6 Websites With Free Photographs For Web Design

Do I Need Photographs on My Website?

In answer to whether you need photographs on your website, as with many things, it depends. Should you add quality imagery to your site and make it integral to your pages? YES. Undoubtably YES.

Reasons you need quality images on your website.

You need to have photos and images on your website pages for many reasons. You need images to demonstrate what you are referencing and talking about. Images can tell a story and enhance a message without a user having to read a lot of text.  Images make text on a page more appealing to read.

Can I Use Any Photographs on My Website?

If you want to add photographs to your website then you need to consider who took the photo and if it is legal to use it. Consider who owns the copyright.

How Do I Get Free Photographs for my Website?

If you mean completely free from a licence fee and a usage fee, as long as you abide by some rule such as not making it appear in a bad light or cause offence then here are some good options.

Copyright Licensing and Royalties for Website Photography

With photography and image licensing there are two fees that you need to be aware of.

  1. There is the cost of acquiring the image
  2. PLUS the cost of USING the image.

This second cost is called a royalty, a licence fee, or a usage fee. Often the second cost is not understood, but in general, use of photography and digital images are licensed with the actual ownership of the image remaining with the photographer. In the days before digital images, this was clear as it was the person who held the negatives, and thus the ability to make further prints. Photographers can of course sell unlimited use of a photograph, or can sell the copyright itself to a third party. In the past this would have meant handing over the negatives.

If you take a photograph you own the copyright of that photo. You may not own copyright on item featured in the image, but the image itself is protected by copyright and if anyone wanted to use your photo then they would need to get your permission. A large corporation using it for a billboard to advertise an international brand would realistically pay more for the use of that image, than someone putting it up in a local village hall on a noticeboard. Determining how much this usage is worth is open to negotiation.

Royalty free photography, which is the most common type of image in libraries such as istock photo and shutterstock are images and photographs that can be downloaded and used for any purpose for as long as the user wants. In the age of the internet, this makes sense as it is easy to take am exact copy without harming the original or needing to go back to the negatives. There is a fee for the download and rather than being ‘FREE’ there is a perpetual usage licence. They are ‘Royalty free’. There is no royalty payable on each use to the copyright owner.

Because of the huge rise in popularity of digital photography, and the rise in skill of amateur photographers and semi professional photographers, and many creators with a more relaxed attitude to their work, or wanting for their work to be seen, some photographers release their work under a licence that means it can be freely used. Sometimes the photographer will require a credit, other times, they are just happy to have their work being shared. If a photographer releases an image under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, then it is free to use without having to credit the original creator.

5 Free Stock Image Websites

1. Unsplash

These are free high resolution images arranged by collections. Browse
The Unsplash usage information page: https://unsplash.com/license

2. Pixelbay

The Pixelbay usage information page: https://pixabay.com/en/blog/posts/public-domain-images-what-is-allowed-and-what-is-4/

3. Pexels

Bringing together images from across the web this is a stylish resource and presented beautifully.
The Pexeles usage information page: https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/

4. Negative Space

The Negative Space usage information page: http://negativespace.co/license/

5. Gratisography

Gratisographyusage information page: http://gratisography.com/terms.html

6. Pikwizard

Pikwizard information page: https://pikwizard.com/standard-license

Roles in Professional Website Design in 2017

The design and build of a website is usually split into different areas. A professional web designer will be highly skilled in some or all of these important processes. A graphic designer may be skilled in some areas, a copywriter in others and a website developer in others. If you are using a content management system such as WordPress, then there may be areas which you can do yourself, such as take photos, or write the text.


Stages of building a website. Role(s) Responsible
Planning the website goals, audience and required features. Marketing
Planning site structure ‘pages’ & areas that need to be built.
Planning the way users interact with the site, through navigation menus, links or other ways.
Graphic design of the logo and branding. Graphic
Graphic design of website homepage layout and style.
Website HTML design creating a homepage layout with graphics and style sheets. Web
Website HTML design of content pages and email templates.
Website HTML linking and programming of navigation and other interaction
Website Flash design of animations or interactive regions.
Website development of admin functions such as a CMS. Web
Website development of database interactivity features such as shopping carts, blogs, forums and other customer features.
Website development of credit card systems and integration with payment companies.
Creation of content. Writing text that populates the pages. Copywriter
Creation of content. Photography. Photographer
Sourcing of library images, licensing of images Web
Sourcing of library images, Photoshopping and retouching of images. Photographer Web
Creation of content. Production of video clips or specialist content. Filmmaker
or other specialist
Installing analytics code to evaluate the sites progress. Web
SEO Expert
Creating site maps and verifying your site with the major search engines.
Setup of social media presence SEO Expert Web
Monitoring and improving of search engine ranking

If you have established what you need you can approach established a professional web design company in Bristol such as Digital Visual. Please contact us if you can suggest updates or improvements to this page.