free images done by professional photographs. It’s an irreplaceable tool for Social media managers and web designers. If you haven’t’ used it yet, check it now. Its only drawback is the very basic search tool which allows to search only one word at a time and has only very limited filtering options.
If you’re new to Unsplash or want to improve the results you get from it, here are some tips on how to use it better:
-Log in free and create collections of photos you need for various projects
-Filter by color or direction to narrow your search results
-Like a certain photo? Click on the name of its creator to see more images by the same photographer
2. Pixabay, Pexels and Other Collections
These free image sites have a large choice of photos and illustrations. They’re also easy to search and can be searched directly from google (just write the subject you’re searching for + the name of the site. However, the images here tend to be very “stocky” in style and you need to choose carefully to find those that will enhance your Instagram.
Pro tip: You can access these images directly through Canva.com to put them directly in your designs
3. Finding License-Free Images on Google Image Search
Sometimes, your content calls for very specific images that you just can’t find in general collections. In these cases, Copyright-free pictures from the Google Image Search Tools can come in handy. It’s useful for finding images of plants, places, animals, etc… Just bear in mind that these pictures are usually done by non-professional photographers, so you may need to edit them in creative ways to work them into your content.
To find images labeled for free re-use go to Google Image Search and open the “Tools” drop-down menu. Then choose “Labelled for reuse for modification”.
Authentic images created specifically for your business are always the best for your social media channels. But if you can’t create your own images, or simply don’t have enough for an interesting and varied feed, there are lots of options. Finding great looking images you can use completely free is easy if you’re willing to think outside the box and invest in a thorough search.