Today I’m going to be talking about how you can find brilliant, free images for your website. This is particularly relevant if you’re just starting out, haven’t got a big budget to get a photoshoot but you really need images on your website.
You might not have the money to invest in some of the big stock photos. Maybe you’re not sure what sort of thing to look for because it’s quite hard to know if you don’t have images of your business. Perhaps you’re a service-based business and you don’t have a big office. Maybe you don’t have a lot of things to take photographs of. You may think you can only have images if you are a product-based business because you’d have an image of a product.
Whatever the situation, I’m going to be showing you where you can go to get really good free images. Images that you can use on your website and actually do the selling for you! I’ll also be showing you what I look for when I look on any image site. Knowing what you’re aiming for is key to getting the right image for your website.
Why is it important to get really good images on your website?
- You can really target your audience, you can really make people feel at home. That’s why all the big stores have pictures of who they’re aiming for. For example, a really young store will have teenagers dressed up in their clothes. You can do that instantly with images.
- You can also up your branding because people expect images on the website. They expect to have a really nice welcoming experience and to have pictures breaking up the text. Having a very text-heavy website will do you no favours because images are everywhere in our culture. They connect with us, we connect with them and they’re so instant they can give an impression immediately. Whereas, having to read through a bit of an essay text, people have to invest more time to get through that content. So images can be very instant and helpful.
- Images are really good at evoking feelings in us without us really paying attention. They can make us feel happy, they can make us feel comfortable, they can make us feel welcomed. Images can be very powerful things and getting the right image is very important. You don’t want to be evoking the wrong feeling about your brand or product. You really want to be showing people exactly how your product or your service is going to make people feel.
- Images set the seed. You might be welcoming people into your website, it might be your About page where you’ve got some images of your business. It might be your Services page where you want to show the results of your business and how you’re going to make them feel. You’re really setting the scene for how your products or your service really works for your target audience.
What not to look for in free images!
Before I dive into my four top free photo sites, I want to mention what not to look for.
What you want to avoid are those very posed images that we see absolutely everywhere. If you’re a marketing professional and you really want to show that you mean business, you may search in a photograph site for ‘business’. You will get some very generic images of handshaking, power stats, and weird meetings where everybody is either really beautiful or really wooden. These sorts of images are absolutely everywhere and they’re not very believable. They’re obviously really posed, they’re not to do with your business and they don’t show off what your strengths are. It’s just an image to fill a space.
Data backgrounds, although you might think it looks very high-tech and would make a website look fantastic, are used so often that people just turn them off. Images that you may think show serious business, wealth, and strategy actually have been used in so many places. It’s not about your business, it’s not about your building, it’s not about who you work with and the results that you get. So, stay away from those very staged images.
One image that was popular on most people’s ‘About’ page was the call centre, smiley girl. She was all over the place, so people will be aware that’s not a real person in your business. Those are the sorts of images that will turn people off because when they contact you, they want to know they’re talking to a real business, a real person, and not just a stock photo.
Top 4 websites for free images
Now, I’m going to work through some of my favourite free image sites to show you exactly what I look for. To compare the four, I’ve looked for photographs as if I were a life coach, looking for images that will suit my services. Those that will attract my target audience, and make my website feel right for whoever visits.
Pexels is created by photographers who want you to see the best of their work. So, you can get something a little different from your average stock photograph. For this purpose, as a life coach, I’m looking for images that will reflect my business: working with women and making them feel happy. I typed in “women laughing”.
I got ones like somebody jumping for joy so that could be quite good with a nice comment about what I do. One showing a happy woman could hint she is happy she’s been working with me. We want somebody similar to the person we’re working with, showing what result they can get after working with me. I like images with nice soft colors so if that matches your brand that would be great.
This is a nice free image, it’s really not posed, it looks like my target audience and she looks very happy and relaxed. So that would be showing my target audience exactly the results they can get through working with me.
Again, this is created by photographers so it’s very creative. It’s not your normal stock photographs, you can get something that’s a lot more natural. Sometimes I actually use free image websites even though I’ve got a paid subscription because I get something more natural. With this search I want to evoke a feeling, I want to look for an image that really evokes the feeling of working with me. I search for “freedom” and we get some really great photographs that really evoke an emotion.
It really gives you that feeling of flow, it gives you some awesome gorgeous colours. It’s evoking emotion, and having images like these on your website can really set an emotion so people know how they’re going to feel through working with you. If your life coaching is all about looking inside and changing from the inside, we can evoke a lot of emotions through photographs even on a free image website.
This one tends to be a bit more stock photography. Again they’re all free images so you’ve got no worries about downloading. For this one, I’m just going to look for more scene-setting images. I look up “calm” this time, so I want to evoke that sort of calm scene-setting for my website.
We could use any of these as background drops, just to set them behind the words. It just makes you feel calm and it makes you feel rested, it gives you a slower start to your day. It’s very warm colours so these are the sorts of images that you can set the scene with. Free photograph sites do give you a big choice of things that you can look at so have a look at the sorts of emotions you want to describe in your images.
This time I use “meditation” and some of them look a bit posed, some have mountains and faith. It gives you some good ideas of what else you can then type into the search afterward. There’s a lot more selling that goes on Pixabay which is worth noting.
You might know this one for making socials images for Instagram for Facebook. You might know it for making various sorts of posters and logos and that sort of thing but it’s also really good at finding images. Especially if you’ve got the pro account which you may already have to create images in your business. You get a lot of photographs included, so again with the life coach arena, there are successful woman images or well-being ones.
You do get a lot of free images on here, with a mix of pro and free. There’s also one from Pexels that we saw before, so some images are shared between sites. This time I typed in “happy woman” and had a search through. I quite like the ones for women in business on here, they are quite relaxed. Look at your age group and note that people react well to images of people. There’re some good choices on here and really worth looking through, especially if you’ve got a pro account on Canva.
I hope I’ve given you some really great ideas of the types of websites you can find these free photographs. As well as what sort of thing you should be looking for when you get there. I hope that they will provide you with the images you need for your website and your social media. They’re very useful and actually, I think you can often get better images on those free sites than you can off the paid ones.
Comment below what sort of images you could get for your website. Or if you’re struggling to find images that are right for your business, ask away because I’d love to help you out find those right images for your website.