Many students, and even professionals, in graphic design, media or photography have a difficult time finding free stock images while working on projects. By now, you’ve probably downloaded a few free images, learned which sites to trust and which to avoid. For those aspiring to be professionals, it’s time to ask not what your free stock photo community can do for you, but what you can do for your free stock photo community.
By sharing a tutorial, an action or even an image – you will have the opportunity to enrich a professional community and add experience to your résumé.
Recently purchased by Getty Images, SXC is touted as the “world’s best free stock site.” The database contains over 350,000 images, and graphic designers will be pleased to find that even the hi-resolution photos can be downloaded for free. To download photos, you will be required to create a username and password. The same is required for those who are interested in sharing their photos, posting a blog or participating in the forum. In this vibrant community, designers and photographers can browse tutorials, videos and blogs from fellow professionals. This is a great platform for students to both teach and learn.
The site offers free lo-resolution photos, but charges for hi-resolution downloads. The site is good for those who need to download stock images for online projects. No registration is required to download the lower quality images. For students who would like to build their portfolios or make money from their images, this site offers each participating photographer, illustrator or graphic designer his own portfolio page. The site will offer lo-res copies of your image for free, and will give you 75 percent of the purchase price (which you set) when an image is sold.
With 13 million media files, Wikimedia Commons is by far the largest free database. The files found in the database can be used freely as long as you coincide with the terms specified by the author. Photographers, designers and even animators can actively participate in the Wikimedia Commons by contributing graphs, photos or art to a particular subject. To assist in the Wikimedia project, you can browse the list of images that need improvement. Log the time you’ve spent volunteering as well as the images as part of your résumé and portfolio.
–When downloading free stock images, follow all copyright rules and guidelines of the site.
Angelita Williams is an education blogger who loves writing about all the latest online learning trends in the industry. When she’s not writing articles, Angelita is probably trying a recipe from her library of cookbooks. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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