A picture is worth a thousand words. This saying is very accurate! Using photos is extremely important as people are drawn more to photos rather than text. Using stock photos has become a very popular choice for people as it saves you the time and money of hiring a photographer. Stock photos can be found online and are already created and ready to be downloaded for your use. Before downloading a stock photo, you will need to pay for it in order to hold the license (although some websites do offer free stock photos).
Types of Uses for Stock Photos
There are two most common uses for stock photos: commercial use and editorial use.
- Social Media
- Used on Your Website
Accompanying text content such as:
We have done extensive research on various stock photo websites and have come up with our top 3. Best of all, we have included paid and free options.
Pexels is a royalty free, high-resolution photo marketplace. All photos on Pexels are free for commercial and personal use. Pexels offers thousands of photo options all at high resolution, and they even offer free stock videos as well. Unlike many stock photo websites, Pexels does not require you to register for an account – anyone can upload and download photos! Giving credit to the author is not necessary but is definitely appreciated by both Pexels and the author. Just remember, you CANNOT use these photos for resale.
Pixabay is another free stock photo website that offers photos, videos, vectors, illustrations and more. Currently, there are more than 1 million options to choose from on Pixabay. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0. This makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the author/artist. Like Pexels, Pixabay does not require you to create an account in order to download the photos, although certain features do require registration. You may not use the photos and videos from Pixabay for resale, but you can most definitely use the graphics they offer for personal or commercial use.
123rf is a paid stock photo website that offers millions of options to choose from, however this is our personal favourite here at Rosewood. This stock photo site offers thousands of photos, videos, audio, and vectors. You can choose to either do a monthly subscription plan or pay for credits and top them up as you need them.
Each photo/video is downloaded based on size. You can choose to download small (2 credits), medium (4 credits), large (6 credits), or extra-large (10 credits). Typically for most uses, small will work just fine. However, if you require a higher resolution photo, you may want to purchase medium, large, or extra-large. Like Pexels and Pixabay, the contents offered on 123rf are not allowed for resale, unless you purchase an extended license. One thing that is especially great about 123rf is the customer support they offer. When you create an account, you will be assigned an account manager who can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
After looking into Pexels, Pixabay and 123rf, we can honestly say that all three of the stock photo platforms are great! If you aren’t looking to spend money at this time, Pexels or Pixabay is a great option for you. If you are looking for a little bit of an improved and efficient library to choose from and are willing to pay for it, 123rf is your best option.
Rosewood is a digital marketing agency outside Toronto dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow their online presence. We work with clients across North America and Europe to identify, strategize and reach their marketing goals!
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Until next time,