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FIND GREAT IMAGES FOR YOUR WEBSITE, FOR FREE

By Claire Gallagher, Website Designer & Digital Mentor

· Top Stories,Inform-Investigate

"Photography Is A Love Affair With Life."

FIND GREAT IMAGES FOR YOUR WEBSITE, FOR FREE

Choose the correct images for your website. By Claire Gallagher of Claire Creative for Self Starter Magazine

"I offer my clients a clear path to getting more clients and money using their website to its full potential."

When you’re getting set up online with a website and social media platforms, you quickly realize that you need to have a bank of images and graphics to hand. A good image on your site can grab attention, encourage sharing, communicate concepts. A consistent image style will strengthen your brand recognition and support all the efforts you put in to being visible and memorable.…. so you wanna’ get it right. While it would be ideal to work with a photographer to have images that are truly unique, sometimes that’s not a possibility. In this article, I want to tell you about how to get a strong consistent image bank for free.

The key to all this is to have your style tie together!

Step 1. Define your style

Create a simple image style guide.
An image style guide is simply a set of rules and guidelines to help you stay consistent It really is the secret sauce to getting a professional consistent look for your online identity. It’s important to gather images that work together. If you just grab images randomly as you need them your style can look a bit scattered and inconsistent.

Step 2. List the images you need.

Consider your content and the purpose your images will serve.
Websites need lots of images. Your homepage, your social media posts, your promotions, freebies, ebooks, presentations, services pages. Once you’ve gathered a collection of images, you simply dip into your images file when you need to. This will save you an unbelievable amount of time as you develop your online presence.
Make a list of all the places you’ll be using images and consider what concepts you want to communicate.
What do you need to show in these images? Places? People? Concepts?
Write out a list of words and phrases that you’ll use to search in image libraries.

Step 3. Gather collections of images.

Where to find free photographs.
So, where to get your paws on some free pics! There are thousands of sites online where you can get images for free.
Gathering images is time-consuming, very time-consuming! I recommend referring to my trusted favorites to save time.

Pexels and Unsplash are my go-to libraries. I use both of these sources regularly. You can use the images 100% free and you don’t have to include a photographer credit if you don’t want to.

*Pexels.com
There is a really wide range of photographs to choose from. Simply visit the site and search! The files are available to download and are completely free, with no photo credit required. You can even choose the specific size you need which is very handy when grabbing images for your site.
Be careful: there are rather a lot of cheesy stock-style images in there as well as good images, so be sure to refer back to your style guide.
*Unsplash.com
Unsplash has a beautiful selection of images which are also available to download completely free, and with no credit required. Unsplash has a certain editorial style which sets it apart from the other free image libraries out there.
Be careful: Because the images are free and high-quality, they are widely used across the web. Try to avoid images that are used by your direct competitors. Also, when you download images they are in very high resolution. If you add them directly to your site at full size they may cause your site to load slowly.

Choose the correct images for your website. By Claire Gallagher of Claire Creative for Self Starter Magazine

How to choose consistent, professional looking
images for your website
(without accidentally breaking the law).

1.Be real
Learn to recognize stock style images.
Stock style images often feature people smiling broadly against a white background. While its OK to use "posed" images, try to avoid studio shots, opting instead for real backgrounds and natural lighting. Realistic images tell a story, feel more genuine and give a richer feeling to your site.

2. Stay up to date
Avoid outdated image styles.
Free image libraries have vast quantities of images! Sometimes an old-fashioned image will still come up on your image searches.
Be aware of overused stock images that appear all over the web! You’re trying to stand out, not look outdated!

So if you find an image of scrabble pieces spelling out some business word, please, just don’t!

3. Be consistent
Create an image style guide and USE IT!
Define a set of characteristics for your images in your style guide and stick to them.

Create a file that you can refer to easily or better still, gather all your images at the same time from the online portfolio of a photographer who has a style that matches yours.

4. Check the dimensions 
Make sure your images are the right size! Verify the size. Make sure the image is large enough for its purpose so that it doesn’t get pixelated or fuzzy on large screens. Check the image dimensions that your site needs and make sure you upload at the correct size. Also, if your images are downloaded at high quality, make sure they’re not too big! Large images can slow down your site.
(You can quickly resize images at www.pixlr.com)

5. Don’t steal
Use online image libraries that state clearly that you can use the images.
Using images from a Google image search is a frickin’ minefield! There is no way of knowing if the creator of the ORIGINAL image or people featured in the image have given distribution or reuse permission. If in doubt, don’t use it! REALLY! Just don’t!
There are loads of properly free images out there, so don’t take that risk of being sued!

For a free consultation with Claire visit
www.clairecreative.com/book-now

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