Photography is an integral tool for any communicator. However, most of us struggle with finding quality images that properly show off our content while being inclusive, especially if we’re on a limited budget.
And we’re also dealing with a more sophisticated audience – one that can quickly pick out stock photos. You know the photos I’m referring to. The ones where everyone is smiling against a light background with their pristine suits on or pointing at the same presentation – and diversity feels very obvious, if it’s considered at all.
If you can’t afford to take your own photos, it’s still important to use images that reflect your audience.
Here are a few free-to-use stock image, videos and graphic sites:
- Unsplash: This is one most people know about, but is always worth mentioning for great free images.
- Pexels: Great free photos and videos.
- Gender Photos – Vice: According to their site, The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés.
- Pixabay: Free videos, images and music!
- Pic NOI: A community led site with free images that provides diverse multi-racial images.
- Affect the Verb – Disabled and Here: This collection is a disability-led effort to provide free and inclusive stock photos shot from their own perspective, featuring disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) across the Pacific Northwest.
- Nappy: Beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people. Most of the pictures are free but some require payment.
The above photo is from Disabled and Here. It shows a close-up of two Black and disabled women smiling and holding hands. The woman in the back is wearing compression gloves and looking lovingly at the woman in the front, who’s sitting in a power wheelchair.