Building up a library of stock photos can take quite a long time, and if you're using paid stock photo sites for all of your photos, then the costs of adding more photos to your collection can get quite high. Although paid stock photo sites often have the benefit of massive selections and excellent quality, there are many free alternatives for padding out your stock photo libraries.
If you’re looking to build up your library of stock photos without breaking the bank, then these sites are for you.
1. Death To The Stock Photo
Death To The Stock Photo was started to provide high quality images to brands, businesses, freelancers and artists to help them develop and improve their visual aesthetic without having to pay through the nose. Since then, the site has grown quite considerably, and they consistently provide high quality images for anyone to use.
Unfortunately, these images are not released under the CC0 licence as many other free stock photo websites are. This means that there are some restrictions in the use and distribution of these images. However, with that said, despite imposing a few limitations on the usage of their photos, it’s still quite open and, for the most part, won’t be much of a limitation.
Take a look at their plain English licence to get an idea of the kinds of restrictions in place and decide for yourself whether this will affect you.
2. Snapwire Snaps
Snapwire is a website that connects photographers and photo buyers, allowing their buyers to commission custom photographs. However, they also run Snapwire Snaps on the side – a free stock photo subscription service that will send you 7 new photos every month.
Snapwire releases these photos under the CC0 licence, meaning the creator has waived all copyright and they’re completely free for any kind of use. You can read more about the CC0 licence here.
3. Pic Jumbo
Picjumbo was started in 2013 by Czech photographer Viktor Hanacek. Wanting to get his photos out there for people to use, he submitted them to all the popular paid stock photo sites and was rejected by all of them.
Not being deterred in the slightest by this, he created Picjumbo to release his paid and free stock photos to the public.
With a background in design, he understood the sort of photos that designers often need, and so Picjumbo has become a fantastic resource for graphic and web designers looking for high quality, high resolution photos.
All of these photos are released under the CC0 licence, so you are free to use them in any way you like.
4. Negative Space
Negative Space has a decent collection of free stock photos available on their site, but certainly not the biggest library of images compared to other sites. However, it’s the exclusive free stock photo newsletter they provide that really makes them worth checking out.
Like Snapwire Snaps and Picjumbo, these photos are all released under the CC0 licence.
These are just my personal favourites, but there are quite a few free stock photo subscription sites out there. If there’s one you think should be added to this list, feel free to post a link in the comments.
Completely Free For Commercial Use Stock Images
Stock photos can be a great way to visually get your message across to the viewer. However, buying these images can get quite expensive - especially on larger projects requiring a lot of images. If your projects budget can’t quite stretch far enough to cover all of your stock image requirements, you might find that you can pad out your collection by checking out some of these completely free stock image sites.
This post is going to go over the free stock photography websites that I personally use on a regular basis. I am in no way affiliated with these sites in any way – I just use their resources a lot and thought others might get some value out of them too.
Unsplash moves away from the standard generic corporate stock imagery and instead focuses on providing completely free artistic stock photos. While obviously not suitable for every application, this website is a great source of free images when you’re looking for something a little more interesting or quirky.
This website is usually my first stop when looking for free stock photos and has a great selection of fantastic images. Not only for the great quality and good selection, but also because it offers all of its images under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). This means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution.
This website has been around for quite a while and hosts a massive collection of free images available.
The quality of the images can vary, however. MorgueFile includes older, lower-resolution images, professional, high quality photo shoots and everything in between. But don’t despair, the sheer quantity of images on offer means that it almost certainly has something to fit your needs.
4. Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos was started to share some images being created for tech startups, and has since grown in to a nice collection of Startup and Tech related stock photos for you to use. If you're looking for images for any creative or tech-related business, this site has a selection worth checking out.
StockSnap curates a large collection of completely free stock photos. As this is a curated collection, the quality of these images is quite high. Not only that, but StockSnap exclusively collects images under CC0. This means no attribution is required, so you may use any of these images without worry.
There are a lot of other sites offering quality free stock photos, but these are just the ones I use. If you have another site you like to use, or if you yourself provide free stock images, let me know in the comments.
Completely Free Coffee Stain Graphics
Today I'm going to be giving away these completely free coffee stain vectors. These are available in vector format and you can use for both personal and commercial use.
I had created this set of coffee stained vector graphics for a coffee-themed infographic, but as it turns out I didn't need quite as many as I had made. So if you find these useful, then by all means click the link below and get your free download. These are free to use, no attribution is required. Just remember not to sell or claim them as your own.
Next week I'll be showing you how to use these graphics to create a photoshop coffee stain effect. Stay tuned!