by Adam Noar
You probably already know that engaging images make your presentations much better!
But where do you go to find beautiful images for your slide decks? … Do you have to pay someone? Do you have to take them yourself?
There are free image resources online that have the perfect images for every type of presentation.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled some of our favorites!
Let’s get started!
Unsplash is a massive, high quality, and easy-to-search database with basically every image imaginable. The photos are all extremely professional and beautiful, and finding a great choice for your presentation would be a piece of cake.
One great technique to use is to do a themed presentation. The photos you use don’t always have to exactly convey what the slide is trying to say, although you can work that in as well. Instead, pick a theme that conveys the story of your presentation.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re pitching a product that that has an outdoorsy vibe to it. You look at the story of your brand, and decide that the theme you want for this presentation is “new adventures”. What first comes to mind when you think of adventures? What about some stunning landscapes? That combines the outdoorsy, nature theme of your brand and the product, and what better says adventure than the views from the top of a mountain?
Once you have a plan of action, head to Unsplash and type in stuff like “landscape,” “mountain range,” etc. and you’ll get a ton of amazing photos. Choose however many you need, and voila! Themed presentation.
StockSnap.io offers something a little different than your run-of-the-mill stock websites. All their photos are totally and completely free, licensed under Creative Commons, meaning you can use them for personal or commercial projects. Pretty cool, right?
Of course, they have all the essentials you want too – large selection, stunning, and high-resolution images that are easy to find with their search function. They even have a feature where they track the views and downloads a photo has so you can see what’s popular, and they have trending and popular searches. It’s a great shortcut to finding some photos around the same theme for your presentation, or a very specific type of photo that will say just what you want it to.
#3.) New York Public Library
You probably weren’t expecting this one! The New York Public Library has started to publish its massive digital collection for public consumption. What’s really cool about their archive is that you can search by time periods in history, or themed collections like “Scrapbooks of New York City Views.” They have a section of recently digitized images, as well as featured collections. It’s an incredible database.
However, as cool as it is, it’s definitely New York themed. So, if you’re not finding what you’re looking for and want something a little more local to you, try searching your own local public libraries! Public libraries all over the nation are constantly digitizing and uploading photos, and you never know what you might find. It can add some great flavor to your presentation, and some recognition and identification from your audience if they recognize the spot in the photo!
Nope, we didn’t spell pixels wrong. Pexels is another amazing, free stock photo database with pictures that are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. The photos are tagged, which makes searching for presentation images a breeze, and browsing through the Discover page is also fun. They’re also super committed to growing their library – as of now, they have around 40,000 images, and they add at least 3,000 new photos every month! This makes them a great resource for now and in the future, because you’ll always be able to find new stuff.
They have some nice pages to get you going if you’re not sure exactly what you want yet and need inspiration. They have a Discover page, with photos under the same tag, like “road.” They have a Popular Photos and a Popular Searches page, so you can look for images that are trendy and current. They even have a Leaderboard page, with the users who have the most photo views in the last month. Lots of inspiration to be found here!
Going with something a little different – Stencil isn’t a stock photo site! It’s actually a social media image creation tool (similar to Canva), meant mostly for social media marketers, bloggers, and small businesses. However, they have a ton of Creative Commons Zero licensed images, along with templates, fonts, and icons to add to the images. If you just want to make some simple additions to the photo, it’s really easy to do on their site. Even if you don’t, all their images may be a bit different than what you find on a typical stock photo site – they’re more social media friendly.
The only downside is cost – if you don’t need a ton of images, this site is still a great option, because free accounts get up to 10 free downloads per month. If you need more than that, it’s going to cost you a little bit of money, but it might be worth it! Definitely, one to check out.
If you love browsing vintage graphics, posters, and design, you might get sucked into Viintage and never want to leave. If you want to give your presentation a vintage vibe, this site is definitely for you. They have a Free Downloads section that’s also sorted by collection, everything from Decoupages to Costumes and Fashion of the People of Peru Circa 1830. You’ll be spoiled for choice even in the free section, as many of the collections have hundreds of images, but you can also spend a little money to be a premium member.
