Images serve several purposes in blog posts, but they won’t do you any good if the ones you choose are of less than stellar quality. Professional photos can be quite expensive, though, and the well-known stock photography sites have pricey membership fees. Don’t despair. You may be surprised to learn there are places you can find quality stock images for free. Keep reading to discover some of the best.
Death to Stock - While there is a premium package that grants access to the more than 1500 photos in their library and extras such as videos, you can score some wonderful images for free. Sign up for the newsletter to receive free photo packs each month.
Unsplash - Unsplash is a photo lover’s dream. This site offers over 50,000 free images. You can subscribe to get an inspirational collection in your email each month or simply view by collection or search for a specific term.
Gratisography - With new pictures added every week, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your blog posts. Photographer, Ryan McGuire, generously offers his quality images free with no copyright restrictions.
Pixabay - Pixabay is a website that offers a little something more. Not only can you get photos of all kinds, there are also offerings of vectors, illustrations and videos. You can use it all at no cost. Better yet, the search capabilities allow you to filter by type, color, category, size and more.
Picjumbo - Viktor Hanasek, a talented photographer, set up this site to share his photos back in 2013. You can search his vast library of free images, opt for premium membership or even purchase the All in One Pack of every image from the site. An email subscription will get a selection of new photos sent to your inbox weekly.
Lifeofpix - Lifeofpix sets itself apart from other free stock image sites. Not only can you choose amazing photos from a slew of skilled artists, you can also set up an account that lets you curate a portfolio of images and follow your favorite photographers.
Kaboompics - This free photo site with the quirky name grants you access to tons of photos from a wide selection of topics. Easy to search by word or category, you can browse images for all your blogging needs.
This list of free stock image sites offer all types of photography. If you’re looking for photos from a specific niche, there are lots of places that cater to things like travel or food photography. A quick search engine query should find what you need. Do take time to read all license information, though. Some sites require attribution for use of their products or do not allow commercial use. Enjoy creating fantastic imagery with these fantastic resources.
Basic Graphic Design Principles for Bloggers
The best graphic designers often possess natural given talent, along with years of specialized training, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create lovely image assets for your blog as a beginner.
One key to producing professional looking graphics is to understand the fundamental concepts of design. Knowing these rules will help you to avoid obvious mistakes that could make your blog look amateur. Incorporate these basic graphic design principles for bloggers into your images, and you’ll soon be producing images you’ll be proud to share.
Alignment - Alignment refers to the way in which the text is arranged on your canvas. It’s often tempting for new designers to align everything in the center, but this can produce a result that’s lacking visual appeal. Play around with alignment using left, right or vertical alignment for different blocks of text to find unique arrangements that work with the other elements of your design.
Proximity - The way in which different elements are grouped together is proximity. Choose the location of design elements strategically to guide the viewer’s eye to where you want it to go. You can do this by placing text into shapes to create a border that breaks things up or by getting creative with linear position, such as situating text on an angle.
Color - You’ll want to incorporate your color palette into your images to keep your branding consistent. You can do this by choosing photos or artwork that reflect or are compatible with your scheme. It’s also possible to place a semi-transparent colored overlay on top of your art to add a hue that works. Just remember to use color theory as your guide and pick a color that elicits the response you desire.
Line - Line plays a significant role in design. Whether used as a border or to break up text, the type of line you choose conveys a message. Straight, clean lines give a sophisticated and modern feel, while curves add softness and warmth. Squiggly lines can be whimsical or fun. Even the width of your lines can have an impact.
Shape - Another important aspect of design is shape. Using hard-edged, straight-lined shapes like squares and triangles often lends to a masculine feel, with curved circles or rounded corners fit well in more feminine design. Straight shapes can imply seriousness, sophistication or stability. When you want to create a relaxed vibe, go with softer shapes.
Space - Space, or whitespace as it’s often termed, provides purposeful blank area to allow the viewer’s eye to relax. One of the biggest mistakes made by amateur designers is to use too little space. Avoid trying to cram too much into your graphic, as it can look messy and hard to read. Too much whitespace is a hazard also because it can have an unfinished feel. Experiment to discover what works.
There are a host of other design concepts that are important producing professional looking graphics, but these basic graphic design principles will get you started. Adhere to these fundamentals to create visually appealing images that will add interest to your blog and encourage others to share on social media.
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