In many situations, a free photo bank can save a blogger's day. Different media, when integrated into a blog post, will enhance the content of the blog and make the article more lively. Many bloggers may write about subjects that are very difficult for them to take pictures of themselves. Fortunately, the internet is full of services called photo banks. Most of these services offer images completely free of charge, even for commercial use. In this blog article, I will tell you what a free photo bank can contain and which photo banks have proven to be the best in my opinion.
Briefly about licences
Even if it's a free image bank, it's a good idea to check the licence associated with each image. However, we do not want to infringe anyone's copyright. It is therefore a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of licence and what rights the photographer has. The vast majority of services have created their own type of licence or base them on an existing licence. Almost all services give you the freedom to use images for free, without adding any reference to the origin of the image. However, the services encourage you to name the person who took the photo in the photo. Please read the licence terms of each service carefully before using the images.
Certainly one of the best known and biggest free photo banks. And rightly so. Unsplash is full of really high quality photos taken by professional photographers. This is where I find by far the best nature and landscape photos. Unsplash also offers a very advanced API interface, which makes it easy to create highly customised programs for displaying images.
The gold standard of free illustrations and vector art. In addition to photos, Pixabay is full of drawings, icons, illustrations and other art. For example, you can use the search feature to find images with a transparent background. This makes it easy to find illustrative cartoons, for example.
Another huge repository of high quality photographs. StockSnap contains many of the same images as Unsplash, because photographers upload their images to several different services. However, from time to time I always return to StockSnap.io when I can't find something suitable on Unsplash.
By far the best feature of Pexels is the"Explore" page. I often use this site as a source of inspiration and when I'm not quite sure what keywords to use to find a particular image. On this page, I might spend several hours just admiring the great pictures.
Only hand-picked images that (should) not be found elsewhere. The special feature of this service is that all images are added separately and should not be found in other free photo banks. Once you open the page, you immediately see that this statement is at least mostly true. The quality of the images may not always be the best, but if other services can't provide you with the exact image you are looking for, I recommend you visit Reshot.
A free photo bank full of food photos. It's a sad site in the sense that when you look at these pictures you get hungry. If you are looking for pictures of food, this is the first place to look.
Is a free photo bank a good option?
Not always. You may not always find exactly what you want. Because the photos are free so many people use them. It's very common to come across the same photos on several different bloggers' websites. They make you realise immediately that you have gone where the fence is lowest. If you want a unique blog with unique content, take the photos yourself.
However, a free image bank is a good option when you need an illustrative image to accompany your post, and the image is not necessarily the main story of your blog post. Images are really handy to use as background images, for example, to create the right mood for the content of your writing.
The use of photo banks is very common. Almost every company relies on some form of image bank because of their easy and quick access. It's up to you to decide when to switch from a free to a paid photo bank and at what point to start working with a professional photographer.
Paid image banks
If you can't find what you're looking for in the free image banks, I recommend checking out the paid image banks. Most of these services let you browse the photos they offer in advance. The photos are partially covered with watermarks, which can be removed after payment.
Adobe's own image bank. If you use Adobe products to process your media then I recommend this service. It works well together with Photoshop, for example. Adobe Stock also offers soundtracks and videos at a very reasonable price.