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As many site creators know, it’s daunting to find images to represent the message you’re trying to put out into the world — especially if you don’t have the equipment or time to make your own.

At WordPress.com, we’re constantly striving to make it as easy as possible to create beautiful websites that represent who you are and what you stand for. We’re excited to announce that we’ve been working hard with Pexels and other diversity-focused image-library partners so that everyone with a WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected site can realize their vision with the right stock photos.

To use these images, just head to your Media Library and select Free Photo Library before searching for any image you need. You can also do this from the Add Media option within a post or page:

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Free images representing a wide range of experiences

In January 2018, we collaborated with Pexels to integrate their free stock-image library into WordPress.com. Since then, every user has had access to thousands of free, high-quality images at their fingertips! Knowing how diverse our community is, however, we didn’t stop there.

Stock-image libraries have historically struggled to represent all experiences, and often excluded photos of people of color, people with disabilities, or non-binary individuals. Pexels is working to change that, and since partnering with them we’ve helped incorporate diversity-focused libraries to their collection. Ultimately, we believe it’s on us to help find a solution to this problem, and avoid generic stock images that often perpetuate stereotypes.

Our first partner in this effort was the Women of Color in Tech Stock Photos library (WoCinTech for short). We were thrilled to work with them, as they were an earlier driver for these efforts. Christina Morillo, one of the project’s co-founders, had this awesome message to share:

We started this collection to address the lack of visible representation of women of color engaging in technical tasks in stock images. Our mission was always twofold: Disrupt stock images and further representation of women/non-binary people in technology by making the photos accessible to all creators. We are thrilled to partner with Pexels and WordPress.com to further this mission and help creators like you represent who and what you stand for.

Since adding their brilliant photos to Pexels, we’ve seen their stats soar with more than 70,000 downloads and 28 million image views:

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These statistics show how great the need and desire are for truly representative images online. What started out as a passion project of the WoCinTech group has now reached more than 70,000 people in the span of a month. Since we introduced the free stock image library, WordPress.com users have already downloaded more than 1 million photos.

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Going forward, we’re thrilled to work with Pexels to bring other diverse image-library partners on board, and to expand the selection of images you can access.

We need your help

We’re continuing to add more image libraries! This is where we could use your help:

  • Suggest in the comments below image libraries that we should reach out to that will help expand our offerings.
  • If you’re a photoblogger, upload your images to Pexels and immediately have them available for other WordPress users to find.
  • Become a part of future diversity-focused photo challenges on Pexels like this recent one from Pride Month.
  • If you’re a blogger or site owner, make an effort to use more diverse images when sharing content on your site.
  • If your company provides images for customers to use, we recommend integrating with Pexels to give your customers access to a library dedicated to diversity in images.
  • If you run an image library offering diverse images, comment below and we’ll get in touch with you!

Happy WordPress-ing! 🙂

Photos by Christina Morillo of WOCinTech from Pexels

Introducing: A Diverse, Free Stock Photo Library