Whether you are a blogger or a web designer, you are likely to have come up against a situation where you need some high quality stock images for a project that you are working on.
This may be placeholder images for a theme template, as a visual illustration for a new piece of content you have written, or even to develop as a basis for some graphic design work. Finding good images that you can legally use is very hard however, as most are subject to copyright restrictions.
This often leaves you with very few options, the main choice being paying for stock imagery on various stock image websites. Although a perfectly reasonable route to take, often the cost may far outweigh any real monetary benefit gained from using the images. Sure, if it is for a large project and the client’s budget can absorb costs then go ahead, but even then they can often be somewhat cheesy…
So we’ve collated some of the best free stock image resources around to make it easy for you to find the nicest imagery to use for your next project.
Pic Jumbo offers a wide variety of stock images, most of which are available to use completely free. With an email newsletter, it is easy to stay up to date with the newest additions and gradually create a pool of stock imagery you like. And if you really like the photography, then they also offer premium packs not available to regular users.
Death to Stock Photo works on an email sign up basis, delivering you a collection of beautifully shot high resolution images, completely free each month. Started by David Sherry & Allie Lehman, the photography gives you a range of entirely unique feeling stock imagery, as well as new twists on old styles. If you wish to access past or premium collections however, they do offer a paid service as well.
Unsplash offers 10 new photos every 10 days, with a big focus on beautiful landscapes & nature. Their email subscription service once again allows you to sign up and slowly build a vibrant collection of images periodically sent directly to you, or alternatively why not browse what is already on offer on their website.
New Old Stock takes collections of images without copyright and curates them on their site. Often, these images can be either old images whose copyright has expired or from bodies such as national libraries or NASA who freely distribute their images. Normally with links to the image’s original Flickr page, the site offers the perfect springboard for delving into a world of fascinating traditional images.
Splitshire is completely free for personal and commercial use, and offers a wide range of stock imagery. With an easy to use search and some nice on site categorisation, it is easy to find the right kind of thing you are looking for.
Little Visuals gives you 7 high quality stock images free to your inbox every week. With a very simple website, it is easy to browse through the past images and download individuals, as well as zip files of the latest packs. Being primarily nature and scenery led, you can find a nice selection of unique images.
Stok Pic is a bit of a newcomer, making a big impact with an incredibly diverse portfolio of styles and themes of imagery. With a email subscription service offering 10 pictures every two weeks, it’s once again easy to build up a nice collection of imagery.
Life of Pix uploads a wide range of high resolution stock imagery every week or two. With a range of styles and photography and some fantastic landscape photos, you’re bound to find something perfect for building templates or designs.
Probably the single most diverse free resource for images, Wikimedia Commons has nearly anything you could possibly think of, with nearly 24 million resources. This isn’t even restricted to images, with video and audio also being available if required.
With advanced image searches on Google, you can search any website for images that are specifically marked as being free to use, either personally or commercially, with or without modification. A lot of the results you are going to get are going to come from Wikimedia commons, however it does give a nice interface for searching them. A brief word of warning though – be carefully what sites you use images from, as people could potentially upload copyrighted images to a site and mark them as copyright free.