As a content writer, it is essential to have access to photos and photo editing software. Many photos found online require a royalty fee or permission from the owner if you intend to use them on your website. While there is no denying that the paid photos are awesome, it is certainly not cheap in the long run, especially if you are creating content as a hobby.
For those that require photo editing software, most popular ones require paid subscription. However, over the years there are free alternative open sourced software that have popped out online, saving us a ton of money. There are tutorials demonstrating how to use their photo editing software and you will get up to speed mastering their tools in no time.
In this article, I am going to share with you readers some of the free resources for stock photos and photo editing software. The list is non-exhaustive.
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Free Stock Photos
Unsplash has over three million high resolution photos contributed a worldwide community of photographers. Their photos have been downloaded by users over four billion times to create presentations, artwork and more. Their downloadable range from backgrounds to wallpapers, suitable for every occasion.
2. The Noun Project
The Noun Project is a site for free icons and stock photos. If you are tired of using the default icons that comes bundled with your computer, the Noun Project is a good place to check out for free icons. Graphic designers upload their icon designs onto the website for users’ perusal. The basic version is free however users can pay for the pro version that offers premium features.
Pexels has millions of high quality images for users to download for free. One outstanding feature that I like is they showcase the photographers with the most views. This is encouraging for the other photographers as they can work towards the goal of being featured on that list. Pexels also have videos available for download and challenges for photographers to participate. Winning a challenge can raise the profile of the photographer.
Free Photo-editing Software
Photopea is a web based photo and graphics editor. Supporting format includes PSD, XCF, Sketch, XD and CDR formats. From experience, the GUI is similar to GIMP software, so it definitely is easy to pick up if you are already familiar with either software.
Pixlr is a cloud based set of image editing tools. Pixlr allows users to photo edit, animate and design, all on the website. Users are able to remove backgrounds or start designing from templates. The basic plan is free with premium features available for a subscription fee.
GIMP is a cross-platform image editor and unlike the other photo editing software, with GIMP, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. Think of GIMP as the GitHub of photo editing software. GIMP is not cloud based, so you have to download their installation pack onto your device before you can start editing. As GIMP is free for all, users and developers are encouraged to volunteer to make GIMP a better site for users.
FotoForensics is not a photo editing software but it deserves a special mention here. It is a picture analysis tool to determine if a picture is real or computer graphics, if it was modified or how it was modified. With deepfakes becoming prevalent, it is interesting to see if the photos you are seeing is real or modified.
With so many alternatives to paid stock photos and photo-editing software, I hope you found this list useful. Do share and comment if you like this list of resources or if you find them useful.