How to use Free Unsplash Photos in your Email Designs

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By Sarah Miller    4/23/2021

CorpNote has a library of email templates with illustrations and photos but many people require specific imagery. One source of free photos that we recommend is

Unsplash provides over 2 million high resolution photos, provided by photographers from all over the world, which makes them a fantastic resource for finding just the right image for your email designs. And they're free!

In today's blog, I'll show you how I use Unsplash and how you can use Unsplash when creating your own email designs.

How to use Unsplash Photos in Email Designs

Tips for Using Unsplash

You can search for photos by keyword or browse by category; but with 2.5 million+ images, it's sometimes hard to find what you're looking for. Here are some tips to help you more easily find the right image.

Related Photos & Collections: One of the best ways to narrow your search is to click on an image you like and underneath that image you will see related photos and collections. You can also click the tab for 'collections,' which is under the search bar, to see other people's collections.

Photographer Collections: When you find a photo you like, click the name of the photographer to see a collection of their photos and learn more about them. If the photographer has a lot of photos, you will see a 'Collections' tab where they have organized their photos into categories to help you more easily find what you are looking for.

Create an Unsplash Account: By signing up for a free account, you can save photos you like and organize them into your own collections. You can also favorite photos, make your collections public or private, and share your own photos.

Use Pinterest to Save your Faves: If you have a Pinterest account, you can save your favorite Unsplash photos to one of your Pinterest boards. For example, CorpNote has an 'Unsplash Faves' board which helps my team more easily find images and photographers we like. Check out our Unsplash Pinterest Board.

Crediting Photographers: It may not always be possible to credit a photographer, but if you get the chance, they appreciate it! Here's a helpful article on how to give credit: Unsplash FAQ - Crediting Photographers.

Using Unsplash photos in email designs that direct people to your blog.

Using Photos in Blogs, Social and in Email Designs: For each blog I post, I create a main image that matches my blog content and then I use variations of that image when I post in social and send our email newsletter.

This year I wrote a blog about what to say in a holiday eCard during a crazy year when the pandemic seemed to rule our lives. When I was cruising through Unsplash (trying to brainstorm), I found a whimsical photo that I was able to cut out and tailor to my specific needs.

If you don't have any graphic design experience - no problem! In my example below, I'll show you how to use an Unsplash photo in your email designs without any image editing.

How to Use Unsplash with CorpNote - Step by Step

With CorpNote, you can create emails for any occasion including invitations and surveys. For this step by step example, I'm going to create a birthday email using an Unsplash photo and embellishing it with images from the CorpNote image library.

Step 1: Download an Unsplash Image

Find an image that you like and click the 'Download' button. If you won't be adjusting the photo, you can save the 'Small' size which is 640px wide. If you have experience with graphic design and are going to make adjustments, you can download the image size you need.

CorpNote images display at 600px wide so the closer your photo is to that size when you upload it, the better your result will be.

Email designs are about 600px wide.

Step 2: Crop, adjust, add text etc.

This step is optional. You can use image editing software to crop, add text, add your logo and more. If you download an Unsplash photo on your mobile device, you can use an app or the built in image editing software on your device.

Step 3: Upload your image

Go to My Account > My Images and click on the 'Upload' tab. Follow the onscreen instructions.

The preview images you see for the small, medium and large options is what your image will look like when you upload it to your account. For my email design, I want the 'large' option so it will span the width of my email.

For my email design, I select the large option.

Step 4: Insert the image into your email design

Create your email from a template or begin with a blank email and start designing. Click in the editor where you want your image to appear and then click the images icon.

play video Watch a video on how to upload and insert a graphic in CorpNote

You will see your uploaded image on the 'My Images' tab. Click on the image to insert it into your email.

Insert the image into your email design.

Here is my final birthday email design using a CorpNote email template and an Unsplash photo.

Birthday email design using a CorpNote email template and an Unsplash photo.

For more resources and tips, check out our tutorials, contact us or give us a call. We are always happy to help!

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