No matter the size of company, every business needs to access quality imagery and graphics to include in all types of marketing collateral. In an ideal world, having a professional photographer capture imagery of your business, customers and team is the aim, but in many cases it isn’t practical or sometimes, necessary. Therefore stock imagery and footage is the perfect answer.
For many smaller businesses the big boys, such as Shutterstock and iStock, while fantastic, are often a too expensive.
There is also the matter of sourcing images without falling foul of copyright laws, which can land you in deep trouble and potentially cost a fortune in fines if you get it wrong.
Therefore, we’ve identified some providers of quality products at great rates or even free.
Unsplash have ‘Beautiful, free photos’, which are royalty free. To say thanks they say, “Crediting isn’t required, but is appreciated and allows photographers to gain exposure.”
Take a look at photos on Unsplash.com
If you use icons in presentations and pitch documents, Flaticon is the place to go.
There’s over a million icons from the standard to the quirky, all grouped in categories and packs, making it easy to find what you need or provide inspiration.
There are thousands you can download for free, but you need to give credit to the author.
If you use a lot of icons the monthly fee is just €10 for unlimited use, which is great value.
Take a look at icons on Flaticon.com
3. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is great for all types of photos, illustrations and vectors.
You can get 10 images free as part of a trial, thereafter there’s a reasonably priced monthly plan or an incentive to choose an annual plan.
Adobe Stock now has a drag and drop image matcher. If you find a picture on Google images you really like, simply download it and drag it into the browser window and Adobe Stock will perform image recognition. They’ll show you if they have the image and the price to purchase.
Browse Adobe Stock.
Part of the envato suite of services, Photodune is another favourite of ours. It has loads of great images at very low prices.
Take a look at Photodune’s royalty free stock photos from $2.
Videohive is the sister site to Photodune and has a rich bank of stock video clips, which are all very reasonably priced.
We find that the technical quality of the clips is great, but in some cases the visual quality is not as good as stock from other providers. It’s a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. So, if you want something simple and not too specific, like a crowd in a train station, you can purchase a really good clip for about $13, which is amazing value. The standard licensing fee is also included in the cost of the file, which makes it really simple.
Discover video clips at Videohive.net.
Pond5’s stock video library is really something! They provide a great variation of high-quality clips. They claim, ‘Stunning footage you won’t find anywhere else’.
They also provide music, sound effects and ‘After Effects Templates’, which are customisable video clips.
As you would expect, the price is higher at between £50 – £100 per clip in most cases, but if you need something impressive ‘wow’ factor it is well worth it. And, it’s MUCH cheaper than trying to film it!
The one thing to be aware of with Pond5 is the licensing – check what license you need based on how you’ll be distributing the footage, as you may need to upgrade the license on top of the file cost. This is the one drawback we’ve found with Pond5, but by no means a big problem.
Take a look at what Pond5 has to offer.
Good imagery or video can be the difference between success or failure of a marketing campaign or engagement on a website. Hopefully, our suggestions show that you needn’t cut corners.
If in doubt, ask the experts! We’re waiting for your call – 0203 411 6617 – or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.