Stock Photos for Your Website – Free Options

A picture is worth a thousand words. And these days, you need stunning images to draw people to your websites and social media platforms. There are many popular stock photo website options, such as iStock and Shutterstock that can add up in price, as well as free or nearly free sites, but have very limited, not so great photo options. Below are some alternative websites I recommend to my clients that offer affordable or FREE photos to help you enhance your online presence. Please make sure to read the license agreement for each photo you download and make sure to credit the author where necessary! Love their work? Share your appreciation and donate to their websites!




Pexels stock photos

Pexels is my #1 recommended place to go for beautiful, free, no attribution required photos. The photos don’t look “stocky” and there’s a huge variety that’s great for any kind of website.



Gratisography stock photos

For something a little different, whimsical and pokes fun at life, Gratisography offers create, out of the box photos for your next project.



Unsplash stock photosUnsplash uploads 10 new photos every 10 days. Gorgeous, creative photos!  No attribution necessary.



Raumrot Stock photosRaumrot’s photographer, Markus Spiske, generously provides free photos for commercial use. Attribution is required.



Adobe Stock

adobe-stock-photosAdobe Stock is subscriptions based, but for a limited time, get 10 free stock photos when you first sign up. Attribution not required.



10 Questions to Ask When Designing Your Logo and Brand

Whether you’re designing a logo for a client, for your own business, or asking someone to design a logo for you, here are some questions to ask and tips to know to get those creative juices rolling!


1. What’s in a name?

Hello_my_name_is_sticker-logoThe name of your business is very important. Do you want it to be to the point, simple, fun and unique? It’s always fun to be creative and punny and associate your name with a visual object.  If it’s a long name, consider also using an acronym.

In the logo itself, you’re open to consider other subtitles such as a catchphrase, a unique description, year established, etc.


2. Who is your target audience?

target-market-iconA target audience is the main demographic of your customers. Maybe you’re rebranding so you can reach a large audience and new customers. Maybe you’re a new business, still figuring out your customers, but you should have a goal target audience. And that target audience should help you with the design, visual association, colors, and characteristic. However, don’t restrict your logo to cover one demographic. It’s always great to get all kind of customers!


3. Make the emotional connection

i-heart-logosWhen drafting ideas for your brand, think about how you want your customers to feel about your brand. What emotional connection do you want your customers to feel whenever they hear or talk about your business?

Create a list of emotions and descriptions to make your ideas concrete.


4. The first impression

3014641-inline-tell-a-lot-about-someoneAlong a similar line, your logo and branding will have a certain character and style. What impression do you want your customers to have when they first see your brand?


5. Imagery

school-house-rock-adjectivesList nouns, adjectives, shapes, and action words that describe your brand or the name of your brand. It’s a lot easier to come up with these words if you’re selling a product, but what about if you’re selling a service or your professional skills? Describe those services and find keywords that can be drawn as objects.


6. What colors do you associate with your brand?

Here’s an example of color associate with different industries.



7. What is your work philosophy?

awesome-officesAsk yourself: what is my work environment, philosophy, or work ethic like? What goals do my business have and what makes it unique? How can this uniqueness be visually represented in my brand or logo?


8. Font

fontsy2Fonts can make or break your logo. And we’re not talking whether to use serif or sans serif (I’ll have a post soon about the differences). I mean, there are all kinds of cool looking fonts, but that doesn’t mean it will look good or have the right characteristic for your logo.  Word to the wise: please stop using Papyrus, Comic Sans, Curlz, and Bradley Hand, among others.


9. Adaptable and minimal

facebook logo and iconMarketing and advertising your business comes in many forms these days- print, website, social media.  And each one has a unique way to show off your brand, you know, those small little profile pictures on Facebook and the like. Your design should be visible in many sizes on print and web.  It should also be adaptable and have the ability to display horizontally, vertically, in a square, in a circle, etc.  That means, you probably will have alternate logos in your brand to showcase on all platforms.


10. Examples, examples, examples.

therapy-logosCheck out businesses in your industry. What is their logo and brand style? What do you like and don’t you like about them. Really observing other logos and communicating with your designer what you like and don’t like about them can help your designer understand your taste and what you see as compelling.