If you regularly blog or work with projects that require a lot of images to make them visually appealing, you’ll be aware of how costly buying stock images can be. It is worth it for the tremendous quality that stock photos produce, especially when you want the photos to be in-keeping with the tone and style of your website, project or blog; sub-standard just simply won’t work in these instances, and having no-image at all can look bare and basic. However, there are now some fantastic resources online that offer free stock images and the majority come with the same edge of professionalism that paid-for websites offer. While they might not always offer exactly what you’re looking for – which is when the premium purchasing style is best – the below examples are perfect for when you want to change up your image searching and ride the ‘free’ way for a project or two.
With a really handy search function, Pexels is a really great resource when you’re searching for a professional image for a project. Adding at least 35 new pictures each week, they select photos from free-sources around the web so viewers are getting the best of a very large bunch. All photos come under the Creative Commons Zero license, so you can use them for work and personal use without having to attribute them. It’s worth bookmarking this handy site.
One of the original free-image websites, MorgueFile contains a huge selection of free goods and has a really handy search function too. Most of the photos are user submitted, so some perhaps won’t offer the specialized touch you’re after, but there are dozens that are exceptional from many photographers who are using the site as a place to showcase their work and offer it away for free. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, MorgueFile also offer a search functionality for the main paid-for photograph websites which is a really handy feature.
Not many know about this little gem, but it is a really worthy favorite to add to your browser bar. iStock are known for wonderful stock photos, and each week they give away one free photo from one of their contributors to the website. Some may not fit the genre you’re after, but very occasionally they might just be perfect for your area or at least a blog project you have earmarked for a future date. Each week there is a new photo added, and each month you can also access a free illustration, video or audio clip. Make sure you access them quick though; once the month is over, they go back up to their regular purchase price, so it is worth checking in on this regularly.
A personal favorite of mine, Death To The Stock Photo really is a treat to behold…especially considering it is all for free. Founded by two photographers who knew how difficult it was to access free images that were still of high quality for businesses, they decided to create a missing piece in the market. You simply enter in your email address, and every month you get a new batch of (rather awesome) photos delivered. When you sign up, you also get a pack of free photos to get you started. Unlike some sites where free photos can edge on the side of amateur, Death To The Stock Photo is anything but…it’s all high quality stuff, and worthy of an email subscription for their free goodies.
Adding new photos daily, PicJumbo also comes with a very handy search function that is perfect to look for images for projects. Covering a large amount of topics, there is also the option to get premium membership per month at $6 that offers a special pack of photos delivered to your inbox once a month. Ideal for a whole range of projects at work, this is another website that deserves a slot on your favorites bar.
While attribution is hardly ever required for these free websites, it is always worth adding a link or two when you use their photos; for these wonderful free websites to continue, words need to spread and a little sharing goes a long way.