Finding just the right image for that new marketing campaign or website design can be challenging, especially if you’re working with a client with a limited budget – or a client who doesn’t understand the point of original photography. Rather than trying to increase the client’s budget or trying to alter his/her philosophy on photography and artistic integrity, many of us end up using a stock photo, just hopefully not one that screams “STOCK PHOTO.” For situations just like these, Visual Hunt has made it much easier for us to quickly find high-quality stock photos that are absolutely free to use!
What makes Visual Hunt so much different than other stock photo websites? Visual Hunt searches the web for the best stock photos out there, stock photos that you won’t be embarrassed to use. The good people at Visual Hunt find great stock photos from all over the Internet and categorize them so that it’s easy to quickly sort through their enormous library of free images.
That’s it. No strings attached. And these are really good photos.
When you’ve looked through a section of Visual Hunt’s 354 million creative common photos and pick one you want to use for your new design, you are presented with several options for downloading the image. For each photo, you can select a size, most ranging from Small, which is usually around 300 x 200, to 3 Extra Large, quite a large photo, sometimes as big as 5184 x 3456 or more.
Each image is tagged as okay for commercial use and okay for modifications. Obviously, if the images are tagged as appropriate and legal for commercial use, grabbing a quick stock photo for a corporate client is quick and easy with Visual Hunt. And since the photos are tagged to reflect if you can modify them or not, that makes it really easy to sort through them quickly and easily see what is available for you to use.
To be clear, with these photos, you’re not really cutting any corners, here. Visual Hunt has put together a stunning collection of great images that are extremely versatile (no weird stock photos of men wearing watermelons like helmets – at least that I’ve seen so far). Some of Visual Hunt’s most popular stock image categories are “Apple,” “Coffee” “Love,” “Nature” and “Work.” There’s definitely something there for everyone.
Aside from Visual Hunt’s huge catalogue of nice stock images, one of the great triumphs of Visual Hunt is its sorting and categorizing of its photos. Of course there are hundreds of millions – perhaps billions – or free photos online, no attribution needed, but if they’re not tagged appropriately or difficult to find, they’re of little use to anyone. Visual Hunt has eliminated that problem from more than 300 million high-quality stock photos.
If you choose, you can sign up for Visual Hunt and save photos to your account, making it easy to find them later, and when you’re on a website with more than 350 million photos, it’s a good idea to save a few.
Many of the photos on Visual Hunt come from places like Flickr, and all of the photos have a Creative Commons license. As Visual Hunt’s terms state, even if a photograph’s owner decides to try to revoke his/her Creative Commons license, once a photo is labeled as Creative Commons, that license cannot be removed, making it safe for you to use any of these photos, even if the photographers one day have a change of heart.
Though there are other websites that feature free stock photos, Visual Hunt’s huge selection of quality stock images makes it stand apart from the others. It pulls some of the best images from other websites and puts them all in one place, making them easy to find and simple to download or embed.
Take a tour of Visual Hunt’s huge index of photos. Fair warning: it’s pretty easy to waste a few hours looking at all the great photos.