Find the best free images

The Best Free Images To Download

6th February, 2017 by

If you’ve ever found yourself on a text-based website, you’ll appreciate the importance of images accompanying written content. Integrating photography into a new website is crucial not just for aesthetic reasons, but also for reinforcing brand messages. Just one well-chosen image can ensure your site leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

A glance at Instagram or Flickr will confirm that stunning and unique photographs are never more than a few clicks away, yet it can be surprisingly difficult to source high-resolution copyright-free images to download for your own use. Social media channels feature low-res versions of photos that can’t be republished without the photographer’s permission, while images on competitor websites have probably been purchased or specifically commissioned by a professional photographer. Search engine results are often watermarked or under copyright, while taking professional-looking photos yourself is difficult without dedicated camera equipment and an understanding of conditions like composition and lighting.

How To Find The Best Free Images To Download

 

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to find free images to download. It is possible to obtain copyright-free photos through the aforementioned search engines, by filtering results that are marked as available to reuse without permission. This can be achieved through the Usage Rights tab on Google Images pages, or the License dropdown on Bing Images. With the relevant selections made, results pages will fill up with photos that can be reproduced on your website without attracting cease-and-desist letters from lawyers.

Search engine results often include images stored on public resource sites like Wikimedia Commons. Supported by financial and photographic donations from the public, Wikimedia is a valuable resource for pictures that can be re-used with relatively little need for accreditation or notification. The depth of choice on these public domain platforms can be surprising, and the same is true for community sites like Pixabay; sites like this rely on quid pro quo to expand their archives. New visitors are encouraged to upload a few photos of their own in exchange for downloading other people’s handiwork, though stringent moderation means even high-quality donations may be rejected.

As you search for free images to download, you’re quite likely to end up on an open source site like FreeImages or StockFreeImages. These are compiled from donations by enthusiastic amateurs, so they’re great for shots of the natural world but less impressive for pictures of products or specific items. You’ll struggle to find high-res shots of CNC lathes or marble bathrooms, but colorful and striking lifestyle photographs are readily available.

In terms of corporate free images to download, it may be worth investigating media sites. Newspress has a vast database of motoring-specific photos that can be interrogated by accredited members, while Press Loft currently hosts 175,000 photos relating to interior design and furnishings. It might be difficult to register with the relevant websites in your particular industry, but it’s worth persevering to access a treasure trove of professionally-taken photographs that can often be reproduced without permission. Databases of PR or media images will always be more dynamic and striking than collections by amateur photographers, no matter how talented an individual contributor may be.

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