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5 Alternatives to stock photos

Ah, the stock photo. The bane of many a marketers life, stock photos have often been mocked, and with good reason. Research has shown that stock photos can make your website look less trustworthy, and even reduce your conversion rate.

stock photoThe problem for business owners is that purchasing high quality images can be costly, and many are reluctant to shell out. What’s more, using imagery without gaining permission can be a legal minefield. Luckily, there are a number of options if you don’t feel ‘women with lettuce on her head’ accurately embodies your brand values. Below are just a few options:

1. Create your own graphics

If you have a creative streak, or a designer on your staff, you can create graphics for your website yourself. Invest in Photoshop for the ultimate in image processing or use a free online tool such as Canva to create professional graphics with little effort.

2. Unsplash

About as far away from stock photos as you can get, Unsplash is a community of photographers who provide photos that can be used (and modified) free of charge. High quality and a little bit artsy, Unsplash photos are perfect for cutting-edge businesses and blogs.

3. Creative Commons

Creative Commons brings together photographs from sources such as Flickr, Google Images and Wikipedia. You can search for photographs that can be used for commercial purposes, or those that can be modified before use.

4. Take photographs yourself

If you only need a few photos, it might be worth taking them yourself. Chances are that you already know somebody who has a DSLR camera and a creative eye. Website visitors appreciate authenticity in a website, so self-taken photos may even win you more customers! Research has shown that real photographs of your product or your customers work best.

5. Death to Stock Photos

We had to include this one for the name! Death to Stock Photos provide free to use images on a monthly basis. Alternatively you can buy a basic plan at $15/month for more access to their image database. The people behind the site even take yearly road trips across America, in order to provide exclusive photographs capturing the best of the States.

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