Free Stock Photos
Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash are stiff competition to the paid stock photos from the most popular websites like iStockphoto.com (Getty Images) and Shutterstock.com. At the latter, you can find pictures of almost everything – but at a juicy price. Furthermore, these photos are often very professional and rarely natural. Just not a real snapshot.
Stock photography is a field of photography where images get produced in stock. The opposite of stock photography is, therefore, contract photography.
Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash
Now there are good alternatives with Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash.
As you can see from my blog here, it is sometimes not easy to use suitable photos. It’s different from travel or a cooking website. There you automatically take a lot of pictures.
But if you don’t have many photos of your own, you will usually look for stock photos on the net. So there are many stock photo providers with costs, such as Shutterstock or Depositphotos.
Apart from the fact that the photos there cost money, some things to consider when embedding and copyright identification.
But many websites promise professional stock photos for free. There you don’t have to pay any money for the images, but no copyright identification is necessary. That sounds very good in any case.
Unlike many paid stock photo providers, Pexels focuses on real photographs. The pictures are usually already processed or show already beautiful and in a form brought motives.
I like this very much, and especially bloggers should be much more satisfied with it, as they are mostly looking for meaningful pictures anyway. There is also the possibility to load the images in different formats.
All in all, the offer is still incomplete here and there, but on the whole, it is surprisingly extensive. Therefore, there are matching pictures for many topics, whereby nature and random holiday shots in high quality determine the platform, as it seems to me. Especially for smaller niche topics, it is still challenging to get the right picture.
The licensing terms are a bit more detailed here, so that we also do without a summary. Please read here before you use this image library.
This site has a vast database with 1.6 million high-quality images. Pixabay is more business-oriented than a provider like Unsplash, which is often helpful for bloggers. Another significant advantage of Pixabay is that they also offer free vectors and illustrations.
But what is a considerable disadvantage of Pixabay is that anonymous owners do the upload. So there is the danger that the uploader doesn’t have the appropriate licenses at all. And that a bill from the owner will flutter into the house afterwards. Read more about this with the WordPress plugin Image Source.
Additionally, we are annoyed by the appearing Shutterstock, which should attract people to their offer. It annoys us, but we understand that such a platform should also generate income.
License Pixabay Images
The licensing is clearly formulated. All content on Pixabay can get used for free for commercial and noncommercial use across print and digital. Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the contributor or Pixabay is not necessary but is always appreciated by our community. You can make modifications to content from Pixabay.
However, then things get restrictive: All content on Pixabay can get used for free for commercial and noncommercial use across print and digital, except in the cases mentioned in “What is not allowed”. Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the contributor or Pixabay is not necessary but is always appreciated by our community. You can make modifications to content from Pixabay.
With over one million free high-resolution images from over 150,000 photographers, Unsplash is our secret favourite in our listed group of three.
The photos are of the highest quality, and thousands of new images get added every day. The chances are excellent that you will find what you are looking for and get a superb snapshot for free.
You can use the pictures for non-commercial as well as commercial purposes. More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash.
Image Source Control - WordPress Plugin
Has it ever happened to you that a letter from Michael Verch fluttered into the house? This tool helps you deposit the source and thus offers an excellent possibility to prove that you acted in good faith and loaded the picture from a photo database. At least you can prove it with the “link”, and maybe there is even a possibility in a court case to request legal assistance sent to the photo database or to find out the IP address of the real fraudster.
See the tool in action here.
Marco Verch - Fraudsters Copy
According to reports in the German media, Mr Verch has made such a prominent name that resourceful people have come up with a new business model. They upload pictures to free platforms like Pexels & Co., take them away and send an invoice to the website owner. Should this happen – wait for two letters, but remove that picture immediately and apologies for it by e-mail if you can: Quote the source.
Many people let themselves get pressured by the first letter and are ready to pay the mostly small bill immediately. As already mentioned – some people do this systematically while probably Marco Verch wants to protect the rights of the photographers.
Why is it still not always a good idea to use such images? The main reason is that on these platforms, the originator cannot get verified.
Some stupid people may upload photos that do not belong to you, but others are the originator. It is said that there have been photographers who intentionally and anonymously uploaded their photos on such a platform and then waited until enough people used these photos on their websites. Then the photographer had these users warned by a lawyer and collected a lot of money.
But even if the uploader is the originator of the photos, some uncertainties can lead to trouble. On many of these free stock photos, for example, people are visible.
It can be very tricky to use such pictures because a warning costs USD 1,000 – USD 2,000. We recommend using the WordPress plugin Image Source Control so that you at least have the original link and have an excellent opportunity to prove that you “actually” acted correctly.
Since we don’t have an extensive image library of our own, we still use Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash. We have chosen these three platforms because we use them most often. But we would be happy if you write your favourites in the comment field below.