One of our favorites sections is the high-resolution vintage travel poster collection. It’s enthralling just to scroll through, so if you want to capture your audience’s imagination with the lure of unexplored worlds, this is the best way to do it. Plus, this site will only keep growing – their goal is to have over one million high quality vintage images uploaded.
If you want something eccentric … maybe even a little weird for your PowerPoint images, then Gratisography is your place.
Their site basically offers a mesh of photos that combine whimsy, millennials aesthetic, and sometimes just plain weird stuff. This is a great option if you’re looking to add something different to your presentation, maybe something funny or strange that you think your audience will appreciate. It can be fun to do something like that after seeing tons of presentations with the typical stock photo images, if you feel like it will fit the feel of the presentation.
They’re all, of course, super high quality, and we love their color palettes. Some of them will just require a second look – like the giraffe wearing baby feet, or the man walking out of his clothes as his body disappears. You know what, just go look for yourself.
#8.) Foodies Feed
Food! We like food. Who doesn’t?
Foodies Feed is packed with images that might make you drool on your keyboard, so be careful. They have thousands of stunning free pictures of amazing food, and is perfect for food bloggers, restaurants, and, of course, foodies. As usual, personal and commercial use is allowed!
All the photos they provide are realistic food pictures, and their aim is to counteract the typical sterile stock photos of food with warm, inviting, delicious looking stuff. We would have to say they succeeded! They source their images from food bloggers from all around the world, but they all look very professional – and delicious.
#9.) Superfamous Images
This site is another niche offering, this time with beautiful natural images, and all created by Superfamous Studios. Superfamous Images is a little different, as it’s not licensed under Creative Commons Zero, but Creative Commons 3. What that basically means is that you need to credit the photographer, but that is a small price to pay for using these amazing photos.
You’ll find lots of rocky landscapes, forests, and interesting foliage on this site, and scrolling through their feed is a pleasure – lots of “wow” factor.
#10.) Negative Space
Back to general presentation image resources! Negative Space is, again, is searchable, and offers Creative Commons Zero, free photos for your use. They upload 20 new photos each week, so there’s always more to come back to and explore. They have great popular categories like Technology, Travel, and Architecture that are a lot of fun to scroll through. They have a community of photographers that they source the photos from that are all over the world, which means a great variety in style, color, location, you name it.
Been a while since you thought about Flickr? Or never thought to use it for your presentation photos? We don’t blame you. Surprisingly, you can use Flickr to find public domain photos.
All you have to do is filter the images so that you’re looking for “no known copyright restrictions” under the License option. This one is a bit more of a dig for the gold, because anyone and everyone can post to this site. However, some really amazing photographers use the site, and there are definitely some diamonds to be found in the rough.
Really the draw for Flickr is the vast database and huge variety.
Even though there will be some bad amateur shots mixed in, there could also be some great amateur shots you won’t be able to find anywhere else. It could definitely be worth your time if you’re looking for something a little different that you’re not going to find on the general stock photo websites.
#12.) New Old Stock
We’re ending with another vintage one! New Old Stock is a beautiful resource for finding vintage photos from the last century. Speaking of Flickr, it’s been mostly curated from archival Flickr accounts and public archives, and link back to the original owners. Also, like the above these are classified under “no known copyright restrictions.” This can be great if you’re looking specifically for images with a vintage feel, but something a little different than what you’d find on the other site we listed, Viintage.
The only downside to this one is that it can be a bit tricky to search, but if you put in the effort you’re guaranteed to find some gems. Because of the way the site is laid out, you just have to scroll through what they have. But they have really stunning photos that are worth the scroll anyway, and it can get your thoughts going on what kind of images you want to look for. You can even follow the link back to the original owner on Flickr, and then search for similar images there!
By this point, you should be up to your eyeballs in free images to choose from for your presentations. We hope you’re feeling well-equipped, inspired, and excited to get started! Just a quick note – while none of these sites require photo credit to be given, it can be nice to do it anyway. It doesn’t take much time out of your day, and think about all that time the photographer spent making their work available to you for free! Crediting them is a nice courtesy.
What sites do you usually use for finding amazing images for your slide decks? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know below.