Benefits of Using Free Stock Photos

Stock Photos are using in marketing campaigns, business projects, and even on an individual basis. Those who own a website or blog also make use of free stock photos on almost a daily basis. However, the problem lies in their usage. Since most people think of it as a two-step process i.e. downloading and then uploading, it is not as simple as that. While some photos are free of copyright restrictions others are not.

Regardless of the restrictions, using free stock photos not only saves you money but boosts your site and blog as well. It is a known fact that visually appealing content is supposed to attract a large audience as compared to a blog or site that does not consist of photos and images. Apart from that, there are several other benefits of using free stock photos. Let us discuss.

What are stock photos?

Before we discuss the benefits of using free stock photos, you must understand what these photos actually are. Part of using free stock photos includes understanding such photos and their usage.

Stock photos are the photos that have been captured by a photographer or created by an artist. These pictures have been edited and provided final touches before being uploaded. Now, most people think that these images are absolutely free, NO! That is not the case each time. The photographers or artists who have come up with such photos license them so that no one can use them for their own purposes. In that case, you will have to pay some fees for a license. The most popular license type is the Royalty license. Since it is an affordable option, the majority prefers purchasing it.

On the other hand, the photographers and artists submit their photos to online agencies as well. You pay the agency directly and download the photos. Once that is done, you then split the revenue with the photographer.

Stock photos are not limited to photographs only but video clips, illustrations, and video clips, etc. as well.

How are stock photos used?

Upon purchasing photos from an agency, there are very few restrictions that follow. Reason being that once you have purchased them, you can use them for any purpose other than illegal and unethical activities. Furthermore, if they are available for commercial use, it means that you could use them for your business, marketing, and branding purposes, etc.

In addition to that, if certain restrictions are not allowing you to use the photos for your required purposes, you could purchase an extended license. As the term suggests, an extended license ‘extends’ or relaxes certain restrictions, which otherwise would prohibit from using the photos.

Furthermore, you can use the photos for editorial purposes as well such as illustrations in a book. However, if the photos are labeled to be used for editorial purposes only, it means that they cannot be used commercially. The point here to understand is that when you purchase a license, you are not actually busying the photo or photos, instead, you are paying for its usage. Therefore, the copyrights remain with the original owner.

What are the benefits of using free stock photos?

The question you need to be asking is what is not in for you when it comes to using free stock photos. The reason being that free stock photos will provide almost every benefit there is. To begin with, by using free stock photos, you can satisfy the majority of your graphic needs in an affordable and low-cost manner.

Furthermore, you can get your hands on a photo or several photos without having to wait for a photographer to capture, edit, and then hand them to you. You can easily download and use them right away.

Second, hiring a photographer to capture some photos for you will be comparatively expensive. Not only does it include capturing photos but editing them as well. Then again, both time and money will be needed. Therefore, if you were to buy subscriptions of websites that offer plenty of high-quality free stock photos, you will be saving both time and money in the long run along with avoiding any legal risk. In that respect, it is a great source for beginners, small to medium enterprises, and startups to get advantage from. 

Some additional benefits of using free stock photos

If you thought that the benefits of using free stock photos were not that many, you were wrong. An article in 2017 published startling revelations regarding the benefits of using free stock photos.

First, when people get their ears on a piece of information, there are high chances that they will remember only 10% of that information 3-4 days later. However, if you were to use relevant images, the probability increases. This time, the same piece of information will be retained 55% more, 3-4 days later. In total, people will retain 65% of the information.

Second, studies based on eye-tracking revealed that users tend to focus and concentrate more on images that contain messages as compared to content without one. Furthermore, if the users find the images relevant, they spend the majority time looking at the images instead of reading the message.

Third, if you have used photos for illustrations, people will prefer that type of content over the one that does not include. Infact, it was found that people performed 323% better with text that consisted of illustrations.

Fourth, if you use text with relevant images on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, users will be attracted and pay more attention to such content rather than simple text.

Can you optimize stock photos?

Yes, you can. Take a look at the below-mentioned tips.

Title & Logo

You can optimize free stock photos by adding a little title or some text. This way you can create a logo for your business as well. However, remember to not use a stock photo to create your brand’s logo. As soon as someone finds that it was a copy rather than your creation, they will run away and soon the word will spread.


Customization such as adding filters and changing the colors can do wonders for you. You could go on the internet and search for online editors. Insert minor customizations that create a huge impact. This way you will be properly utilizing the photo or photos to its maximum.

Final Word

The purpose of this article was to make you aware of the benefits free stock photos have to offer while respecting the limitations. Free stock photos will only work for you if you happen to use them smartly. Picking every photo just because it is high-resolution will not do any wonder instead spend some time and effort to do some digging. The process might consume energy but it will be worth it in the long-run.