Free is Good
Apple pie. No… A perfect apple pie! It’s good stuff! You can tell even before you taste it. Throw some whipped cream, ice cream or even cheddar cheese on top of a warm slice of perfect apple pie and it’s truly one of the few golden moments in life.
Let’s sweeten the deal.
Free perfect apple pie.
Ladies and gentlemen...say hello to stretchy pants.
I’m a small framed individual by nature, but I’ll be honest here - if I had access to free perfect apple pie and the toppings of my choice, stretchy pants would be a necessity in my life! Now, if you’re one of those unexplained oddities of Earth that doesn’t like apple pie for whatever ever ungodly reason, you can paint whatever item you’d like into this scenario. Let’s say a high performance sports car, the newest edition of a video game with mind blowing graphics, clothes, shoes, power tools – whatever floats your boat. My point here is this – free is good.
For the sake of this analogy, we’re going to take this same delightful scenario and put some significant dents and kinks in it. (It’s okay, and yes – crying is permitted.)
Same perfect apple pie, but this time, it’s $12.50 for a small piece, $17.75 for a medium slice, and $22.50 for a quarter of the pie. Let’s imagine these perfect apple pies are on tables that are not monitored by anyone. Not one single person.
These impeccable, evenly browned, delectable, expertly made, cinnamon and apple confections are completely unguarded, and you skipped lunch. You skipped lunch and you left your wallet home. Wait...wait....you skipped breakfast, lunch, left your wallet at home and your bank account is strapped until payday. These prices are ridiculous! It’s pie! Lord love a duck, if someone DID steal a piece of this pie, it serves them right! Right!? You can hear yourself thinking, “There better be gold in those flippin’ pies!” Truly, even if there’s not gold in the pies, it’s apples and flour and, and, stuff. Furthermore, you’re not paying such a ridiculous price for pie! But you might snatch a piece when no one’s looking.
It’s PIE! What’s it going to hurt!? You stole a small piece of lousy-perfect pie! Big deal! There truly are worse crimes.
You might be wondering what pie has to do with your website, but let’s say the ‘pie’ is actually stock images. If you’ve ever visited a stock photography website and looked over their prices for imagery, you might find yourself making a face at their prices the same way you did with our fictitious pricing on perfect apple pie. Your next move might be to go to a search engine and just Google the image you need and get it free, clear and easy. Um...this is a no-no, it’s far from free clear and easy, and we’ll touch on that a little later. For now, let’s consider this; some stock photography sites have great prices for a membership. You are able to buy credits and can choose how large or small of an image you’d like to purchase. Without a membership, depending on which one you use, it may or may not be advantageous. Others can be kind of pricey, but there are usually different amenities that go along with pricier stock photo websites. Truthfully, unless you’re purchasing images for your business and your graphic artist, you’re not going to need huge, tack-sharp images. Unless you just want them. Also, for the average user that’s figuring out what to buy, how large of an image you need, and how long the license is good for, the process can seem like a whole lot of hubbub for a single photo! If we can agree that free is good, then so too is instant, fast, and immediate. If you don’t have time or have the desire to figure all this stock imagery stuff out, don’t put yourself in a predicament to get into big trouble later. Did you know that there are actually FREE stock image sites? Yup! There are! Check these out:
https://pixabay.com – Pixabay has a lovely selection of free images and they are free for commercial use! We like Pixabay for the ease of the navigation, and while there are images that are for sale, they are all clearly marked with a watermark from Shutterstock. They’ll appear in the top row on all pages. If you click on an image sponsored by Shutterstock, it’ll take you to their website, but for the most part, Pixabay’s free images are fantastic!
http://www.morguefile.com/ - morgueFile has free photos for commercial use as well. When you navigate images for this site, be sure that you’re on the tab for morgueFile. This site is in conjunction with iStock, Getty, Dreamstime, Bigstock, DepositPhotos and Fotolia, so be sure you’re choosing an image that is indeed free. The more you use this site, the more familiar you’ll become with their set up.
http://www.freeimages.com/ - FREEIMAGES is exactly that...Free Stock Images for commercial use. Like the other two listed previously, FREEIMAGES has imagery that is for sale. Be sure you’re choosing images on this site from the FREE FILES tab after you search for an image.
There are several of these sites online, but these three were our favorites. Borrowing images from a search result is never a good idea. For more information about the sticky situations one can land in from this practice, check out our blog titled GOOGLING for Trouble here. In the meantime, search the links above for some stock photos to give your specials and events some visual BOOM! You can always take your own photos with your phone, your own camera, or hire a photographer. If you do need stock photography, you might find it from one of the site above.
The cool thing is, you’ll never need to opt for fat pants.
Now...who wants pie!?