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.