5 Websites to Get Free Images for Your Blog, Social Media and Email Newsletter

Are you looking for royalty-free, professional photographs, vectors and illustrations?

I got dat good good for you. 😉

Just when you thought all the gift-giving was over… Happy Holidays, bitches!

Here’s my list of my tested, tried-and-true sources for free photographs, vectors and illustrations that I use on my blogs, social media accounts and email newsletters:

1. Creative Market

What I love about Creative Market is that it’s much more than just “stock art.” I’ve gotten free website templates, vector files, illustrations, photoshop templates, fonts and more. While Creative Market offers a robust selection of amazing products you can pay for, every week it has 6 free downloads you can take advantage of for your business. It’s definitely my favorite source for vectors, illustrations and specialty art beyond photography. Sign up here.

2. UnSplash

UnSplash is a nice collection of – to me – quite beautiful and soothing photography submitted by different artists. I’ve used several of their images for blog features, social media backgrounds and more. You can browse their collection.

3. Death to Stock

Besides having an interesting name, Death to Stock is probably my favorite “(un)stock photography” site. They offer paid premium subscriptions, but they also give out a bundle of free photographs every month. I have several bundles from over the years and still go back to them when I need something specific. Check em out.

4. Pexels

Pexels is a website I’ve used often this year for brands that I work with. It offers a good searchable database of professional images from different royalty free sites and their user interface makes searching and downloading images super easy. Check them out here.

5. Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr Creative Commons database is the most robust, but also the most unprofessional. I’ve used this database in past years when I was looking for a highly specific image that didn’t, necessarily, need to be professionally shot. It can sometimes be a crap-shoot, but it can also sometimes give you exactly what you need. One thing to remember, is that these are Creative Commons licensed photos. If you aren’t familiar with what that means, check the right hand column of this page for a BRIEF overview of what the different licenses mean.


If you like using gifs in your life in general, I stay on giphy on my computer, in my text keyboard, and in my slack channels. It offers a steady stream of funny, inappropriate, lovely and extremely accurate animated gifs to use in your work. Check it out and you’ll thank me later.

Bomb-Ass Company Holiday Greetings That Make Your Company’s Card Look Like a Piece of Gold-Foiled Trash

Bomb-Ass Company Holiday Greetings That Make Your Company’s Card Look Like a Piece of Gold-Foiled Trash

I don’t have much to say before diving right into this one, because I’m going to let these bomb-ass holiday cards speak for themselves. But first, as a media professional, I want to re-emphasize the power of media and of creating memorable experiences for your audience.

Your lame ass templated holiday card that you ordered at the last minute from “BadStockArtCards.com” won’t do the trick.

I have more to say but I’ll let these holiday greeting speak for themselves.

“Dear Satan” From Anomaly:

And of course I had to feature VaynerMedia… because I luurve Gary V. and all the amazing work they are doing.

VaynerMedia clients will meet Vee in the form of a personalized holiday greeting card included with a customized Amazon Echo Dot that comes preloaded with a new Alexa skill called Vayner. Vayner is an interactive skill featuring weekly updates on the digital voice industry, including platform news and discussion of recent trends in the marketplace. Say “Enable Vayner skill” to try it out. See the unboxing of the gift below.

And could you just look at what 215 McCann did for their holiday gift?

This agency is sending out cookies in the shape of the agency team. Line drawings of 215 McCann employees were turned into 3D printed cookie cutters, and then used to bake face-shaped cookies. Recipients also receive a link to a video, shot in stop motion, that playfully illustrates an almost magical baking process, one that transforms a lump of flour into the face of agency CCO Scott Duchon. Each recipient receives a tin that holds 32 cookies (four stacks of eight) that feature the faces of those 215 McCann staffers they’re most familiar with. It all sums up the agency mantra: “Truth Well Told. Cookies Well Baked.​”

Watch the video of the process here: Happy Holiday from 215 McCann.

For more bomb-ass holiday cards, check out this roundup from AdWeek: See Adweek’s 7 Favorite Agency Holiday Cards of 2017

…and even more here: Agency Holiday Cards 2017: The Most Creative Farewells to the Year

You are what you eat

You are what you eat

If you’re an author, how much do you read about craft or attend workshops or develop your brand?

If you’re a publisher, how much do you read about your industry?

Do you network with your peers? Seek advice?

I published a post several years ago called “why creative brands should sleep with the ‘enemy'” (I may publish it again, if I can find the original, but my site was hacked again this year, so I lost all my published posts) and for some reason that idea was on my mind this morning.

