“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” – Bruce Lee
Unlike other holidays when you might just get a chance to kick back and relax, Valentine’s Day brings with it themed projects. It is the day of flowers, chocolates and all things heart-shaped, and finding the right stock photos for your projects can be a right hassle. Just looking at the tones upon tones of pictures with flowers, candy boxes, ribbons and anything else that is typically related to love and romance can drive you positively bonkers.
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To assist you in your quest for romantic images, we have compiled a list of what we think are some of the best stock photos out there. You’ll find all the leitmotifs you could possibly want, from hearts and flowers, to candy, candles and couples, and as an added bonus, the photos are also free.
If you are designing something that is meant to highlight the more glamorous side of Valentine’s Day, than this is the picture for you. The colors are really bright, and the puckered lips in the heart give the impression three dimensionality to the image.
A well taken photo of a red, plastic wire heart. The lighting in this pictures is absolutely stunning, and the fact that the heart isn’t in the center makes it stand out even more. The black background really accentuates the heart ornament, and makes the whole photo a bit more moody and romantic than if it were with a white background.
Making hearts in the sand is one of those silly, yet cute things couples do when they go to the beach. So if, for example, you were looking for a thematic photo for a travel agency’s website, this picture would work great as a header for it. It could also work well as the background photo for a one-page website at the “Contact Us” section.
Roses are universally accepted as being the “romance flower”, so this would not be a proper Valentine’s Day list if it did not have roses in it, and there’s more where this came from. This could go really well on a wedding planer website because the roses are pale pink, and the background is gray and white.
When trying to express romance, you can never have too many roses. The lighting in this photo is similar to the one in the 2nd image on our list, and so is the background. This time, however, instead of a heart shaped decoration, you have a lovely, tightly packed bouquet of multicolored roses. You could use this photo for virtually anything.
River stones are absolutely gorgeous. They are smoothed by the constant friction that the river applies to them, and sometimes nature and time mold them into peculiar shapes. This stone, for example, looks like a heart, which should fit your purposes like a glove. The photo itself is also brilliantly executed, and you can do a lot of playing around with it in Photoshop.
You can not have a romantic dinner without candles. Candles are atmospheric, and they make you focus on your date. In fact, the only two things more important for a Valentine’s Day dinner date are the food and the date, in that order.
The photo is pretty nicely centered, and the lighting is spot on as well. All and all, keeping with the romantic dinner theme, this is a great photo to use when designing anything for a restaurant.
Always keep in mind that there are people who, rather than going out to spend big money on expensive dates, prefer a quiet night at home, perhaps reading a book. This photo is just the thing you need when designing with someone who thinks Valentine’s is too much hassle in mind. It focuses nicely to a point just inside the pages, and it’s also black and white, making it easy to edit.
Sweets are paramount to romance. That being said, lollipops are the whimsical, and sometimes childish couple’s candy of choice. This stock image is fantastic for designing something for a business who caters to couples that are more likely to go rope skipping than to a movie or dinner.
It’s good to think outside of the box, so rather than using the traditional red apple, you could try using a green one. Green is a fresh, reinvigorating color and, if you want to over-think things, it can represent new love (you can have that sales pitch for free). The photo itself isn’t flashy at all, so you can modify it to your heart’s contempt.
White pearls and red satin. This image just oozes romance in a very “Hugh Hefner” kind of way. The fact that the pearl necklace is put in clam shell is a nifty little artifice, and the “calculated negligence” with which they sprinkled little hearts on it really goes a long way to making this a cool photo to add to your collection.
It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without gifts, so our gift to you is this photo meant to insinuate gifts. The gift that just keeps on giving.
Yet another rose stock image. This time it’s a lovely macro of vibrant red rose. Since the entirety of the picture is the rose, it could really work great with a bit of text, using a really classy, perhaps hand-written font. It can be a cover, a header, a calling card, and the fact that it’s read will definitely make it eye-catching.
Gray is a great color because it goes with anything. Here we have just that, a gray city background that really highlights the huge pile red balloons. This too is a great image for a header section, or part of a one-page website.
Old-timey photographs are absolutely superb. You can’t help thinking about the people in them; what were their aspirations, dreams, lives and, of course, loves. This photo is really cool, because you don’t a lot of century old images in stock photography. Even the typography is well thought of, seeing as the “w” in “snow” is slightly faded.
Chocolate is an aphrodisiac, so it’s safe to assume that when designing something for Valentine’s Day, you might want to add chocolate in there somewhere. If the chocolate is heard shaped, even better. This Valentine’s Day, and you want the viewer to know that.
We’ve mentioned candles earlier in a romantic dinner situation. What we’ve also mentioned earlier is how to cater to people staying at home on Valentine’s Day. Having a quiet night at home doesn’t mean it can’t be a romantic quiet night at home.
Hearts and candy go together hand in hand, because they’re romantic like that. This photo gives you a lot of freedom to play around with it in Photoshop, and make it the photo you are visualizing in your head.
Making a heart with your hands, with the sun in the center is a pretty common thing to do. But common is serviceable, and it gets the job done.
If what you are designing is going for the nostalgia angle, then this image will bring the point across with fantastic accuracy. It’s cute and innocent, and nostalgia is the new retro.
That raps up our list of Valentine’s Day stock photos to use in your projects. We hope you find them useful, and that they’ll save you plenty of time, so that you can celebrate Valentine’s yourself. Be sure to let us know what you think of the images in the comments section.