Let's face it - there is a wide range of truly bad stock photography out there readily available for you to illustrate your birth or postpartum services website. Cheesy, unrealistic, excessive pregnant glow, and Very limited diversity represented in ethnicity, and LGBTQI families. Most photos of birth involve a health care practitioner & a blood pressure cuff, or a woman laying nearly flat in a hospital bed. NOT exactly the message we're wanting to send! Looking for a photo of an actual doula in action? You're more likely to end of up with photos of Michael Douglas (find out what I'm talking about here...)
While there are the standard free stock photos out there to choose from, all of which have some decent and a few fabulous photos in the mix, the stock photography business has opened up considerably in the past few years to include some innovative options. Some are free, and some require a good financial investment, but all offer a different range of quality and realism in their available stock photos.
Free Stock Photos for Doulas
With all of these sites be sure to carefully review the license agreements and provide photo credit as required. It can be very confusing looking at attribution & licensing requirements for photos. Here's a good guide to legal photo usage written by Sharon Muza of Science & Sensibility.
- JUST ADDED! << Unsplash features 100% free photos by professional photographers with no attribution needed even for commercial use. There are a few really nice pregnancy photos, baby photos and some interesting photos grouped under birth! Lots of gorgeous nature themed ones, waves, and the most gorgeous spiral you'll ever see. I use Unsplash a lot when I need a quick photo.
- Stockpic offers 100% FREE quality photos for personal & commercial use. There are VERY FEW photos related to birth or postpartum work, but if you're looking for lifestyle or landscape photos (such as this photo of breakfast in bed for a blog post about mothers day?), this is a good resource.
- Kaboompics offers a similar range of lovely high quality FREE photos with a focus on lifestyle images. Again, basically no photos specific to birth or postpartum work but lots of lovely photos of nature, food, technology, etc...
- With Fancy Crave you got an email each week with 14 new high quality FREE stock photos. They pick 'em out - you have no idea what you'll get, but there is usually at least one in the mix that could be used for a future blog post...
- Pexels, pixabay, and PhotosforClass offer a decent selection of FREE pregnancy, birth, baby, and even breastfeeding related photos.They lean more towards the cheesy side of stock photography and/or amateur photos, but there are some good ones mixed in. You need to set their search bar to limit the search to creative commons open license photos.
- The Commons on Flickr strives to "share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives". It's worth taking a wonder through to see what you might find!
- I can't resist sharing Gratisography, offering a a range of FREE photos that tend towards the slightly bizarre and silly. Just take a look, a description here simply won't do them justice.
Innovative & Quality Doula Stock Photo Sites
The sites below are definitely not FREE stock photos for doulas, but they do offer a great range of photos and very high quality options. Remember it just takes a few quality photos to transform a website!
- Stocksy features high level photos from professional photographers. They have a few nice birth ones, plenty of babies, at least one nice placenta shot, and some nice pregnant options. In a quick review prices for most photos are $15 - $30 for the sizes most of you would need (under 2000px wide).
- Birth Becomes Her has gathered an extraordinary collection of powerful pregnancy, birth and baby photos including categories with both home and hospital birth. Choose a package of 10 photos for $450, or 2 photos from $100.
- Bloguettes Stock that Rocks offers an innovative collection of very modern & hip lifestyle oriented images. The selection is limited, but high quality. There are some gorgeous baby pics, but none of pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding at this time. If you're looking for quality photos of modern life such as drinking tea / coffee, checking cell phones, etc.. there are lovely options. For a $75 one month membership you can get up to 45 photo downloads. Alternatively you can do their B-Team membership for just $29 / month with up to 15 stock photography downloads and access to business and social media webinars.
- Creative Market has a gorgeous and reasonably priced blend of both photography and illustrations and fonts. If you're looking for beautiful watercolor illustrations, hand-drawn icons, funky feathers, sweet colorful birds, custom fonts, etc... this is the place.
Standard Paid Stock Birth Photo Sites
The sites listed below all offer a standard range of stock photography & illustration options, with the photo quality on the adobe site being slightly higher.
- Shutterstock offers a package of 5 photos for $49.
- Deposit Photos You can choose a one month subscription for up to 75 photos.
- iStock Photo includes a free trial month with up to 10 photos, and divides their collection into premium and standard collection photos. You buy credit packs, and individual image credit values vary.
- Adobe Stock Photos are sold on a subscription basis with the lowest package at $29.99/month for just 3 photos. Note the first month in free and includes up to 10 of their standard (not premium) photos.
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