Wearing a unicorn crownContent is king and the right image can make or break your content.

If you are in a role or in a business that doesn’t produce enough images then it can be a pain to find the right images.

You can  pay a subscription service but many people just rely on searching good old Google because it’s free. But, are you checking they are royalty free?

What does royalty free mean?

Happy man in front of wallIn Wikipedia speak this means;

“Royaltyfree, or RF, refers to the right to use copyright material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use, per each copy or volume sold or some time period of use or sales.”

So basically if you are paying a subscription for a stock image library then you are paying to be able to use the image. Stock agencies sell licenses that give the buyers the rights to use the photos, but they don’t transfer the copyright of the images. The photographer  is still the owner of the photo. They still hold the copyright.

If you used someone else’s copyrighted material without their permission and commercially profited from that use, you may have to pay them monetary damages.

Can I find royalty free images on Google?

The good news is that its actually really simple to search for royalty free images on Google. Below is a video which takes you through the steps of using Google to search for royalty free images:

So, it’s pretty simple to find them but it can mean that everyone is using the same images. It’s a bit like turning up to a party and finding that half the guests  are wearing the same outfit as you! Yep, no-one wants that. I know I very often see the same images being used over and over again by similar companies.

Where can I find different royalty free images?

Dog looking to cameraThere are quite a few sites out there that are slightly more under the radar.

These will have sets of images that you don’t see on every Tom, Dick or Harriet’s websites and social media.

These are 5 of my favourite sites:

  1. Unsplash
  2. Pexels
  3. Pixabay
  4. Shopify Burst
  5. Public Domain Archive

There are others out there so it’s worth doing a search for ‘royalty free images’ and see which sites come up.

It’s also going to be dependent on the type of business and the types of images you are looking for. One site may provide more than another.

Images no-one else is using

Wooden handWell if you want to use images in your social media and websites that you can be sure that no-one else is using then you are going to have to take your own images or commission a photographer. It really is that simple.

Unless you are looking for very simple images and you are fairly good with a camera, lighting and composition then I would advise booking a professional. Setting aside some money and some time to get some bespoke images can really make a difference.

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