Unsplash – Free Photos for Your Next Project
Lousy imagery is ruining the web. I don’t mean memes on Instagram; instead, I’m referring to the trend of using low res pictures or clip art on blogs and websites. Commisioning professional photos are expensive and time-consuming. For years royalty photo sites such as Getty would charge anywhere from $1-100 per picture depending on the rights and usage.
The primary market for these photo sites were ad agencies that would merely pass the cost onto their corporate clients, and it worked out well for everyone – except small businesses, civic organizations, and schools. To address this deficiency in the market, a new type of stock photo site has arisen – the most famous being Unsplash.com which offers free, high-resolution images for any purpose. Unsplash allows anyone to post their photos to the platform where the internal team curates and publishes the best pictures for public usage.
I search on Unsplash.com for images of businesses, beaches, transportation, gadgets, and most recently fur. I use Unsplash for blog post headers, client presentations, church websites and the responses from clients are always positive. Even on projects where I’m planning a photoshoot, having Unsplash photos as FPO (For Placement Only) allows my art team to quickly mockup their designs for client reviews.
There are several competing free stock photo sites, some of them have annoying registration prompts, or are cluttered with ads. In case you’re wondering how Unsplash makes money – it doesn’t directly – it’s a referral tool for Crew who uses the site as a marketing tool for its other services.