Downloading free HD images for my sample designs?

Hello friends, I want to design some cool social media banner images and put them into my portfolio to showcase my work. I may also use them as a template to be sold on websites like vectorstock, shutterstock, freepik etc.

My confusion: How can I get free HD transparent product images (also copyright free) to be used in my design? Suppose, I want to design a banner image for a headphone - I may require an HD image of a headphone.

So you want a picture for free, taken by a photographer (who isn’t paid for his work) and sell it to make money.

If you want a free headphone picture take your camera and make a picture. Then get rid of the background and use it in your template.

After all this work is done, you can sell it, because all the copyrights are yours.

The problem is the template part.
Even the free sites usually have a stipulation that the images can’t be resold. Though I have seen an interesting loophole that is used often at one particular stock site that leads me to question ALL of their content. So much so, I advise against using them.
But anyway, not only is what you ask often against EULA, it might also violate trademarks. If the brand of the headphone is immediately obvious, you may run into issues there with trademark.

Carlo is right. Your phone should be capable of taking HD images. I’m not a fan of phone images for production, but the phone cameras have come a long way in the last decade.

I am not getting it. How come people are making their portfolios using images like these. I don’t think the designer has taken the picture on his own. There has to be a website from where they get such product images which they download and use in their sample banner design.
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Such designs are also there in the adobe stock site to be sold as template. They have this text on their template though - “image not included”.

They’re not using “free” images.

As a designer, you can pay stock agencies to acquire usage rights to their images. In the case of Adobe Stock you can pay about $10 for a ‘standard license’ to use one of the furniture cut outs. Your client hires you to make a flyer for them, you pay $10 for a standard license, then deliver a finished flyer to them, and they can print up to 500,000 flyers. If they want more than that you can pay for another standard license.

Say you want to make a template like the ones above, then you need an ‘extended license’. You pay Adobe Stock $80, and then you have the rights to place that same furniture cut out into a flyer, then sell that flyer on Adobe Stock… assuming it passes their inspection and they accept it into their collection. It’s important to note that you can’t turnaround and sell that image by itself, on Adobe or anywhere, but you can incorporate it into templates you’ve designed and products for resale.

Keep in mind that if you sell your newly created furniture template on Adobe Stock they really don’t pay you much. Most of their sales are on subscription, which will net you around $0.20 per download. At best, you might get around $3 per sale. It may take you awhile to earn back the $80 you spent on the license, and even more if Adobe’s search algorithm decides to bury you on page 5000 of a search return. Buyers might never see your template.

One workaround that some people use is to not include the high res licensed image in the template. The buyer purchases your template, opens up the layered PSD file, sees the furniture layer with a low res watermarked placeholder image on a layer that contains a link to the web page where they can secure the rights to the image. They license and download, then place it on the layer so that the clipping path you created can be applied to it. Istock used to forbid that kind of usage. Each stock site may have it’s own policy.

Make sure you understand the licensing before doing this. It’s a mess, and it varies by site, and they’ve all got different standards for what constitutes an extended license, and some like Getty are quite litigious. And on top of that, photographers and illustrators can opt out of making their work available through extended licenses. Keep documentation of your licenses.

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Try Pixabay, Unsplash or Creative Commons. They’re not copyright free, but most of the images on these sites can be used for various purposes. Be sure to check the user licenses before assuming anything.

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you can do whatever you want (within reason) and put it in your portfolio. The whole problem is selling templates. The reselling of stock imagery, even often the free stuff, usually requires paying for it. If you don’t want to pay for it, take your own photos. That’s all I got.

Oh, and as far as Creative Commons go, you are going to find 3 or 4 levels of CC licensing ranging from All Rights Reserved to CC0 (free to use for any purpose including posting on a certain stock site for money…) However, CC0 can have pitfalls if the person who posted it did not originate the photo. Buyer beware (as in anything free can be more expensive than you think in the long run)
Read the EULA on EVERYTHING you use.

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Hey Aristo! I am sharing with you some of the best websites where you can find free png images without copyright.

https://pngtree.com/so/headphones

https://www.cleanpng.com/

http://www.pngpix.com/

https://www.stickpng.com/

https://pixabay.com/

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Read the EULA on any image you use.
The resale thing in templates is a potential barrier to use.
For instance these two items in Pixabay’s license restrict resale. The first one can be construed to include “stock” templates.

• Don’t redistribute or sell someone else’s Pixabay images or videos on other stock or wallpaper platforms.
• Don’t sell unaltered copies of an image. e.g. sell an exact copy of a stock photo as a poster, print or on a physical product.

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@AnnaAbram Thanks a lot for sharing such a useful collection of websites. :+1:
@Just-B Thank you so much for mentioning about them. I have updated my collection now!

Another thing I wanna know is that there is no mentioning of copyright usage on sites like Amazon. If only I could download actual product images from there, then I believe it won’t cause any trouble, right? :thinking: The template I will design won’t include the product image inside the template source file (just to be on a safe side).

Seriously? We’re going down this road?

The company that commissioned the photo of their product to put on Amazon OWNS THE PHOTO.
Try contacting Bose to see if you can use THEIR PHOTO in your template…

All images are copyrighted upon fixing in some kind of media, whether it is photo paper or web. The person who took the photo (or if they are a contractor, the owner of the object in the photo) owns the rights the moment it is published. It’s an automatic thing now. No © needed.
Nothing on the internet is copyright free unless it is specifically noted or falls into a number of copyright loopholes due to date of creation.

For professional purposes, assume all images have a copyright until due diligence strongly suggests otherwise.

For an illustration purpose, I like to tell the story of a former designer who used an image from the internet they thought was copyright free due to age. When the estate of the person in the photo got done with them, they owed well over $100K in royalties and legal fees (theirs and the other party’s.) Put em out of business. Some people don’t play games, and don’t assume they will ignore you because you are a “little fish.”

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A couple other notes:

  1. There is a very strong argument for the digital file of an image being considered ‘fixed’ even if it hasn’t been ‘published.’ A slightly different set of copyright rules apply to unpublished works, but still, last I looked it was “life of the author + 70 years,” or if anonymous, “120 years from date of creation.” Right now you might, note MIGHT be able to use an image created pre-1900. If it turns out there is an estate attached to it, 1950 is the current cut-off. I haven’t checked to see if that changed this year. It’s all Disney driven. They propose changes to the law whenever their hold on something is coming loose.

  2. Even with due diligence performed, think long and hard about using any image for which you can’t get a physical release.

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It’s very surprising for me, how I didn’t know all this. Thanks to you that now I am aware. I don’t want to get into trouble :sweat: so I will avoid using images from e-commerce sites. Thanks a lot!

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