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Marketers know the importance of using great photos. Whether you're designing an outdoor ad or posting on social media, the right photo can help communicate your message more clearly and help your work stand out.

But good photos aren't only useful for ads; they can also benefit your research. For example, when you're using visual questions, high-quality photos can enhance people's survey experience. Beautiful photos also can improve the newsletters that you send to your insight community. And when creating infographics to communicate your study's findings, using the right photos helps tell the story.

Finding engaging photos to use for marketing can be a pain - and it can also be expensive. That's why I'm a fan of websites that share free photography. Here are some resources that graphic designers and other marketers should check out and bookmark.

No attribution required

  1. Getrefe is a marketplace of the best mobile photos, all are available for personal or commercial projects.
  2. Hubspot has over 75 royalty-free photos available for download. They require your contact information, but they're not asking for attribution.
  3. Little Visuals sends you 7 hi-res images zipped up every 7 days. The images are licensed properly so you can use them any way you want.
  4. Unsplash has a similar idea. They send you 10 pictures every 10 days, also free to use for anything.
  5. Death To the Stock Photo is on a "mission to make the internet more beautiful." How do they do this? By giving you free monthly photo packs curated and crafted by professional photographers.
  6. New Old Stock is a great site for vintage photos that are free from any copyright restrictions.
  7. Picjumbo has some totally free photos for your work. The site has a freemium model, meaning you can sign up for a premium membership if you'd like even more photos. (The owner of the site would appreciate attribution, although it's not required.)
  8. The Pattern Library shares patterns provided by talented designers for others to use freely. If you'd like to use textures in your presentations or other designs, this is a good place to check out.
  9. Gratisography curates photos captured by Ryan McGuire. The photos are free of copyright restrictions.

With some attribution required

  1. morgueFile contains free high resolution digital stock photography for both corporate and public use. The website's owner asks that you acknowledge the photographer when possible.
  2. Superfamous shares some photos from a Los Angeles-based studio. These photos are free to use commercially as long as credit is provided.
  3. IM Free has a curated collection of free photos - everything from ambient images to gorgeous fashion and beauty shots.
  4. Flickr is a great source of amazing photography. Most photos require attribution - just check out the Creative Commons license for the photo you'd like to use to see if you need to credit the photographer. Some Flickr groups - for example, Stock Exchange - are set up for sharing free stock photos that people can use for their projects.

Of course, another option is to just take your own photos. But wherever you get your photos from, don't forget to test your images with your insight community of customers to make sure that they are communicating the right message in your ads and other marketing initiatives.

Where do you usually get images for your marketing work? Let us know in the comments.

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