Great photos are the basis of any social media. Whether it’s every day posts or an ad campaign, you need to have images that capture attention. Even if you have a knack for taking great shots it’s hard to keep up. If you’re not particularly good with a camera, it’s even harder. So how do make sure you always have great images for your content? Stock photos! Yes, most social media accounts that post regularly use them at some point or another. Some even use them most of the time.

While there are some great stock photo sites you can pay to download photos, there are many sites you can find free stock photos to use. Here are my 5 favorite free stock photo sites:

Unsplash – This is one of the larger free photo sites. You can find just about any type of photo here. If you need some inspiration you can also browse collections to get ideas. Along with a variety of photos, you will also find free wallpaper for desktops and phones as well as textures and patterns that can make stunning backgrounds for social media posts like quotes.

Pixabay – You can find some amazing photos here. What I like best about this site is that you can sort your search by all images or just look at photos, vector graphics, illustrations, and even videos. The variety of image types on Pixabay makes it one of my favorites!

Pexels – Another great site for free images. Pexels mostly sticks with regular photos and often has less of a selection than the above two sites but it is worth a look. You can find high quality attention grabbing images here. They also have an Explore feature where you can look through popular searches and photos to get ideas.

Canva – While this is not a typical photo site, if you use Canva to create your social media posts, make sure you search their free images too. They have a wide variety and often pull from other free photo sites, so you get a variety of photos all in one place. You can also sort your photo search findings into photos or illustrations. So far, I’ve found Canva to have heo best variety of illustrations.

Burst – While I find the previously mentioned sites often have some of the same photos, I usually find unique images on Burst. I also love that once you search for a category, they give you other category ideas to try if you don’t find the image you are looking for. They also give you the Collections options like many of the others if you need some inspiration.

Overall, I love these 5 free photo sites and use them weekly for both my own social media and my clients. They are a great way to keep new high quality images on your social media feeds. There are times though that I can not find the right photo for my content. When that happens, I do purchase images. Some of my favorite ways to buy images is by finding deals on sites like Mashable and Groupon. At different times during the year, you will find a set of images for a set price. For example, I just got a deal (that is sold out now, sorry!) on Mashable for $49 for 100 images on a popular photo site. I bought that and will use those images (you can choose and download them at any time) throughout the year when I can’t find free images to use.

The holiday season is a great time of year to find deals on photo download packages so keep an eye out for them. Just make sure you check out the photo site before you purchase a deal like this. You want to check that they have a variety of images that would work for you before buying it. Some photo sites are better than others for particular industries, but you should get a feel for what they have by visiting their website.

Now that you have many resources for your social media images, I can’t wait to see how you use them. Feel free to tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can see what you do!

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