As part of our series on the tools of the trade, I’m taking a more in-depth look at each of the resources I use in my business. This will give you a flavour of what they’re about as well as some tips on getting the best from each. This week we’re taking a look at Deposit Photos.
5 Reasons Not to Use Free Stock Images on Your Site
If you’re looking for images for your website or blog, it’s so tempting to jump straight on a free image site, I mean, it’s free for a start.
But, more often than not free image sites don’t quite cut it in terms of what’s on offer, the variety just isn’t there. Not only this but consider just how many people are using these images on their sites too. Is it worth your brand reputation to use low-quality, free images and risk creating an unprofessional impression of your business?
Why not opt instead for a low-cost, high-quality site like Deposit Photos instead?
5 Reasons Not to Use Free Stock Images on Your Site
It should really go without saying, you get what you pay for. When you look at the artistic ability behind the images in terms of lighting, resolution, composition and cropping, and being contemporary, you are unlikely to find these on free sites. Professional photographers will upload their images onto sites where they’ll get paid, and quite rightly so. So, you end up with amazing high-quality images, for very little cost.
The variety of images on offer on free sites just isn’t there. How many people in the online arena are already using the images on their blogs and websites? Let me tell you. LOADS. It doesn’t look good when the same images are recycled across platforms, we’ve seen them, they won’t pique our interest, and you’ll be lost in the crowd.
Often you will be offered image size options when downloading, but still the quality can be low and if you then adjust your image size and dimensions to fit its purpose, you’ll end up with a terrible mess. Paid sites give you more download options with high-resolution so you should be able to immediately find the right size and format you’re looking for. On top of that, high-resolution images won’t lose quality when cropping.
The Legal Stuff
Yes, these free sites tell us the images are available to use, but there have been plenty of times where people have been stung for Copyright Infringement (have a read of our blog on this). The licences tend to get updated, and you may find an image you could once use, is now no longer allowed. Do you have time to check every month that your image is still being used legally? The internet is a huge place, and we need to be careful about what sites we trust. It’s not unheard of that people have faced legal action from using an image without permission due to licence updates. With a paid site, you’re protected, and you know you don’t have to worry. It’s peace of mind all round.
Sometimes, the free sites host rejected images. This is proof of their lack of quality and as someone who isn’t an artist or photographer, are you willing to do the guesswork on what constitutes a high-quality image? That kind of decision making is taken out of the equation when you use a low-cost high-quality site.
So let me tell you about my go-to image library, Deposit Photos.
With low-cost, high quality, royalty-free stock photos, vector graphics and even videos, I always find what I need. If you need a smaller file for online or a high-res version for print, they have these too.
The aspect I find to be the most useful is the search function. You can search by image type, i.e. photo, vector, illustration… then the search allows you to narrow it down even further with its vast array of filters, which is truly invaluable when you are looking for something specific. The more keywords you use, the better the result, for example if you were to type in ‘office blue desk’ you would get that specifically. This enables you to find images that work well with your brand. And it gets better. If you’re looking for a set of images or a particular photographer, you’ll find it, which means you can ensure brand consistency.
The search function has SO many options, you can:
- exclude photos with people in
- filter by gender (to suit your target market)
- filter by age and ethnicity
- filter by season or time of day
- view photos that are a best match or even those that are new to the site (so fewer people are likely to have the same photos as you!)
- when you have selected a photo, you can search other photos by the same photographer, or even similar images
Another great element is the suggestions when you type in a key word or phrase. I don’t know about you, but in my experience, it can sometimes be hard to find an image that conveys an abstract concept. With Deposit Photos, the time spent searching for that perfect image is significantly reduced.
It’s not just me singing their praises, my team loves Deposit Photos too…
“I know I can find an image that shows ‘peace’, for example, but Deposit Photos adds things to the mix that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. I think it’s really quite intuitive.”
“I really like the vector images, they’re so useful when putting together a presentation or other professional documentation.”
“The collections are really useful, and I like the fact you can see what the current most popular searches are, it helps you to stay on trend which we all know is super important.”
I’d really recommend having a look, you can search for free and see the images, of course they’re watermarked. The fee is a small price to pay for great quality images you can use for your own business or for clients.
For full disclosure, I will earn a small commission if you sign up to any of these resources using the links I provide in my posts, and I only ever recommend tools and resources that I trust and use myself.