As a real estate agent, you already know the importance of good pictures. Your listings depend on it. But finding professional royalty-free images for your banner, background, or blog isn’t easy. And the cost to join some of the well known stock photo sites doesn’t always make sense for what you need. But you can find images on the internet that are royalty-free, and free of charge. You just have to know where to go.
Offering hand-selected stock photos that are free to use under a Creative Commons Zero license, you’ll find plenty of beautiful, stylish, and thoughtful images at Pexels. They survive on donations, and the images are carefully curated so if you like what you see, throw a few dollars their way. You can do just about anything you want with the images. Each day photos are added and the most recent 100 images are featured on their homepage to help you find something new.
Pixabay is home to over 1,000,000 images and they’re all free to use. Like other free stock photo sites, donations are welcome but payment isn’t necessary. You can modify the image and/or use it on your blog or social media. Pixabay also includes graphics and vector images for use in presentations or other projects you might have. Attribution isn’t required for Pixabay, but it is appreciated to help more people find the site.
While plenty of stock photo websites curate their images from Creative Commons Zero licenses, you can also go directly to the source. You have to click the options for modification and commercial use so that you know you’re getting search results of images you can use. (Look under the search bar on the website.) Creative Commons Search pulls from a variety of sources including Google, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikimedia. You may have to weed through a bunch of options but when you need something local, you can usually find it.
Want beautiful free images that come directly to you? Every ten days, Unsplash emails you ten new images they’ve added to their website. A relatively new free stock photo website, they’re slowly curating and adding beautiful images for users. You can search by topic or check out photographers work that they’ve added. You can also upload your own photography. The website is free to use, but you can support their work by shopping at the Unsplash store.
Technically, Canva is an online graphics design system for people with no graphic design skills or graphics staff. The website offers a free and paid option, including 300,000 free images. Canva allows you to not only find the stock photo you want to use, but also create a blog post banner, Facebook post, or gorgeous Instagram image with it in one place.
Want something you can’t find anywhere else while also getting access to the easy-to-find free stock photos? Freerange is the place. They have in-house contributors who take images as well as contributors who upload their own work. Some images are newly taken with a digital camera, and others are scans of the original 35mm slide. All images are free to use as needed.
If you don’t want to go searching for an image and would rather have it arrive in your inbox, Death to Stock might be the choice for you. Free images are emailed to you once a month. You can also join as a paid member and receive access to their full library to search whenever you’d like. Their catalog is still small but the images are unique and beautiful.
If you’ve been right-clicking and saving random images from other websites to use on your own, please stop right now. If you’re using the same three or four images over and over again because you’ve paid for them, you have options. Free high quality images are available without violating the copyright of another business. Once you find two or three favorite stock photo websites to use, you’ll never have to publish a blog post without an image again.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.