Resources: Stock Images, Icons, and Staging
When I blogged about art, images were easy to come by.
I either took them myself with my Rebel, with my phone, or I received images from the subjects I was writing about. Now that I write about content creation and business strategy I find that I don't have the opportunity to take as many photos anymore. Often times what I'm writing about makes it a bit hard to come up with a good looking image image. Through my own research and the Google machine, I have found a bunch of resources for creating unique and interesting images for my content.
I'm sharing the best here today, as well as what I like most about these sites. That way you too can create beautiful images for your content. I find having an image with a post across social media always helps to intrigue clicks. Below are 4 sites I use to help me create images in a few different ways.
Unsplash – This by far is one of my favorite repositories to utilize when I need a beautiful image. Here are many things I love about Unsplash:
Copyright Free: Unsplash offers their images under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication - which means "You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission." Simply put, you can take any one of their beautiful images and do whatever, wherever you like.
Quality: Their images are HUGE and are of hi-resolution, so they can be sized to fit pretty much anything you need them for.
Beautiful: Let's face it, many stock images are vanilla as hell. Unsplash has a gorgeous stream to choose from. It's true, that the more popular they get the more you'll start to recognize 'Unsplash' stock photos — but until then, I'm into it.
Choice: Every 10 days they post 10 new images. There is a very long stream of images to choose from too!
Ease: Unsplash are kept on a Tumblr, so there is no sign up, no annoying emails reminding you that you haven't used their service, etc
Compfight – This a great site that utilizes Flickr's API to search for images that are licensed under Creative Commons or commercially. It does a fantastic job pulling up many, many stunning images.
Crawls and delivers millions of photos for you in an instant. I searched "city" and 1.4 million images were delivered in a second.
Easily formats HTML for you to drop into your posts to give credit to the photographer, and Compfight the site.
They offer a few filters to drill down what kind of photo is needed ie: creative commons vs. commercial, etc
All images that are available are downloadable right from Compfight in 4 different sizes
It also offers what the exact copyright terms are via a link on the download page — always make sure you check this so you are within the parameters of using the image
[Tweet "Using an image on social media helps to intrigue interest & clicks. Use these sites for images!"]
The Noun Project – I was introduced to The Noun Project when I worked at WIRED, and then reminded of the icon site by Cortney Cassidy who designed my branding. TNP has been a tremendous tool for me with content, in my consulting documents, and on my website!. It offers thousands of symbols to download and use.
TNP offers 2 ways to use the icons on the site: you can pay $1.99 and own the icon forever, or you can download the item and credit the designer.
Some of the icons are available via Creative Commons, depending on the parameters, you may or may not have to credit. These symbols are free for download.
All icons are downloaded from the site and are packaged as an Illustrator file — making it easy to change colors, and size.
There are many ways to search for specific icons, but something fun TNP does is they create collections on the front page to discover fun symbols that you may not otherwise think of.
As above, TNP also spotlights designers on the front page to discover more icons as well as talented designers.
Premium accounts are now available, so if find that you're downloading a lot, perhaps a monthly plan is useful. There's no attribution with this option.
Probably the best thing about TNP is that by buying icons, you are supporting designers.
Place it – This is a fun site that was created as a marketing tool for apps and websites. But it's also a great site if you need to show something on a computer, phone, or tablet. Which many of us who write content about being online can use.
There are hundreds of great images on Place it (if you've visited Unsplash, you may recognize some.)
Images are available as still photos, "blenders" — see the image in many different settings, or interactive video.
Place it offer search filters, so if you are looking specifically for a laptop or an Android phone you can narrow down the search to type of screen you need as well as the setting you'd like to use.
Uploading images to Place it is very easy, they offer a drag and drop model which is a snap.
Although Place it recommends specific sizes for your image, they offer a crop tool that makes it very easy to edit your image within theirs.
Images can be bought individually, or various price packages are offered for 3 month periods. You also have the option to download your image, but it will have a watermark. I've used the free image with watermark in the past but it looks like they have recently made it more prominent (see below).