The best images for your coworking blog, website and other content platforms are the ones from your own space. They reflect your community, your culture and your actual workplace.
But sometimes you just need a good stock photo—and the land of stock photo sites has gotten crowded. There are a lot of photo sites, including a growing number of sites offering free images, but too many choices can be overwhelming. Who wants to visit 50 sites looking for one image? Not me.
The following photo sites are easy to use, they’re searchable, they have high-quality images, they don’t require registration and they have photos that coworking space operators may find valuable. Check them out and see which ones work for you.
Note: The images on these sites are either Creative Commons 0 (CC 0), which means you can use them for any purpose, without restriction, or Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY), which means you need to give credit to the photographer and link to the original image. Check an image’s license before using it.
ProTip: Boost your blog SEO with this quick image hack
Unsplash offers outstanding photos that are free to use in any way you choose. 10 new photos are added to the “Featured” section of the site every 10 days, so there’s a steady stream of high-quality photos. Because the site has such great images, Unsplash is growing in popularity and you see the same photos being used around the web. But, if you get creative, and take time to search different keywords, you’ll undoubtedly find something that works for your content or project. Unsplash images are heavy on natural beauty but there are tons of great city scenes, people and more to choose from.
Gratisography is the brainchild of photographer Ryan McGuire who generously offers up hundreds (thousands?) of fun, eye-catching and beautiful images that are free to use on personal and commercial projects. The collection isn’t huge, but McGuire adds new photos weekly and they’re all free of copyright restrictions.
Photo: theburied.life (CC BY-NC-ND)
Foter curates millions of Creative Commons photos from around the web and makes them available on a simple and clean site with great search functionality. If you’ve ever found yourself spending way too much time in Flickr’s CC search, check out Foter and let it do the curating for you.
4. Life of Pix
Life of Pix offers free, high-res photos, with no copyright restrictions. New images are added weekly, “hand-made with love” by the Leeroy Ad Agency in Montreal and its network of photographers. The images are fantastic and, while the site’s offerings are comparatively small, if you find the right image for your content here, you likely won’t see it in a bunch of other places.
5. IM Creator
Photo: liquine (CC BY)
IM Creator is a website builder but the site has a great collection of CC photos that are nicely organized by category. From people and fitness to occupations, lifestyle images and cityscapes, this is an easy to use resource and tool for finding a variety of pro-quality photos.
Pixabay is a goldmine of eye-catching, high-res photos that are all released with a CC0 license, meaning you’re free to use, modify and distribute them however you’d like. In addition to photos, the site offers illustrations, vector graphics and more.
StockSnap is a collection of hundreds of pro images, with more added every week—all free from copyright restrictions. StockSnap curates photos from other sites, so you’ll see some familiar ones, but there are also a ton that I’ve never seen before as well as a handful of coworking-friendly categories that offer seemingly endless choices.
New Old Stock is a fantastic collection of photos from back in the day that have gone into the public domain. I’m not sure when you’d need a black and white photo of a dog using a public phone, or some old-timey business people, or a photo of an old barn or boat, but when you do, this site has beautiful images to choose from. Warning: this is a wormhole for rootsy history buffs (like myself). Consider yourself warned.
Did you know that NASA’s photos are in the Creative Commons? That means you can use outrageously beautiful images of nebulas, supernova blast waves and galaxies on your coworking blog, website, slides and marketing materials. I don’t know what coworking occasion calls for a brilliant photo of a twin jet nebula, but I’m sure you can find one.