Data says: if you want to grab one’s attention – show them some photos! The thing is, people enjoy images a lot. For example, 90% of the info we perceive and our brains catch is visual. Also, 37% of the people are ‘visual-spatial learners’, meaning that if you want them to learn easier and faster, you should present them nice and relevant pictures.

“37% of the people are ‘visual-spatial learners’ - you should present them nice and relevant pictures.”

Not surprisingly, it became common place for all effective ads, social media/blog posts, websites, mobile apps etc. to be covered with some carefully chosen images. Parallelly, many great resources for stock photography emerged, and are exploited by web designers, bloggers and other creative people all around the globe on daily basis. When we say that there are many potentially useful and interesting websites offering photos to be used, we really mean MANY. It became a real challenge to find your way through all the results Google offers once you type in: free stock images. In order not to end up with dozens of opened tabs which put your working memory on fire while trying to remember differing details for each resource, try to focus on these few guides to save your time.

License and terms of use

When using these resources you should make sure that you are permitted to use the photo for your purpose. Many of them are free for personal as well as commercial use. To be completely sure, always double-check if there is some kind of license you should get, or some attribution that is supposed to be given, and decide whether it is practical for you to align with these. Also, be sure about the terms of use and agreements you make — one free photo not treated nicely (not signed with specified name or shared without permission, e.g.) may turn out to be pretty expensive after a lawsuit.

Get the right size and quality

Meaning — you have the access to high resolution photos, not only small ones represented. Also, do not satisfy with some cheesy pictures obviously made effortlessly - there are many great resources, no need for bad solutions. Finally, if the first two conditions are satisfied, it is better to choose the source with more than less photos, obviously. It is usually explicated if the stock is filled in on regular basis, and with which amount of fresh photos (e.g. 7 new photos each week, or 10 ones on every ten days), so make your decision based on this piece of info as well.

“do not satisfy with some cheesy pictures obviously made effortlessly”

Check names behind the photo

There are generous startups and renowned companies, as well as individuals (photographers, designers, artists) who decided to share their visual treasure with the rest of the world. These photos put in stock by experienced people you can trust are usually innovative and of a good quality, so good to be checked out on regular basis.

Make sure there is a proper search option

Even though this may seem obvious, some free stocks do not have this option. Photo stocks, especially popular ones are usually crowded with content. This is great and generous, but also a bit problematic. Namely, once you start looking for the adequate images for your food mobile app prototype, stumbling upon photos of cats, landscapes or offices may be pretty irritating. Save your nerves and before you start looking for something specific, make sure photos are categorized logically. Even better, check the corners of the website for good old magnifier icon.

Next time you start your hunt for good photo content, keep in mind these tips. The idea is to end up with few bookmarked respectable resources for the future use. Also, here is the list of free stock photo sources that we like and always come back to, so check it out.