Specifically the idea of: “You are what you eat.”

Maybe I was being hard on myself because I HAVEN’T been devouring much of my own industry lately and I really need to.

My personal life and work life have been going through a lot of changes lately and I really need a vacation – but that’s no excuse for NOT keeping up with my industry.

And no matter what you are going through, you can’t afford to NOT devour more about your industry and your craft.

You WILL get left behind if you don’t.

Find ways to make this a part of your everyday routine.

This is why I encourage people to do what they love, because then keeping up with your industry won’t feel like work.

Subscribe to newsletters or blog feeds for people or companies your industry.

Attend workshops.

Do research.

Download podcasts.

Actively work at developing a new skill.

Connect with your peers.


Do it.

It’ll make you stronger in your niche.


[photo “Big ass burger between 2 grill cheese sandwiches” by chunkysalsa]

Why CNN Hired BuzzFeed’s Top Political Reporters and What It Says About BuzzFeed News

Why CNN Hired BuzzFeed’s Top Political Reporters and What It Says About BuzzFeed News

Two months ago, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker dismissed two leading, young-skewing digital news sites, saying, “I don’t think Vice and BuzzFeed are legitimate news organizations. They are native advertising shops. We crush both of them.”

This week, CNN, the crusher, made its boldest digital move yet by hiring away one of BuzzFeed’s most prolific scoop artists, Andrew Kaczynski. The news organization also hired Kaczynski’s team of researchers including deputy politics editor Kyle Blaine, and reporters Nate McDermott and Christopher Massie.

“We’re clearly not your grandfather’s CNN,” said Andrew Morse, evp of editorial for CNN U.S.

Indeed, CNN has staffed up its politics and media beats over the past year, pulling from the ranks of Politico, The New York Times and now BuzzFeed.

All of this leads to loads of curiosity surrounding CNN’s hiring of Kaczynski and his team.

“I think this has been a mixed bag of a political season for CNN,” said Rick Edmonds, Poynter Institute’s media business analyst. “Getting a fresh unit with a fresh approach and a little younger and harder edge to them probably makes sense.”

He added, “CNN has tremendous audience reach, but the game keeps changing.”

Kaczynski made his CNN debut late Wednesday with a report on two more videos of Donald Trump interacting with Playboy Playmates.

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed has made some changes as well. In January two…

Learn more @ Why CNN Hired BuzzFeed’s Top Political Reporters and What It Says About BuzzFeed News via @Adweek

These Marketers, Content Producers and Entertainers Under 40 Are Shaping the Industry

These Marketers, Content Producers and Entertainers Under 40 Are Shaping the Industry

The 2016 class of Young Influentials features an impressive lineup of mind-blowing talent, all game changers under 40 who’ve made waves in the worlds of media, marketing, technology and entertainment. Featured on our cover is actor, writer and musician Donald Glover, who also is the creator and star of FX’s critically acclaimed dramedy Atlanta. Glover joins an impressive group of superstars, including Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon, social influencer Lele Pons, Annalect North America CEO Erin Matts and Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin. Identifying such a wide range of high achievers was no easy feat—crowdsourcing was key. This is the second year of an editorial partnership between Adweek and PopSugar in which co-founder and president Lisa Sugar served as selection committee chair alongside Adweek’s editors.

Read more: These Marketers, Content Producers and Entertainers Under 40 Are Shaping the Industry via Adweek

Amazon Made More Than a Hundred 10-Second Ads Asking Alexa the Funniest Things | Adweek

Amazon Made More Than a Hundred 10-Second Ads Asking Alexa the Funniest Things | Adweek

People are using Amazon Echo in so many different ways, and asking its AI, Alexa, so many different things, that the brand decided it was perfect for little vignettes. So, it’s rolling out more than a hundred 10-second spots, each with a funny little question or request of Alexa, in contextual and targeted digital, TV and social placements.

The campaign, called “Alexa Moments,” was created in-house and is designed to show off Alexa’s breadth of the capabilities and skills. (Alexa has more than 3,000 of these, apparently, so even doing 100 spots only scratches the surface.) Amazon tells AdFreak the work was inspired by real user stories, some of them gleaned from the more than 43,000 customer reviews of the product on Amazon.

Check out a bunch of the spots here:

Read more: Amazon Made More Than a Hundred 10-Second Ads Asking Alexa the Funniest Things | Adweek