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9 Places To Get Free Images For Your Church Website and Social Media

(This article is an edited version of a blog by Bel Booker on www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog)

We are always hearing about how important images are for our social media posts. Indeed, statistics show that images are the most compelling form of content on Facebook – accounting for 87% of interaction, while Tweets with an image get 35% more retweets on average.

This creates a sustained need for engaging, high quality images, but what do you do if you have neither the time to take photos yourself or the money to buy professional stock images?
Never fear, we have compiled a list of 9 fantastic resources where you can snap up great free images for your website, blog, newsletters, Facebook and Twitter, totally free of charge.

Gratisography
Quaity imagesGratisography was founded by NY visual artist and photographer Ryan McGuire, who enjoys capturing “eclectic and whimsical” images.
Very kindly, Ryan has decided to make some of his awesome images available to download in high-resolution, for use in personal and commercial projects – 100% gratis.
New pictures are added weekly, ranging from funny faces to far out Photoshop creations. These images will certainly make your posts stand out!

Unsplash
Josh Earl allows altruistic photographers to submit their images to be shared with the world free of charge. Every 10 days, the creatives at Unsplash pick 10 images to send out. Since the curators are from varied backgrounds, it brings a wide range of photographs and different styles to the featured photos.
The Unsplash license allows for photographs to be used for any purpose — both commercial and personal. Blogs, art, book covers, t-shirts, and more — paid or unpaid projects — they’re all allowed under the license.

Death to the Stock Photo
As its name suggests, this site aims to replace the cheesy stock photos so often used in marketing materials with striking, original images. It was founded by two photographers, Allie and David, who realised they could help brands create “rich digital experiences that elevate their visual aesthetic” by sending out packs of their images that would otherwise be gathering dust.
Sign up and you will receive a monthly selection of images you can use for commercial use. The pictures come accompanied by stories about their provenance so users know “they come from the heart”. Nice.

StockSnap
Free ImagesAccording to StockSnap “this is not your typical stock photo site”. The site curates the best stock photos from around the web and uploads photos from select photographers within its network. The end result is an amazing repository of beautiful stock photography.
All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons – CC0 and do not require attribution. That means you can copy, modify, distribute any photo on the site, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission!

Jay Mantri
Photographer Jay Mantri wants you to “make magic”. For that reason he releases 7 new photos every Thursday that users can “do anything” with.
There’s a beautiful, artistic selection of architecture, nature and abstract images available. A million miles off the typical stock offering.

Flickr
We’re sure you are no stranger to Flickr, but many people may overlook the usefulness of this social photo sharing site. With over 92 million users (Oct. 2014) and with a million pictures shared daily (Oct. 2014) it’s clear that Flickr can be a great place to come to for both professional pictures as well as more authentic, user-generated images.
Just make sure you check the licensing before using the images.

Pexels
Pexels is a database of more than 2,700 free images, updated every week with at least 70 new high-resolution photos. The images are sourced from other free image sites, so you may seem some duplication, however it is intended as a handpicked, ‘best of’ selection.
This means you can save time looking for the perfect picture, and there’s also a useful search feature allowing you to search by content or concept.

Picjumbo
Lots of subjects to choose fromViktor is both a photographer and a web designer. He started Picjumbo because he couldn’t find a stock photo agency that wanted his images – when you check out his portfolio you will find this hard to believe.
But their loss is our gain, because here you will find a fantastic database of free images, sorted into categories ranging from people and nature to technology and architecture. Being one himself, Viktor understands the requirements of designers, and provides his images in full resolution (mostly 3500+ px in width). Do what you will with them. All he asks for is attribution, but that is also up to you.

Life of Pix
Life-of-PixLife of Pix is the brainchild of Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal, Canada, tapping into the creativity of their network of talented photographers. Rather than letting their beautiful pictures “die on a hard drive”, photographers are urged to donate their work to the public domain.
The result is a collection of very high quality photos available for personal and commercial use with no copyright restrictions. In addition to still images, sister site Life of Vid offers free Vimeo videos suitable for corporate use. Subjects range from tranquil waterfalls and sunsets to action at the airport and on the streets of NYC.

PikWizard
PikWizard have over 100,000 completely free images on their site, over 20,000 of those are exclusive to them. They are also adding new images to their library daily and their ultimate goal is to get to more than 1 million images.
There's A LOT of pictures of people, which tend to be rare in free stock photo sites. If you check out their site search for "office" or "meeting" and you'll see the quality of the pics on the site. All of which are free to use without attribution. There is also a handy design/edit feature too.

Conclusion
There’s simply no excuse for visually bland websites, blogs or posts. These sites offer a wealth of artistic talent that will breathe creativity and character into your online life. And, best of all, they’re all completely free of charge. Time to get snap happy!

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