Here at Documents With Precision we like to use high-quality stock photos to bring our presentations and documents to life. Research tells us that the human brain processes images 60,000 faster than it does words. The picture superiority effect says we’re much more likely to recall concepts presented as pictures rather than text. Using strong, captivating images on your slides or in your documents can really help tell your story. But not just any images. There are some important criteria to keep in mind when sourcing effective visuals:
A Johns Hopkins University study concluded that “irrelevant pictures accompanying text and sound effects complicate learning”. So using relevant images makes it easier for the audience to understand your message.
An image can be relevant, but it’s no good if the quality is poor. Make your slides look professional and appealing by using high-resolution visuals. According to Microsoft, the basic rule for determining the right resolution is: images that fill the slide should be the same size (in pixels) as the video screen’s resolution.
For image slides that will also feature text, look for pictures with “open space”. Minimalist photos without many colours will help make sure your text is clear to the audience and doesn’t get “lost” in the backdrop.
Many photographers copyright their work, which means they may not be available for re-use. Look for images free of copyright restrictions to avoid any legal issues.
5 websites that we use for finding free, high quality stock photos
When you’re working on a presentation, one of the biggest hurdles can be finding images that meet the above criteria without paying subscription or license fees. Here’s a list of websites that offer stunning, high-resolution stock images under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos with no permission or attribution required.
10 new photos every 10 days. Searchable by keyword.
20 new photos every week. Searchable by category, colour, and copy space.
Over 15,000 photos. Searchable by category and keyword.
New photos added weekly. Searchable by category and keyword.
Hundreds of new photos added weekly. Searchable by keyword.