Top Free Stock Photo Websites to Save You Time, Hassle and Money
There are apparently 2 million new blog posts written and pushed out onto the Internet every single day. Holy moly, no matter which way you dice it, that’s a lot of content.
One of the biggest challenges that business owners, content producers and even graphic designers we’ve spoken to face when it comes to content is – how do you source free photos that you can use on your website, blog or social media channels?
Of course, you can pay a subscription or per image via some of the world’s largest stock image providers like iStock (Getty) or Shutterstock. But that can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re just searching for a photo of some trees to use on a Facebook post and can’t really justify spending hundreds of dollars on it.
So we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite FREE stock image websites and resources for you.
Keep in mind that different websites still have different licensing rules that apply to their photos, for example, some require attribution. We’ve done our best to only list websites that require no attribution at all and are free for you to do whatever you like with. However, we recommend you clearly read the fine print on each individual site to be sure.
This is one of our favourites. You can subscribe for a free monthly delivery of photos sent to your inbox. They are high quality, gorgeous and definitely worth waiting for each month. Every pack is themed differently and once you sign up, you’ll receive your first bundle of photos immediately.
This site has only a small amount of images and doesn’t have a search functionality, however always worth bookmarking for a browse. The photographer who created the resource, Jonas Wimmerstrom, is based in Sweden, so expect lots of gorgeous nature-related imagery.
It has a lot of very generic looking photos, but if you’re willing to do some deep-diving and searching around, it can come up with the goods. You can also search by keyword, which is always helpful. None of these images require attribution and are yours to do whatever you like with.
A tumblr-based photoblog with a mixture of different photos. All are free to use and high-res. There are definitely some goodies in here. The downside is how long it takes to browse the collection – but hey, free photos!
This site has a small library of nearly categorised photos available – they’re in collections such as People, Architecture, Nature, etc. I particularly enjoy the Textures section for manipulating in Photoshop for use as subtle backgrounds.
This site has a slow loading time because the images are so high-res, which can be frustrating however the quality of photos is high and there is a wide range of images available. You’ll find lots of moody landscapes and lots of black and white, strong contrast, angular type shots.
Not my personal favourite collection, however this site has lots of people-related photos. Need a shot of someone driving a car? Someone exercising? Someone listening to music? You get the picture <- haha, get it?
There’s no search function, so you’ll need to be patient, but there are some hidden jewels amongst the library.
Lots of pretty, moody professional images available here – just be sure to read the attribution rules carefully, as some photos require it while others don’t. You can also search by “dominant colour” which is a nice point of difference that some designers may find handy.
Gratisography probably has the wackiest, most out-there mix of images out of all the sites mentioned here. Once you visit, you’ll understand. There is a lot of diversity amongst the themes of the photos and some downright weird ones too, but it definitely has something for everyone.
Another tumblr-based photo blog with free photos. Again, lots of moody, atmospheric type images but also a lot of commonly used themes like technology, cityscapes and food. We really like this one, even without having a search functionality. The images for the most part are very tasteful and professional looking.
As the name implies, this website is full of free-to-use nature and environment-related photos. The quality is very hit-and-miss, some look like they were shot on someone’s point-and-shoot digital camera, but others could definitely be used to create some beautiful looking imagery.
Do you have any other free stock image websites to add to our list? Let us know, and if you need help with any of your social media and digital content plans, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Milkbar Digital.