Images and Videos Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success: Images and Videos

When it comes to creating a visually appealing website, choosing the right images and illustrations is crucial. Just like picking the freshest ingredients for a gourmet meal, sourcing high-quality visuals can make all the difference in presenting your business in the best light. Here’s your Recipe for Success in finding the perfect visuals for your website.

Where to Find Stock Photos and Illustrations

There are numerous sources where you can find stock photos, illustrations, and videos. Here are some of the best ones:

  • Unsplash: Offers a vast library of high-resolution photos that are free to use.
  • Pexels: Provides free stock photos and videos with a large variety of categories.
  • Pixabay: A great source for free images, videos, and music, all under a simplified license.
  • Adobe Stock: Offers high-quality photos, illustrations, and videos with a subscription model.
  • Shutterstock: A comprehensive library with millions of high-quality visuals available for purchase.
  • iStock by Getty Images: Provides a wide range of high-quality stock images and illustrations for purchase.
  • Canva: Offers a variety of free and paid stock photos, illustrations, and design tools.
  • Freepik: Specializes in free and premium vector graphics, illustrations, and photos.

Understanding Copyright and Licensing

Just like following a recipe to the letter, understanding copyright and licensing is essential when using stock images and illustrations. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Licenses

  1. Royalty-Free: You pay once and can use the image multiple times without additional fees. However, there may be restrictions on how the image can be used (e.g., not for resale).
  2. Rights-Managed: You pay based on how and where the image will be used, with fees varying depending on the usage (e.g., print, web, geographic location).
  3. Creative Commons: These licenses allow you to use the images for free, but you must adhere to the specific terms set by the creator, such as giving credit or not using the images for commercial purposes.
  4. Public Domain: Images in the public domain can be used freely without any restrictions. These are often older works where copyright has expired or images released by the creator.

Key Points to Remember

Always check the License: Make sure you understand the terms under which you can use the image. This includes any restrictions on commercial use or requirements to give credit to the creator.

  • Attribution: Some images require you to give credit to the original creator. This is common with Creative Commons licenses.
  • Commercial Use: Ensure the license allows for commercial use if you are using the images for business purposes.
  • Exclusive Use: If you need images that are unique to your brand, consider purchasing exclusive rights or commissioning custom artwork.

Finding the Right Images

Images help your business convey your message quickly and clearly to your ideal client and set the tone for your business. Finding the right images will help your audience engage with your business whether they are used in printed materials, on your website, or on social media.

Tips for Choosing Images

  • Don’t Violate Copyright: Check permissions. You cannot simply search for an image on Google and use any image you like without risking being fined for violating copyright.
  • Size and Use: Know how you are going to use the images. For a full-width website image, you need a large horizontal (landscape) image. Talk to your web designer before purchasing or commissioning images.
  • Search Efficiently: Use stock photo sites (see list above) and refine your search by selecting picture orientation, type (photos or vector graphics), and other criteria.
  • Editing Photos: Crop photos to get the most out of your images. When resizing photos, make sure to keep proportions correct to prevent distortion.

Here’s a tutorial on maximizing your investment in a styled stock photo: Styled Stock Photo Tutorial.

Useful Tools for Editing Photos

  • Pixelmator app for iPad
  • Shutterstock Editor: Shutterstock Editor


There are many illustrations on stock photo sites, as well as photos. Illustrations can give a more relaxed tone to your business and appear friendly. When searching stock photo sites, refine your search by choosing illustrations and/or vector graphics instead of photos.


Videos can convey information in an engaging manner using a combination of images and text. You can create your own videos by combining images, text, and short video clips taken with your phone. Alternatively, you can commission a videographer to create a custom marketing video, depending on your budget.

  • Length: Under two minutes for a general marketing video is best. Training videos may need to be longer.
  • YouTube Channel: Creating a YouTube channel for your business gives you a central place to host your videos. You can link to them on your website and social media.

Video Creating Sites

  • Animoto
  • Kowtoon
  • Wave
  • Adobe Spark
  • Adobe Premier Clip

By sourcing the right images and illustrations, you can create a visually stunning website that resonates with your audience and enhances your brand’s online presence. Happy creating!

Fuller list of sources of stock photo/videos:

Download a pdf copy for reference.

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