The type of photos Online Course Creators need:
Photos you need for training presentations are quite different from the generic photos that are available in most Free Stock Photo sites.
That is why we drew up a list of 6 specific criteria to choose the right kind of free Stock photos sites that are specially suited for online course creation.
You can find the details about the criteria here - 6 Specific criteria to choose Free Stock Photo sites for your online course creation.
Now, let us jump right into the list of photo sites.
Caveat about the licensing terms in the sites we recommend in this article.
Some photos in the sites we suggest, may be licensed under - ‘free for commercial use’, but may require you to attribute the author before using them in your work.
We’ve done our due diligence on the type of licenses these sites fall under. But, it is possible that there are certain photos inside a recommended site that require attribution. So, before you pick up a photo for use in your training slides - just do a quick research on how the photo can be used.
With that out of the way, let’s jump right into our list of free stock photo sites for training professionals.
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Now, let me start by listing the four sites that I personally use for all my training courses:
#1 Find everything in one place at Pixabay.com
If there is one site that ticks all the boxes for a perfect ‘Free Stock Photos & Videos’ resources - it is this.
You get high quality photos, vectors, illustrations and videos all in one place.
If you are not using this site already, you are missing out big time.
#2 Get creative inspiration from Pexels.com
This is my second favorite option.
Though they don’t offer vectors, illustrations and stock videos like Pixabay.com - they provide easy options to search the photos under a number of granular categories.
They even allow you to search photos by color, popular photos, popular searches, leaderboard and photo challenge.
You will get a lot creative inspiration from the site to express your ideas visually.
#3 Usable Pictures from PublicDomainPictures.net
They offer a collection of really usable photos.
They too have categorized their photos under a lot of useful topics, that makes it easy to find the right photos quickly.
For many of the photos they provide 2 options in terms of the image sizes. The smaller ones are usually free to download. The larger ones cost you a bit.
But, considering that the smaller photos have a large enough resolution to use on your slides comfortably - you can get away with paying nothing.
However, we encourage you to donate liberally to the creators to encourage their work.
#4 Vectors from Clker.com
This is my go to site for vector images.
At the first glance, many of the images may look quite juvenile. But, you have to do a bit of searching around to get the quality of vector images you desire.
The best part is - all the images on this site are available as .svg files.
That means, you can edit these images in free graphic software like Inkscape.
It is definitely a smarter option to pick images from this site and customize, than to create those images from scratch.
I pretty much get all that I need from the 4 sites I listed above.
However, I wish to list a few other useful sites that offer remarkable resources suitable for online course creators.
Here is the list:
Photos for your title slides and Section headers:
Here is a list of sites that offer beautiful photos to use as background in your title slides.
#5 SHOT STASH
Shotstash.com has an impressive collection of high resolution photos that can serve as backgrounds for your title slides.
It is quite easy to find the photos you want - thanks to the search feature of the site.
All the photos in the site are licensed under public domain - so you don’t have to worry about getting permission to use these photos.
#6 LIFE OF PIX
This site is created by LEEROY creative design agency.
There are some beautiful photos and some stock video footages available on this site.
So, if you want just beautiful photos for backgrounds - you can use their photos. They add new pictures every week.
Photos for concept slides:
This site is a popular choice among the training community.
There are a few things that make this site stand out.
Photos are neatly categorized under different themes making it easy for you to search around a topic. Most other sites don’t have this handy feature.
When you are done searching for photos in a certain category, you can browse all the way down to find related categories. This helps you narrow your search.
Featured photos in the home page
The editorial team at Unsplash does a great job of collating all the good photos from different categories every day to feature on their homepage. This can serve as an inspiration for you when you build your slides.
The best part is there are tons of photos that can be used to illustrate concepts and ideas like the one below:.
Visit Unsplash .
#8 BURST (by Shopify)
As a course creator, you need photos of working professionals to illustrate your business related concepts and ideas.
But, these photos are not easy to find because there are issues related to availability of models, issues with licenses etc.
But, Burst.com seems to have solved that issue. The site offers a good number of photos of working professionals in different poses, photos useful for specific online business like Yoga, Sneakers, Jewelry etc.
In fact, Burst was originally launched to help business owners present their products, websites and marketing campaigns better. So, they took a whole bunch of original photos in-house and uploaded them.
So, the typical themes you’ll find in the site are centered around different business niches. That works just fine for us trainers in creating online training presentations.
The name says it all. Photography for free.
All the photos on the site are taken by one person - Ryan McGuire. He has a great sense of humor.
So, he has included a whole bunch of photos with humorous expressions. Take a look at this photo for example:
So, if you want to add a touch of humor to your slides, you can come to this site for your options. He adds new pictures every week.
This site provides a smaller collection. But has variety of photos relevant to trainers - like industry related, technology related pictures etc.
They operate a little differently.
Every week, they email you a pack of 10 free photos under a certain category. When you start collecting the photos each week, soon you would be able to have a large enough collection for your blog posts, sales pages etc.
They offer their own license. You may find more details from their website.
Of course, there are a whole bunch more that I have missed out. But then, I made a conscious choice to introduce just the sites that are relevant for online course creators.
What sites do you use for you free stock photo requirements?
Have I missed out on any key site that has helped you in a big way?
Please share your thoughts in the comment below.
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