- December 7, 2015
- by Ediz Moustafa
- 9 minute read
Stock photos get a bit of a tough time but, believe it or not, they're not all pictures of models with cheesy smiles on a white background. Here are 37 great sites that offer beautiful stock imagery - for free.
The kind folks at Raumrot curate and handpick the photos that they offer on their site, which explains why each one is so great!
Markus Spiske is a very talented photographer that makes a selection of his images available to download for free on his site. A lot of them are nature themed, though there's a great range available.
Offering a great range of photos, you're bound to find what you're looking for on Unsplash. They offer 10 new photos every 10 days, and you can subscribe to get them delivered to your email inbox.
Similarly to Unsplash, you can give your email to Little Visuals and they will email you 7 new photos every 7 days. Alternatively you can go to the site and either download images individually or each week's pack as a .zip file.
All of Ryan McGuire's photographs have a very professional look to them, so it's very fortunate that he offers them up for free to anyone that wants to use them! New pictures added weekly.
The photos at Getrefe are separated into different categories, making it super easy to find the perfect photo that you're looking for.
7. Jay Mantri
Offering 7 new photos every Thursday, Jay Mantri very kindly puts his beautiful photography on his site, totally free of any copyright restrictions.
The great thing about Magdeleine is that you can search for photos via three different methods; category, licence and dominant colours in the image. If you have a very clear idea of what you want the image to look like, or are trying to fit it into a design with a meticulous colour palette, this is an invaluable tool.
One of the few specialist sites on this list, Foodie's Feed doesn't only offer a great pun in its name, but also a fantastic selection of food photography. Some photo packs do come with a premium fee, though the vast majority of photos available can be downloaded for free! Great for food bloggers.
Not just black-and-white photos, like the screenshot of the site suggests! Picography has a fantastic, and varied, range of photos available for free download. You can even submit your own photos!
11. Im Free
The photos here are great and varied, though be aware that these images are only for commercial use, not for personal use. If you're using them for your business, that's fine, but no bloggers allowed!
12. New Old Stock
This is probably the most unique site on this list. All of the photos available for download are vintage, because copyright on an image only lasts for 50 years. This is a great way to add some authenticity and a traditional vibe to your site!
Superfamous has quite a lot of categories for their images, from 'aerial' to 'phenomenological'. Looking for niche photos? This is your place!
Picjumbo, like every other site in this article, offers a super selection of photographs available to download for free. But, unlike the others, Picjumbo also has a Photoshop plugin available for download. It's $11.99, but to have every picture from their site ready at your disposal in Photoshop, that's not necessarily an unreasonable cost.
Started by a family-orientated web designer, Matt, Public Domain Archive started as a way for him to organise all the best images he found online that were in the public domain. Eventually, people caught on and wanted the photos for themselves!
16. Life of Pix
Start with a photo of rural life in Africa, then scroll down an image or two and you'll have a picture of a seagull at the British seaside. If that doesn't scream 'variety' to you, what will?!
Are you thinking of launching a startup? Maybe you're past the thinking stage and are already in the process of developing one? Startup Stock Photos is, as you'd expect, targeted specifically at you. All the images are, you guessed it, free, because the makers want to help you out with your venture. Great for shoestring budgets!
Jeffrey Betts is the man to thank for these stunning photos, which are all free for commercial use. He uploads new ones every week, and you can even follow MMT on Twitter to be alerted as soon as a new batch have gone on the site!
Probably the most frequent poster in this article, Pexels uploads 5 new high-res photos every single day. That's not a misprint – every day, not every week! That's so often, you'd be within your rights if you wanted to make it your homepage.
As well as looking around the web for content, StockSnap uploads images from photographers who are generous to share their images for free. Their long term vision is to create an online community of photographers that want to share their work with the world. Watch this space!
A great thing about the photos offered by Resplashed is that they come already edited with great filters and effects. Considering that Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social networks, this is a great way to ensure the photos on your site are stylish.
22. ISO Republic
ISO Republic was started by English photographer Tom Eversley and is, according to the site, aimed at designers and developers who may be working on a small projects and don’t have the budget for good quality photography. Lots of texture photography here, as well as photos of architecture.
Stokpic finds a lot of copyright-free images on the web, but also accepts donations from talented photographers around the world. Because of this, the photos aren't all in one style, which is great. For a massively varied list, from lifestyle to architecture, this is the site for you!
The mastermind behind Function isn't by any means a professional photographer – and he often loves to remind people of this whenever he releases a new volume of photos – but that doesn't stop his images from being really beautiful. For convenience, each volume can be downloaded in a .zip file.
Bucketlistly is an online community of travellers that all work towards the same goal of crossing off various destinations on their bucket lists. There's a mobile app too, where you can unlock achievements for each item you tick off from your list. The creator of Bucketlistly has created this spin-off project where he uploads photos from his travels to inspire people. The images are free and can be used by anyone for any project. Just travel photos here, but what great travel photos they are!
Jonas Nilsson Lee is a photographer from Sweden who offers up a selection of his photos for free on his site, Cupcake. Lots of nature photography here, so definitely worth checking out if that's what you're looking for!
SplitShire offers self-proclaimed 'delicious' free photos, and in all honesty it's hard to disagree with them! The best thing about these photos is that they don't look like stock photographs, but rather very high-quality professional shots that you could have paid a lot of money for.
Sign up with your email address and every month Death to Stock Photo will send plenty of beautiful stock photographs straight to your inbox.
Tim Holman and Claudio Guglieri set up this amazing on going project which compiles patterns that are shared by the most talented designers out there for everyone to use freely in their own designs.
Through Snapwire you are able to build a custom photo library and choose the photos you need. You are able to request photos by telling photographers what you're looking for, setting a price and a time when you need it by.
31. Crow the Stone
The Crow the Stone tumblr account gives you free photos to use any way you want. Subscribe to receive new photos directly to your inbox every week.
32. Took A Pic
With Took A Pic you can capture your life with a daily photo. Take one photo a day for 365 days. You will create unique, beautiful, unforgettable memories all for free. Additionally, there are over 14,000 high quality stock photos available for you browse.
Women of Colour in Tech previously published a blog post where they discussed the problem of not having visible representations of women of color engaging in technical tasks in stock images. As a result they launched the first batch of #WOCinTech photos which are available under a Creative Commons (Attribution) license. This means that you may copy, distribute, and display the images as long as you attribute #WOCinTech Chat. Otherwise, you are free to use them as you wish.
34. Kaboom Pics
Kaboom Pic is a great place to get breathtaking free pictures for business or personal projects. Use the Search Box, click #Tag under the photo or choose Category to see images what you looking for. There are new pictures uploaded everyday.
35. Lock and Stock Photos
Aj Montpetit decided to open his own photo sharing community after benefiting greatly from others who had shared stock photos with him. The only thing he asks for is a link back to the site when a photo is used.
36. Move East
Moveast is a place where Portuguese born João Pacheco decided to keep track of his experiences and travels while allowing visitors to use his photos for free.
Klaye Morrison, is a web developer, who also likes to take time out and travel which is how her passion for photography began. She set up Shutteroo as a place to download high-resolution travel images. You are free to use her images for both personal and commercial purposes, but you must not resell or redistribute them.
Ediz is one of our marketing experts, helping e-commerce businesses improve their online presence. He has worked as a copywriter for a wide range of small businesses throughout the UK and has an excellent understanding of how to market to different audiences.