our go-to sites for FREE stock photos
Recently, we wrote about the importance of first impressions and how many times, when it comes to your brand, these first impressions can become last impressions if you're not careful. By now, you have probably come to terms with the fact that your social media presence carries a lot of weight when it comes to brand awareness and recognition. So, it should be a no brainer to make sure your feeds are chockfull of well-curated images. But, with typical stock photos costing up to $20 a piece, a girl can go broke! So, what's a budding entrepreneur to do? Seek out some incredible resources for FREE (yes, you read that right, FREE!) stock photos, of course!
After years of scouring the great World Wide Web and spending way too much time looking for that perfect shot, we have done the scut work for you. So, the next time you are aimlessly perusing Creative Market (which we LOVE, btw) hop on over to one of our go-to resources, to discover your next Insta hit!
unsplash | Free (do whatever you want) hi-resolution photos. And that is literally, what this wonderful resource is. Unsplash was kind of a fluke and was founded when a new company lacked homepage-worthy images for their website. Like most of us, they noticed every photography option was either of poor quality, too expensive, or both. So, they hired a photographer, took a bunch of pics of which they used one and then they posted the rest online for free. Since then, Unsplash has grown into an industry-leading photography community and a killer resource for girl bosses like us. We love the clarity and artistic value of the shots we discover here.
the ivory mix | Billed as 'images for influencers', The Ivory Mix is a member curated stock photo library geared towards various niches and industries. In fact, many of the collections are inspired by member input, which is pretty cool! Upon joining, members receive access to over 300 free styled stock photos for immediate, commercial use. Most other stock photo suppliers will gift just a handful of images at a time. The rest are usually available for a fee. Our favorite part about The Ivory Mix is the ongoing monthly packages -- each bundle includes an incredible variety of layouts that are 100% free to use! If you look closely at our portfolio page, you may just find a few flat lays from the 'Softer Pinks' collection (wink, wink.)
twigyposts | If you love that cozy, farmhouse vibe à la Joanna Gaines, then this site should serve all your style stock photo needs. Janna, the woman behind the lens, aims to create beautiful stock photos & mockups to help small business owners achieve a cohesive look online. Visitors can purchase individual images and bundles in her Creative Market shop or head on over to her website to grab a monthly membership. Don't have the budget to pay for your goods right now? Don't fret! The lovely TwigyPosts now offers a seasonal bundle, every month - for FREE!
creative market | Briefly mentioned above, Creative Market is a great resource for many things including fonts, vectors and, of course, stock photos. While much of the content must be paid for, handpicked shops gift members with free goodies on a weekly basis. Simply signup and you will receive an email every Monday morning, featuring 6 free items for the taking. It literally feels like Christmas morning when this message pops up in our Inbox! Most of the time we take advantage of the these freebies and download something from one of the shops. Even if we don't need the content at that moment in time, chances are we will be able to use it to serve a client or our own brand in the future.
And, last, but certainly not least, we recommend that you take a course on how to elevate your very own iPhone photos. Yes, it is 100% possible to take quality photos that don't suck without spending major moolah on fancy photog equipment. One of our favorite stock photo and branding gurus, Rosemary Watson offers a killer course on how to create and brand your very own arsenal of styled stock photos. Checkout it out here.
Now that you know where to source some incredible photos and flat lays, don't start posting these babies like a mad women. The next step is to come up with a content strategy. What will you post and when? Will you stick with a specific color scheme, so that your Instagram feed has a cohesive look and that your Facebook posts are in-line with the look and feel of your brand?
It took us months to figure out how we really wanted our social media content to reflect our brand. If you are struggling with your social media strategy, reach out to us to discuss. We'll have your feed up-and-running and looking super polished and professional in no time!