Is A FREE Stock Image Really Free? Let’s Chat, Girlfriend To Girlfriend
Please note that I am NOT an affiliate of the linked content found within and this post is NOT sponsored. I’m just a geeky mama boss, sharing the love.
Reading FREE Stock Image Terms And License
This is so very important. There are a ton of free stock photography websites out there floating around. Some offer FREE, but with strict limitations. Others state they are free somewhere on their websites and you may go clicking and downloading only to find out there’s a specified license attached and the image isn’t truly free. Music downloads are also that way, as I learned while setting up my youtube channel. No matter what website you find yourself browsing, with the intention of finding a truly free image to use for your business, blog, brand…read the terms and license first, before downloading.
You want to make sure you are legally covered in the event of something going terribly wrong. The original artist, who took the photograph you want to use, needs to be covered legally and well, whenever you use an image in this capacity, it’s just good practice to give attribution, or credit, to the original artist. But depending on the site you are wanting to download the stock image from, attribution may not be a requirement.
Here are a few key items, taken away from reading MY favorite FREE stock Photo website and my interpretation. I am not a lawyer, so be sure to do your own research and always read the terms for yourself. If you still have any questions, definitely reach out to the website and ask them!
Now that THAT’S out of the way, let’s go grab a hot coffee and get this chat started!
All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible. SOURCE
Girlfriend to girlfriend chat: Anything found on this specific site can be used for free. It can be for personal or professional purposes, including marketing and promotion (which falls under the commercial umbrella). There’s no need to link back to the artist, giving them credit, but it is the nice thing to do, if you can.
More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. SOURCE
Girlfriend to girlfriend: You may use the stock image in many ways: You can download it. You can copy it as it is, modify it by cropping or adding image editing filters, text, etc. You can distribute it to your website, your social accounts. You can print it out. And use said image for personal and commercial purposes without mentioning the original artist, i.e. photo taker. This also means that many other people are allowed to use the very same image you want to use.
This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.SOURCE
Girlfriend to girlfriend: If you download a TON of images with the intention of starting your own FREE stock image website and company. Well, that’s a big NO NO. So don’t do that.
Now that our girlfriend to girlfriend chat is out of the way, here’s a new, fun way of using a free stock images
For inspiration. For learning. For finding your own unique spin on a similar concept with the intention of creating original to you content for your blog, business, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
Perhaps you are a children’s fashion blogger and motherhood instagram influencer. You are an ambassador for a popular, mama-owned brand, who has recently asked you to style a flatlay using her new kiddo tee that’s releasing soon. The tee has a grizzly bear on it and you have this adorable plush bear from Target – the perfect addition to your styled image. But what else can you use? You’re stumped. It’s been a very long, tiring day and inspiration is flying out the window. You don’t want to be a copycat and look at other Instagram accounts that are in your same motherhood niche. I actually highly recommend NEVER being a copycat in that capacity. So instead, you head to Brandis’ favorite free stock image catalog, where you can use any image you’d like. You find the cutest flatlay image that uses women’s clothing, shoes and even a mug. You love everything about it! Because this image, free, was uploaded to a site that allows for several uses of said image, you can download it and use it anyway you’d like.
My suggestion? Study it! Study the placement of the clothing, shoes and mug. How did the artist fill up the frame? Is there a lot of white space or not much at all? Identify your favorite part of the flatlay – the style, the edit, the color scheme. Now try to recreate it with your own items or simply pull one or two ideas from the stock image, that you can put your own creative spin on when photographing YOUR flatlay.
There’s also something else pretty AWESOME about using free stock images from Unsplash for learning. If you click on the images INFO button, at the bottom right side, you can see ALL the technical goodness in the above picture. And if you speak photographer, you’ll recognize all these things immediately. If you don’t speak dSLR photographer, that’s totally okay too! If you have a question, leave it in the comments and I’ll explain it to ya, girlfriend to girlfriend.
This info tab is extremely helpful for the stock images you’d like to download and use as-is. From using the above image information stats, the stock image has been seen 752,016 times and has been downloaded 9,479 times. So it’s quite possible that Sally down the internet block may have also used this image somehow. Since y’all seem to have the same amazing taste and all.
::: wink, wink :::
Love my example of how to use a free stock image to spark inspiration or to learn from?
If you just nodded your head yes, then girl, join me! I started doing creative things myself, and found that not only was I staying inspired, but I was CREATING a lot of content, mostly images, that I could use now and later on, for my blog, Twitter,Instagram and of course my Pinterest pages. And honestly, it hasn’t cost too much (I’ll share how and where I shop for items used in my styled images) and we will go on a creative, photographing journey together!
Want to know what this free challenge is all about? READ THIS RIGHT NOW. Yes, I just shouted at you because I am THAT excited. I think you’ll love it and connecting with you would be amazing, too.
So tell me, Friend. Are you into free stock images? If yes, how do you utilize them the most? I know there are TONS of sites out there to choose from. Do you have a favorite go-to website?
Chat again soon. XO