Hi there listener, Kelly Noble Mirabella here and I am excited about today’s episode! One of the most common questions I hear in all the social media marketing and small business Facebook groups I am in is, “Where do you find free stock photos, videos, and music”. In today’s episode of Business as Unusual I am going to share with you a slew of tools and resources you can use to get fantastic free stock photos, videos, and sounds to really make your next project or social media posts stand out! But first a word on Copyright laws.
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Okay, we have a TON to talk about today so let’s dive into today’s show!
Part 1: Copyright
The last thing you want to do is get in trouble sharing an image on your Instagram, Facebook or blog page that is copyrighted. I have heard some pretty sad stories about small businesses having to pay big bucks because they used a photo they found on Google. Let’s break down the various types of copyright and how they effect your next creative project.
Royalty free music gives users the right to use copyrighted music without having to pay “royalties” for recurring use of the content. This means, once you buy the rights to the media it is yours to use forever.
According to Wikipedia: (CC) is an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public.
Attribution CC BY
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon a work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects. (Source: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ )
Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
When a work is in the public domain, it is free for use by anyone for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. Public domain is the purest form of open/free since no one owns or controls the material in any way.
Part 2: Sound & Video
Okay now that I have bored you with the details of not getting sued let’s jump into where you can go to find free media for your next project. First up let’s explore sound. I personally find free use sound files to be hard to come by. At least the ones I like. Because of this I personally prefer to buy Royalty Free music on iTunes or Amazon Music. That being said there are plenty of places to find what you need. Sound.
Free Music Archive
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU Free Music Archive is a great place to explore and discover sound files for all kinds of project. They have sound files organized by genre and gain access to files from all kinds of curators. Be sure you read what Creative Commons license the sound file you want falls into because Free Music Archive has music that falls into all categories, including personal use only, meaning you won’t want to use it in your next marketing video. Learn more at
Icompetech hosts a huge selection of Royalty Free music. I personally do not use this site as I find it to not be super friendly for my needs but it does seem to have a lot to offer. Again take note of the copyright the music you want falls into and attribute when required!
I mentioned that I prefer to buy my music if I need it for a marketing project. Once place to do this is Amazon. They have a good selection of Royalty Free Music available at affordable prices. Plus they have a selection of free music for Prime and non-Prime users.
Music For Makers
One of my favorite places to grab music is Music for Makers. Yes, you have to pay for access but once in you have access to a huge library of well organized and easy to find sound files for every need you have. Prices are very reasonable starting at $8 per month or you can buy individual files for $10-25. Learn more at
Video is HUGE right now. I mean anyone who is marketing a business online better have a video strategy. If you listened to my recent podcast episode about video editing tools you may have started to think about creating videos of your own. In that episode, I mentioned a couple of times that you can combine photos and short video clips to create pretty great videos for your marketing. If you are looking for the right video clips to spice up your next video project the following three sites are worth checking out:
Pixabay is really an all-encompassing site for your photos, video, illustrations and vector graphic needs. Everything you find on Pixabay is released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.
Pexels is kind of like the Unsplash of video. Offering a large array of beautiful HD video clips that are perfect for any project you are working on. I was very impressed with not only the selection and searchability of the videos but also the quality. Learn more at
Another quality site to discover video clips, Videezy sets itself apart by not only offering free HD videos but also Pro Account users can access 4k video clips. Unusual video categories include after effects, aerial, slow motion, abstract and background along with any regular video categories you may need. Learn more at.
Part 3: Photos
Photos still tend to be the resource marketers want the most. Understandably so since images and photos can be used in social media, blogs, email marketing, marketing assets, and video. Let’s dive into the best places to find free photos.
Possibly one of my favorite places to find free photos, Unsplash has kind of become the gold standard for copyright free photos that are not your typical stock. If you are an Instagram user chances are you have seen more than one photo from this site. And because I am such a visual person, sometimes when I just need to brainstorm blog ideas or get the creative juices flowing I will go to Unsplash to browse around and just get inspired by the stories the photos seem to tell me. You can learn more about Unsplash at
One of my favorite places to get stock images, custom fonts and amazing visual assets is Creative Market. While most of the content offering is not free they offer a weekly free pack every Monday where they give away free assets. The premium stuff is incredibly affordable so be sure to take some time to snoop around. You might find the perfect assets for your next project. Plus if you spend a little money you are more likely to use visuals that no one else is using. Click here to learn more about Creative Market.
Speaking of, if you do want to see how often a photo has been used run it through a site called Tineye.com You can either upload the photo in question or use the image URL and Tineye will tell you how often it has already been used and where. https://www.tineye.com
A couple of other places you can check out for free stock images are listed on my show notes:
So there you have it! Now you have the tools you need to create amazing graphics, marketing assets and more! Just be sure you follow the copyright rules and you should be all set.
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