If you work in marketing or social media you probably need access to really great photography. Luckily, there are now many sites that offer beautiful and completely free photos covering a wide range of content.
If you plan to alter the images or use them for personal or commercial use, make sure they are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose, you can modify them, copy them, use them for commercial use, and don't need to provide attribution. That doesn't mean these are completely free of all restrictions, so ensure you've read up and understand the website's policy of use. If you plan to use the photos for your personal social media account where you drum up business, that's considered commercial use.
I've listed some of my favourite free stock photo sites below that are CC0 licensed (but always double check on this):
- Pexels.com - I have found this one to provide beautiful photos with a really nice selection, especially if you need them for a curated Instagram feed.
- Unsplash - This site is created by photographers who want people to have access to their work. You can follow photographers that you find and like so their feeds are readily available when you log in again. While you don't have to credit the photographer, it is encouraged.
- BURST - This is a site by Shopify that lets you browse topics, top photos, what's new, categories, and more.
- StockSnap.io - This site is great because you can search by "trending" or "popular searches" which can make life just a bit easier (it's where I found the photo above).
- FoodiesFeed - If you run a food account, this is a great place to get supplemental imagery for your feed.
If you are using images from a particular site, it's always a good idea to provide a donation so that they can continue to operate. Now go ahead and save these links for future use!