When you need to find images for your website it can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task.
You want to be careful to make sure you are only using images that you have the right to use. This will avoid copyright infringement issues. There are both free and paid options for finding images that you can use for your website.
How to Find Images for Your Site:
Use images you have permission to use
First of all, it is important to take a quick moment to note that it is not okay to just take images from Google images or other people’s websites. You need to use images that you either hold a copyright to or that you have a license to use. I have had a handful of clients who got into legal copyright infringement issues because of images they used on their sites…even from images they added over 10 years before.
Be sure that all of the images on your current website or a future website are images that you specifically know where they came from. A website designer should license the images in your name/company name. If you are not sure of an image on your site, I’d recommend switching it out for one that you are sure about.
If you can use your own unique images
Hiring a professional photographer can go a long way in making your site uniquely yours. The best images are your own. If you are a local business… in office/shop photographs give your visitors the feel of being in your location without ever having being in it. You can take images of waiting rooms, products, performing services, etc. If this is not possible, or does not make sense for your particular business, your next option is stock images.
Finding free stock images
A big limitation to free stock image sites is that there is not a large variety of images available and it’s harder to find a relevant image. Unsplash is my personal favorite free stock image site. They do ask you to credit the photographer, but it is not required. I find the quality of images to be a higher level on Unsplash. Unsplash has high resolutions images. Two other popular free stock image sites are Pixabay and Pexels. They are both similar in terms of images they offer.
I find that the free stock image sites are useful for blog images and social media images. For design elements and services pages I often like to look into paid stock image options.
Finding paid stock images
If you are having difficulties finding an image you like in the free stock photo directories you could look into some of the paid options. Paid royalty free stock photos are good to use because you can verify the source and prove that you’ve paid for a license. There are also more images available, so it might make it easier to find what you are looking for. You may find the quality to be slightly better than free stock photos as well.
My favorite paid stock photo company is https://www.istockphoto.com. I find that the photos on istockphoto to be on average higher quality. Some others that you can look at are https://www.shutterstock.com, https://www.123rf.com, and https://www.bigstockphoto.com. Prices for paid stock images will vary depending on the site you are purchasing a license from and the size of the image you are purchasing.