5 Reasons Why Stock Photos Are Essential for Web Design

Stock photos might not seem exciting at first glance but they’re actually valuable tools to impress and entertain website visitors. For example, posts with an image are more likely to be shared on Facebook — which can increase the number of people who visit your site. This means that your content and any products or services you’re selling are available to more potential customers. Your stock photos are absolutely an essential part of your web design and should be closely vetted and considered before you choose one to add to your site.

Small Investment, Large Impact

Stock photos don’t have to be an investment that break your budget. They’re available at all price points, from free to very expensive. The more expensive ones are often custom work or images that are only sold to a certain number of people. While individualized images can be an asset to your site, they aren’t strictly necessary. There are millions of stock photos online and thus no doubt that you can find one to suit your purposes. Don’t just check out the large stock photo sites either; you can locate relevant, high-quality pictures on smaller sites too. Just make sure you read the licensing terms for each stock photo you choose.

Grab Attention and Increase Visit Time

Images on your page might help you keep people on the page longer. The length of time someone spends on your website is important because it not only gives them more time to explore, but it increases the chance they’ll remember you later. Since part of the process for buying products or services is simple searching, it’s good to make an impact that lasts even after a person closes their browser. High-quality, interesting images can help you make that impact.

It’s all about engagement. People can scan through search results and a list of websites quickly. You want to make sure they pause when they open your site and images can help you get that essential pause so that they don’t navigate away. This doesn’t mean that you should inundate your page with images; a few well-selected ones are going to make more of an impact than choosing many and making things too busy. You want your page to look uncluttered and cohesive.

Images Resonate with People

Since humans can identify images quickly, using them can also help transmit a message about your site or the business it represents. According to MIT, people keep processing an image even after they see it. That means that if you put an image on your site, it’s making a longer impact than text might make — especially because it takes time to read and absorb text.

People like pictures and using stock photos to add more to your site will just make it better for your visitors. Make sure you vary them and don’t repeat images on every page unless it’s a design choice. Signing up for an account at a stock photo site like DepositPhotos can help you keep track of which images you’ve used.

Images Help Visual Learners

Some people just don’t process text as well as images. Offering a mix of text, images, and other media can help people with every learning style use your website and take away a positive impression. Pairing images with text can help stimulate people’s’ long term memories and in that way keep your website in their minds for longer than if you used text alone. This is especially important since 65 percent of people learn visually. Making your website more accessible to every visitor is a good way to reach the widest audience possible.

Images Improve Your SEO

Every time you put an image on your site, you give yourself another chance to appear in search results. Major search engines don’t just search text — they also perform image searches. When someone performs one, they might get a result from your site, click on the result, and then be able to view your site.

The trick is to use the right metadata when you’re adding photos to your site. You want to make sure it’s descriptive and also relevant to what people interested in your niche will be searching for. Images can also appear in your listings and help enhance them and increase engagement. According to Search Engine Land, customers are much more likely to react with businesses who have images attached to their search results.

Stock photos are completely essential when you’re designing a website. Whether you’re selling a product, promoting a service, or simply trying to find a following on the web, stock photos can help you attract and keep site visitors. Not only does using stock photos make the page more interesting and shareable, but it can also make you more visible in search results. Since there are stock photos available at every price point, there’s no reason not to dive in and start using stock photos to enhance your website today.

The post 5 Reasons Why Stock Photos Are Essential for Web Design appeared first on SpyreStudios.


How to help when someone uses intimate photos as revenge


Anisha Vora thought her ex-boyfriend was someone she could trust. 

The couple had known each other for a decade prior to breaking up in 2012. Then, without warning or explanation, Vora’s ex posted nude images she’d shared privately with him online, along with her contact information.

The images eventually appeared on 3,000 websites. Strangers showed up at Vora’s door and someone, perhaps a friend, anonymously emailed her with details about where the pictures were posted. 

