As a web designer, I am always on the hunt for beautiful unique images that will portray the right vibe and elicit the desired response from visitors. And because I’m not into adding unwarranted costs to a website project (or charging you for images when I got them for nix), I’m happy to send my clients to freebie sites to find that perfect image.
So, I have trawled the net and put together an updated list of free stock photo sites, Why? Have you ever tried searching for free stock photos on the Net? There are loads, but the quality is too low or they are watermarked, or you may run into copyright infringement issues if you use them. The alternative is buying images from sites like Shutterstock or iStock, now that can be very expensive! And to be honest, most are not that creative.
So here you go:
- What I love about the Superfamous images is texture, texture, texture. Ooodles of images of nature’s beauty.
- Business, Food, People, Abstract & Nature, Picjumbo has easy navigation and high-resolution photos.
- Unsplash has so many beautiful, inspirational and sometimes quirky images that I just HAVE to find projects to use them!
- IM Creator has numerous categories including templates, button maker and icons. What a find!
- Gratisography is my particular favourite for their collection of whimsical.
- MorgueFile has 350k photos. Enough said?
- This site is huge. Not only photo’s but illustrations as well. And it’s searchable which saves a lot of time. One of the most exhaustive directories of open-source FreeImages.
- If you need architectural or landscape photos fast, GetRefe is ideal.
- LittleVisuals has some nice ‘observational’ photos. Sign up for its email list and you’ll receive seven high-resolution pictures via a zip file every week.
- New Old Stock is a collection of black & white, antique & retro photos, many taken by government agencies or discovered in estate sales. It was great to find so many of the same style all in one place.
- The simplest site on this list, Picography is a scroll-through gallery of random shots of urban & nature pics.
- A great collection of stunning views & vistas, Jay Mantri, has inspiring photos that’s updated every Thursday.
- And lastly Public Domain Archive, you could get lost in the multitude of breathtaking images on this site.
What’s Photo Attribution and Licenses?
If you’re looking for photos to use for a design and want to keep yourself out of copyright trouble, you need to locate websites that explicitly define the copyright license of each image. For all the sites listed above, the license is generally pretty easy to find.
Attribution is simple: If you include a photo on one of a web page, add text that cites the photographer (“Photo by Sue Jones”) and be sure to include a link to his or her site, if there’s one.