Stock photography websites are a popular source of images used by bloggers, web designers, and other designers creating engaging marketing materials. Of course, the majority of those sites (like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock), charge a pretty penny for use of their photos.
It can be a challenge to find free, high-quality photos that you can use commercially, but there are a few website gems that provide stunning photographs that are free download and use in your projects. Here are a handful of such sites, most of which have been founded by passionate photographers that want to make their and other photographers’ work accessible to the masses.
Pexels houses searchable, curated photographs uploaded by users. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which means that you are free to use for personal or commercial projects, and you don’t have to include attribution. Bonus: They have free videos, too.
IM Free is part of IM Creator, a drag-and-drop website-builder. IM Free advertises itself as a collection of web design resources. So, not only does it have photographs, grouped by subject, but also sports free website themes and icons as well.
Almost all of the photos on this site are the product of one photographer, Viktor Hanacek, who decided to create his own stock photography website when standard stock photography sites rejected his photos (which is a wonder, as his photos are lovely). While I don’t care for all of the ads riddling the layout of this site, it does have a great collection of searchable photos and images. There’s also a premium membership which gives you access to extra photos, as well as photo packs emailed to you regularly.
Another photograph collection featuring one photographer, Ryan McGuire, this whimsical site features beautiful photographs searchable and grouped by subject.
Death to Stock
Death to Stock emails you free photos every month, but if you want access to their entire collection, you need to sign up for their premium membership.
SplitShire offers free photos for personal and commercial use, and, like most of these sites, is searchable and grouped by subject. The organization of the site is not the most intuitive, but its collection is top-notch.
Made by Snappa (an online graphic-design tool), StockSnap.io is a beautifully-designed website of searchable stock photos, all released under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
Do you have a favorite place where you find beautiful stock photographs? Let us know in the comments!