Scared and angry, Vora took her case to the police, who arrested her ex for invasion of privacy. He served three months in jail in 2014.  Read more…

More about Revenge Porn, Cyberbullying, Bullying, Social Media, and Photos

Social Media

The CIA is very interested in your tweets and Instagram photos



Soft robots that can grasp delicate objects, computer algorithms designed to spot an “insider threat,” and artificial intelligence that will sift through large data sets  these are just a few of the technologies being pursued by companies with investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, according to a document obtained by The Intercept.

Yet among the 38 previously undisclosed companies receiving In-Q-Tel funding, the research focus that stands out is social media mining and surveillance; the portfolio document lists several tech companies pursuing work in this area, including Dataminr, Geofeedia, PATHAR, and TransVoyant. Read more…

More about Instagram, Twitter, Social Media, Privacy, and Us

Social Media

Rando is a random social sharing app that lets you play Russian Roulette with photos, GIFs and more

Rando-Hero-3 A new app from David Barnard, the developer behind the popular Launch Center Pro, promises to be the cure for boredom. Rando, as the app is called, offers a crazy twist on our carefully curated online personas — instead of allowing you to choose a photo or GIF to share with friends, Rando will randomly pick one for you. You can also share random text quotes, then post them to Facebook… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

Google Photos: Your New Photo App

Well, Google has just released the world’s smartest Photo App, one that is powered by some serious machine learning tech so that it can automatically catalogue, learn and organise your photos for you. With Facial, Location and Object recognition (eg. Google Photos automatically detects 250,000 popular landmarks worldwide) the Photos app does a great job […]

Digital Buzz Blog

Sites with High Quality Photos You Can Use for Free

I’ve been keeping a list like this around for a while, and the CSS-Tricks Staff just added a bunch of new links to it, so I figured HEY that sounds like fun little weekend post. There are so many of these it’s really no excuse to have crappy photos in the work you do, be it websites, presentations, print work, whatever.

New Old Stock

Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions.


Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. 10 new photos every 10 days.

Also, I think re:splashed is the same photos with a different interface? Not sure.

Flickr Commons

The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.


A photographer’s treat by Jonas Nilsson Lee. Free (do what ever you want) photos.

Jay Mantri

Free pics. Do anything (CC0). Make magic. 7 new photos every Thursday.


Hand-picked free photos for your inspiration.


Free for commercial use stock photos by Jeffrey Betts. CC0 license. New photos every week.


JÉSHOOTS I founded because they like to take pictures and it’s a shame some photos withhold the entire world for free, all designers, all working with photos, for those who need a thematic photo free.

ISO Republic

High-quality, free photos for creatives


Free Life Hi-Fi Photos. You can use on your personal and commercial projects. New photo every day.

Realistic Shots

Free stock photos (high resolution) for personal and commercial use. 7 new photos every week. Just make something creative!

Free Nature Stock

Royalty-free Nature Stock Photos. Use them however you want. Updated daily.


Free (do as you please), high-resolution photos and textures.

Bara Art

Free high resolution photos for your personal and even commercial projects!


Royalty free high resolution images for your personal and commercial projects.

Freely Photos

Totally free high quality Christian stock photography All photos are published under the amazing ‘CC0 license’. Do what you want with them!

Barn Images

Barn Images offers you a collection of free high-resolution stock photography.


I’ve had a lot of pictures that I never used for a long time, but hopefully, you will find them useful. Feel free to browse and download any photo for personal or commercial use. You don’t have to notify or credit me if you use one of my pics, but I’ll be happy if you do.

Little Visuals

The author of this site, Nic, suddenly died. The archive of free photos is still online, though, and the site has more information and a way to donate.

Death to the Stock Photo

About a year ago we noticed an less-than-awesome industry pattern: too many extraordinary brands, bloggers, and creatives struggled to find images that fit their vibe + tribe. Turns out, the solution lay on our laptops. We had files upon files of our own photos gathering dust. We figured: why not spread ’em around?

