How to Find Free Stock Photos

Are you tired of seeing photos like these on websites and graphics

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Me too. They lack brand personality.

When it comes to developing your brand’s visual identity, visual elements, such as photographs play a huge role in how people perceive your brand. From imagery, you can tell a story of who you are, who you serve, and what your brand is all about. When your audience sees photos on your website or social media feed, they immediately make an emotional connection. Why is this important?

Well, people always remember they way you made them feel.

But how do you find these photos when there is a sea of generic stock photos floating around?

Here are my top tips for finding stock photos for your branding:

Know who your ideal client is

I’m 99% certain that you’ve given at least some thought into who your ideal client is. Your Ideal Client is your perfect customer; someone who is likely to buy from you or work with you. I can't stress enough the importance of knowing exactly who you’re serving. By not having clarity on who your ideal client is, you’ll most likely struggle with creating a trustworthy connection with your audience and lack direction with your branding. At the end of the day, if you don’t know who you’re talking to… how will you know what to communicate visually? By having a clear understanding of who your ideal client is, you can focus your messaging and visual identity to appeal to them.

I suggest picking out 3-5 adjectives that describe your brand. (ex: fun, lively, happy etc.)


Find a stock photo site you love

There are many free stock photo sites that are really great for sourcing your photos but one in particular is a winner for me. Unsplash has a wide variety of high quality photos to choose from and it’s also easy to navigate

Unsplash.com

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Search Method 1 - Typing in keywords

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Typing in keywords is the method that the majority of people use however, I find this method the least effective. When you type in a keyword like business, it pulls up those generic stock photos you saw earlier. It also pulls up endless pages of photos that you don’t have time to look through.

Search Method 2 - Collections

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I use this method quite often. Remember when I told you to pick out 3-5 adjectives? This is where it will come into play. Think about those adjectives and look through the collections, you’re bound to find one that speaks to you. These collections are curated by different members and don’t have the typical stock photo look.


Method 3 - Member Search

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So you’ve finally found a photo you like. Perfect! But now, how do you go about finding more like that one? A great method for this is to search by member. 9 times out of 10 if you like a particular photo the artist who took the photo will have other photos with the same look and feel. Hover over the mini circular picture to get a preview of the artist portfolio. If you like what you see, click on their name and it will take you to their page.

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Once you’re on their page, you’ll be able to see all the photos in their portfolio. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to find stock photos.

Summary

Finding stock photos can be tough, especially when you don’t know what you’re looking for. The most important thing to remember is that you must always have your ideal client in mind when sourcing your photos. If you remember this and use one of the methods above, you’ll find non generic, beautiful stock photos that tells your brand story.