Do you love using free stock photos for your website or blog?
Right now, as internet marketers, website owners and bloggers we are so blessed to have amazing, free tools at our disposal.
When you find these sites, you might even go a bit crazy downloading hundreds of beautiful images (or is that just me?)
But the excitement can fade somewhat the next time you go to pinterest, instagram or check out an interesting blog and suddenly you see your lovely new images being used on other posts.
I mean it is a bit much to expect you can download images for free and they won’t be used anywhere else, but sometimes you’ll find the same image being used on dozens or even hundreds of sites and social posts, which is a little annoying and frustrating. Gems like these ones below are EVERYWHERE!
So what are the alternatives?
You can purchase stock photos from places like shutterstock, adobe stock or stock unlimited, which could possibly be used on other sites, but are far less likely to have hundreds of thousands of downloads like the free images.
Using paid stock photos could depend on your budget and if you’re just starting a business or blog, paid photos may not yet be part of your business plan.
If you want to stick with free photos and use images that you probably won’t find elsewhere, then you need my cool little pexels trick.
Pexels is a site where photographers can upload their images to a directory, where anyone who likes them can download them for free. Many of the photographers are hobbists or professionals who upload images they otherwise couldn’t use. When you download a photo you can tip the photographer if you choose
side note: my 16 year old son has had an account on pexels for a bit over 2 years and constantly brags that he has almost 2.5 million views on his photos - because that is huge for him. He recently had someone leave him a $1 tip and he was SOOOOOO THRILLED. Seeing how much of an impact that small tip made, I now make it a habit now to tip the photographers on pexels.
When a photographer uploads an image, pexels may or may not choose to feature that image. Only the featured images show up in the search, which means there are probably 10 x more images on pexels that you don’t see.
But if you don’t see them, how do you find them?
Well you need my little trick…
When you see an picture you like on pexels, go into the photographers profile and you can then see all their images.
Lets say you are wanting to find a great shot of Sydney harbour for your website, so you go to pexels and search Sydney Harbour Bridge.
And if you like a particular image - click and see if the image is from a photographer (sometimes the images on pexels are from other image sites like pixabay - this trick won’t work in that circumstance - only for photographer profiles). If they are from a photographer, then click to go into their profile and look through their images.
Often a photographer will submit several photos around the same theme. Because there could be multiple similar images, you can often find another image from that photographer that wasn’t featured - which means it HASN’T been downloaded thousands (or tens of thousands) of times already.
Just look at the images on the photographers profile to see if there is a star in the corner - all the images with a star are featured images that will come up in the pexels search.
BUT, if there is no star, the image hasn’t been featured and doesn’t show up in search.
That means you’ve found an image that you probably won’t find elsewhere, because it is buried in pexels and the only way to find it is through a photographers profile.
You’ll find the most popular photographers will still have many downloads - even for their non-featured images, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of photographers on pexels who may have only 10-20% of their images featured.
Going through these profiles, is a bit like finding your own private stock photo source.
Remember, it’s a little like going to an op shop to look for bargains. It will take a little more work and time to find the good stuff, but when you find something awesome, you’ll be so glad you did!
I hope you like this little tip :)
Just a heads up
Posts on The Unicorn Assistant may contain affiliate links, but I’m a no bullshit affiliate kinda gal, as you can read about in my affiliate disclaimer.
The few $$ I make from affiliate income, costs you absolutely nothing and goes straight to our family holiday fund ✈️ so my kids and I thank you 💗