Superfamous Images

The Superfamous Images are available under the conditions of a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This means that you can use the work for your own purposes as long as credit is provided.

The Pattern Library


Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.

Foodies Feed


Free hi-resolution photos. Use them however you like.


Free handpicked stock photos for your commercial and personal works.


  • A lot of stock photo sites have a “free photo of the day” – so look for that. Doesn’t hurt to have a Dropbox folder full of design resources!
  • Google Images has a way to filter search results by license:

  • IM Free: A curated collection of free resources, all for commercial use.
  • Stock Up

If you know of some more good ones, drop them in the comments.

Sites with High Quality Photos You Can Use for Free is a post from CSS-Tricks


Bad Stock Photos Make Us Want to Cry

Picture this: It’s ten o’clock on a Thursday night and you’re still at work. All you want is to finish up the project you’ve been wrestling all week and go home. You just need one final image.

At this point, almost anything will do. But creatives beware: It’s conditions like these that cause some of the worst stock photo crimes to occur.

You yourself might not have committed a stock photo crime, but you've undoubtedly seen your share. Some are so ridiculous that they inevitably become the subjects of mocking posts, like this guy stupidly smiling while signing what may or may not be divorce papers. 

Humor aside, bad stock images do the minimum amount of work and inflict the maximum amount of damage to a final product. In short, they’re visual clichés—the number-one enemy of creativity—and consequently overshadow any idea they are meant to illustrate, no matter how clever.

So next time you’re under the gun and desperate, try asking yourself these three questions to make sure you’re not on the verge of a major stock photo blunder.

Is it emotionally authentic?
People hate being lied to, by art or otherwise. Like the best books and movies, winning stock photos present their subjects honestly. That means no shots of executives in a boardroom leaping joyously into the air—even the happiest of workplaces keep their heel clicking to a minimum. No matter what emotion or feeling you’re trying to capture, make sure it strikes a good balance of being both straightforward and subtle. Here's an excellent example of a parent and child shot done well:

Is it happening in a real place?
Too many stock photos take place in an empty white space. They offer up a figure—a woman on a phone, a man with a calculator—but the photo has been taken against a blank white backdrop. Partly this is intended to make it easier to crop and superimpose images on other backgrounds, but too often these void backgrounds make it into a final product. In real life, there are no blank white backdrops. Things happen in living rooms, parks, stores and offices, as seen here: 

Do these people look convincing?
Do the people in the photo feel like real people? Or do they feel like actors hitting you over the head with caricatures of what “happy,” “confused” or “professional” look like? Before choosing an image, ask yourself if you can imagine seeing the person in the picture. Is she someone you’d come across at a neighborhood café, in your office or on the bus? Is she feeling something you’ve felt? A good stock photo does all those things, as with the example here:

If your image is emotionally authentic, happening in a real place and inhabited by people who look convincing, then you've found yourself a good stock photo. Well done, and carry on.

Image credits: iStock by Getty Images (28520330, 23007192, 34369358, 29681602)

Adweek : Advertising & Branding

Miller Lite Got 180,000 Summer Photos From Fans, and Picked 7 for This National TV Ad

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola rolled out its first TV spot made completely with user-generated content. Now, it's Miller Lite's turn to shine the spotlight on its fans.

Back in May, the beer brand launched a summertime #ItsMillerTime campaign, in which it used packaging, promoted tweets and its social channels to ask people for their best summer photos—with cameos by the retro-cool Miller Lite cans, of course.

The brand says nearly 180,000 photos were submitted. (It further claims that #ItsMillerTime has been the No. 2 branded hashtag on Twitter since May 7, trailing only Adidas's #allin).

The brand liked seven of the fan photos in particular and featured them prominently in the new national TV spot below, which breaks early this week. (A few dozen shots more are compiled in a collage at the end of the ad, but only the seven get full-screen treatment.)

They're all fun snapshots—not particularly compelling, but "relatable," as they say. And as for the wedding couple—more power to you.

Adweek : Advertising & Branding