Get the lowdown on the world of stock images, and exactly where you can find beautiful free stock images to call your own!

When you’re a musician, you often end up referring to yourself as an artist. Why is that? I have a theory; of course, music is an art, so that would be the simple explanation. But, being a musician means having a handle on so many other creative areas. It’s quicker to simply refer to yourself as an artist, rather than list everything else. Composer, musician, producer, photographer, video editor, marketing and PR whizz… Phew!

To help you tick off one of the responsibilities on your long list a little quicker, we’re going to let you in on a tip. Read on to find out where you can find the best free stock images for all uses. Whether it’s artwork for album covers, pictures for promo campaigns, or snaps for commercials, you won’t be disappointed.

What are Stock Images?

As an artist, you’re probably well aware that the shadowy realm of copyright can be a confusing one. You may have pulled a cool image from a website, or found a nice shot by a photographer you want to use for your album artwork. But, if you don’t own the image, or you haven’t licensed it, you could run into trouble.

This is where stock images come in. Don’t panic, you don’t have to become a photography or graphics genius to sort your artwork out. Stock images are photographs that have been licensed for specific uses. They can be available for free or at a price, it depends on where you get them from.

What Uses Do Stock Images Have?

You think of a potential use for an image, and I’ll tell you if you can use a stock image for that. Go! …Yes, you can.

In all seriousness, the beauty of stock images is that you can, more often than not, use them for pretty much anything you like. Whack an image on the cover of your latest album, EP or single, or splice them into your new promo video. Since you’re hoping to make some money from your music, these all count as commercial uses. But, stock images can be used for commercial uses, giving you that all important freedom. We love freedom as independent artists, don’t we?

Benefits of Using Free Stock Images

Why should you opt for stock images, instead of just cherry-picking the best of Google? Well, the main reason is that legally, that just won’t fly. And, when it comes to RouteNote’s image upload requirements, your artwork won’t make it past moderation.

Using stock images in order to avoid delays in getting your music to the public seems like a pretty attractive benefit all by itself.

You may have noticed the frequent use of the “F” word in this article. That’s right, free. It’s certainly no dirty word, and as an independent artist, what’s better than a bit of money saving?

Your music sounds great. You spend painstaking hours on your vocal production, obsessively tweaking the EQ. Why, then, would you let the quality slip when it comes to the images you use? Opting for stock images from a reputable source means automatic quality assurance. No matter what image you go for, you know the quality is going to match that of your sounds. That’s the kind of peace of mind everybody can get behind.

Finally, it takes a whole lot of precious time to produce awesome music whilst building a following, and juggling everything else that comes with being an artist. This is another huge benefit of sticking with stock images for any visual assets you need on a project. When you know the licensing side of things has been taken care of, you can spend more time on your tracks and less time worrying about copyright.

But, where to find a reputable source that offers high quality free stock images for these purposes, you ask?

Synchedin, Baby
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No longer just royalty free music and creative commons sound effects, Synchedin has branched out into the world of stock images!

An extensive and ever-growing catalogue of images geared towards creative types like yourselves, Synchedin will soon be your go-to choice for all your image needs. Choose from a range of CC0 (creative commons) images for free, or subscribe to get access to the entire catalogue for just $3.99 per month.

As an official partner of RouteNote, Synchedin is sort of like family. It’s important to look out for family, which is why all RouteNote users can get 10% off when they sign up to Synchedin! Simply use the code 10SYNC, and the discount will be applied to whichever subscription package you pick.