Enhancing your communication with great visuals that reinforce your points is a must for any communicator. Most of us though, struggle with finding good quality images that properly show off your content while being inclusive and representative of your organization culture.
There are some great stock image websites out there, with thousands of terrible stock photos that you should not inflict upon your colleagues. This post is not about art direction, we know our limitations. Just remember that representation matters, and your colleagues are likely numb to, or sick of, unrealistically perfect shots of smiling people in suits. Employees like to see themselves, and that means using photos taken across the organizations by your art department, you, or your colleagues.
Google image search is a great tool to find free-to-use images. However, you need to make sure that you turn on the ‘creative commons’ setting. Otherwise, you are going to find images that you do not have permission to use in your communication. Respect copyright rules and the world will be a better place. Do not forget to indicate the providence of images that you have sourced in this manner.
Great free-to-use stock image, videos and graphic sites (shh…do not tell StockPhoto):
- Pexels (https://www.pexels.com/). Great free photos and videos.
- Unplash (unsplash.com). Great free images.
- Isorepublic (isorepublic.com). More great free images.
- Gender Photos (https://genderphotos.vice.com). In their own words, The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. This collection aims to help media better represent members of these communities as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities—people with careers, relationships, talents, passions, and home lives.
- Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/) – videos, images, music. Do I need to say more?
- Pic NOI (https://picnoi.com/) – A community led site with free images.
- Affect the Verb (https://affecttheverb.com/collection/). This collection is a disability-led effort to provide free and inclusive stock photos shot from their own perspective, featuring disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) across the Pacific Northwest.Nappy (https://www.nappy.co/) – Beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people. Most of the pictures are free but some require payment.
- Feather (https://feathericons.com/). Great looking open-source icons.
- Clean PNG (https://www.cleanpng.com/) – Beautiful graphics with transparent backgrounds.
- Free PNG Images (https://freepngimg.com/) – More PNGs, because you can’t have enough of them.
It is 2020, so how about Artificially Intelligence (AI) generated pictures of people? I thought you would never ask. These are amazing and free to use:
- https://vole.wtf/this-mp-does-not-exist/ — Leave it to the British to do something like this. They used MPs’ official photos, and trained a neural network to generate a whole new UK Parliament
- https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/ – can’t really control the output but it is amazing to play with.
At Sparrow, we believe in making your content as engaging as possible, but there’s no reason for that to get expensive. We allow you to quickly and easily add images and videos to your post body, as well as provide a ‘swipe to the side’ option like instagram, and more importantly, we have an image gallery to easily allow you to find a previously uploaded image to reuse it.
If you’re looking for a platform to help make your life easier and connecting you with all of your workforce, give Sparrow a look. We’ve lived the pain, we understand the hopes, and we built a platform for communication professionals that delivers. From Intranets, to Microsoft Teams, to newsletters, and mobile, we know how important corporate communications is. Sparrow – Built for Communicators. Book a conversation with us today.