Your association should certainly consider hiring a photographer to create some “custom” stock images that you can use for your association. Encouraging members to submit their photos is a good idea. Here, too, are some tips about how you can improve your event photography.
But for those times when you need something different, Pexels is a site that offers free, high-quality stock photos that can be used for personal or commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos – all without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. (This is known as a Creative Commons Zero license.)
Pexels currently has about 5,000 free stock photos, and it is adding at least 600 more each month. Pexels has a pleasing interface – pictures are divided into categories like “Animal Photos,” “Sports Photos,” “Black and White Photos” and more than a dozen other categories.
The search function is robust, too, so a search for “Technology Photos” turns up dozens of images, with Pexels suggesting filters such as “apple,” “computer” and “audio.” You can also search by color.
As for how Pexels makes this work financially, being a totally free site, that’s not exactly clear. You can support Pexels by making a donation via PayPal, but for now, enjoy what many reviewers have called the best free stock image site.