Many photographers and graphic designers find themselves with a need for high-quality stock images when they don’t have time to create ones themselves.
There are all kinds of stock image websites that offer free or paid services based on how large their database is and how good their images are.
Pexels is one of these many stock image websites that has thousands of free-to-use pictures in their database.
Plenty of graphic designers use Pexels to create graphics or promotional material for their clients but some might question how legitimate it is to use their services.
The first thing to note about Pexels is that it is perfectly legal. All of their images comply with all the necessary laws about fair use of images, as well as the creative commons license.
In this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about Pexels and helping you decide whether it’s worth looking into for your graphic design needs.
What Are Stock Photos?
Stock photos are basically images that are captured by competent, professional photographers which they then sell to companies for them to use.
Images on stock photo websites are classed as royalty-free, meaning that they can be altered and used by anybody for whatever purpose they want.
Stock images are different from paid images because paid images give the buyer exclusive rights to the image.
This means that only they and other people who buy the image rights can use it for their own purposes.
Stock Images Or Paid Images?
In general, using stock images presents a somewhat unprofessional image for the company that uses them.
If you use an image that is commonly used by other websites, it will become very clear that you haven’t spared any expense for your web design.
On the other hand, using paid images never has this problem so you can convey a more professional appearance.
Of course, the downside to this approach is that it costs money.
Depending on the quality and quantity you require for your site, paid images can cost you hundreds of dollars so the decision to pay a premium price for these images is mostly down to your budget.
If you run a large website for a well-respected, professional company, it is more valuable to present an aesthetically pleasing and professional image.
Therefore, in this case, paid images are certainly worth the investment.
However, if you run your own website to sell your products or services and you don’t have millions of monthly visitors to your site, you can certainly get away with using free stock images.
What About Pexels?
Pexels is one of the many stock image platforms that only offers free stock images to its users.
While this means the costs applied to the user are completely zero, it does mean that you’ll often have users sharing the same images for their own purposes.
In general, this presents a fairly unprofessional appearance for everyone involved, regardless of how aesthetically appealing the images are.
How To Use Pexels
Pexels is one of the best stock image sites out there when it comes to user friendliness.
All you need to do to get started is set up an account with Pexels, though this doesn’t require any bank details or credit card information.
At this point, you’ll have access to the website’s entire database. You can use the search bar to look up different kinds of images based on categories and themes.
Once you’ve found an image that you like the look of, the next step is as simple as clicking the image and then clicking a button that says ‘free download’.
Then, the image you have selected will be saved to your downloads folder on your computer.
You can select different sizes for your image by clicking the arrow next to the ‘free download’ button.
What Can You Do With Pexels Images?
As we mentioned before, paid images are covered by pretty strict copyright laws, meaning there are certain things you can and can’t do with them.
However, because all Pexels images are free to use by anyone who wants them, there are no such copyright laws.
This means you are free to do just about whatever you want with the images you download from Pexels.
If you want to upload an image from Pexels directly to your website, you don’t have to include a link back to Pexels or the original artist.
Similarly, you don’t have to include any image credits to the artist or website source (unless you want to).
Another neat thing about Pexel’s free-to-use images is that you can edit them however you want before uploading them to your site.
You can modify and alter their images any way you want and use them for whatever purpose you like!
What Can You NOT Do With Pexels Images?
While there are very few limits to what you can do with images you download from Pexels, the site does still have some rules and guidelines in place to protect itself and its users.
One such guideline concerns reselling their images without adding any significant value to them. This means you can’t just download an image from Pexels and immediately sell it to someone else for money.
If you want to resell an image from Pexels, you will at least need to edit or alter it in some way that adds value to it.
Whatever you determine to be an addition of value is up to you and the person who buys the image from you.
However, Pexels will also need to determine what constitutes additional value for any sale to be permitted.
Of course, Pexels isn’t the only free stock image website on the internet, and competition between these sites is pretty fierce.
It’s important to note that Pexels certainly isn’t the biggest name in stock images and some other sites have plenty more variety.
Some of the biggest names in the world of stock images include Shuttershock, iShock, and Getty Images.
There isn’t a great deal of difference between these sites and Pexels other than the fact that the others will not offer as great a selection of free images.
Instead, they rely more on paid image business models to make their money.
Therefore, if you’re only interested in using free stock images, Pexels is one of your best options on the internet, simply because of the wider choice that they have to offer.
However, if you’re willing to spend the money on high-quality paid images, other options like the ones we previously mentioned are much better in terms of how much choice is available and, in general, how good the images look.
Like we said at the start, Pexels is one of the best websites on the internet when it comes to free stock images.
With their massive database of thousands of pictures, there’s always something to suit your needs.
The best part is, that it’s completely legal to use their images for whatever purposes you need.
That means if you’re designing a website from scratch or creating a digital advertisement, you can count on Pexels to help you out!