Why You Never Need to Use an Awful Stock Photo Again

Struggling to find just the right free stock image for your blog post? Don’t settle. It’s just not worth it anymore. Especially now that the Getty has released all its available digital images (both public domain and those they hold the rights to) to be used for any purpose as a part of it’s Open Content Program. Without permission. Do you understand what this means?

“This isn’t just about democratizing art. It’s about integrating art and people’s digital lives — and with that, unlocking the creativity that is key to our future progress and humanity.” -Drue Kataoka, Wired.com

Now, sure, it means a lot of great things for young artists and the digital community and the future of content, but Wired covered that already. What they didn’t mention is that it means your days of using sub-par free stock photography are over.

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Look at the raw emotion in every face painted here in The Musicians’ Brawl by Georges de La Tour. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything as visceral in a stock photo. Or anything as cordial and classic as these three people casually looking at one document together in the Presumed Portrait of the Duc de Choiseul and Two Companions by Jacques Wilbaut below. And trust me, we’ve looked. There are a lot of stock photos with that particular theme.

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

How could you use anything but classic art from here on out? Keep in mind, a good deal of these collected works predate not only the Internet, but any sort of printing press or widespread literacy. These are the original infographics: the ultimate visual assets. The possibilities are endless. In fact, we’ll let the images speak for themselves.

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So next time you need an inspiring image to really illustrate a point: the Getty has over 10,000 images of “paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, sculpture, decorative arts, artists’ sketchbooks, watercolors, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, and 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks.” What more could you want?