A Collection of 30+ Free Stock Photo SitesBy Alyssa Gregory
As a designer, you probably have your favorite go-to sites for free stock photography. But it’s inevitable that you will exhaust the supply on your favorite site or just need a few fresh images at some point. Here is a collection of more than 30 free stock photo sites to add to your list.
Touted as the leading free stock photography site, they have more than 390,000 photos. The site also has an extensive search functionality, lightboxes, and Photoshop and GIMP tutorials for a number of photo effects.
This free photo site has over 200,000 free images, mostly in the categories of scenic, nature, objects and still life. There is a filtering option so you can sort by category, size, date, color, etc.
3. Freerange Stock
This is a very nice collection of good quality photos. There is not a site-wide browsing capability, but you can browse photos that are provided by the site owners. They provide lightboxes as well as a new tutorials section.
Everystockphoto.com is a photo search engine that provides a portal to freely licensed photos. Results include photos from stock.xchng, Flickr and morgueFILE, among others.
Another free image search engine to check out: OpenStockPhotography
FreeDigitalPhotos.net provides a solid collection of photos in the standard categories (animals, people, sports, etc.). The quality is very good for free stock. Web quality versions of the photos (typically 640×427) are free, with a fee required for higher resolutions.
Stockvault.net has an extensive collection of images free for non-commercial use. The site also has tutorials, videos and articles.
It may not be the largest or most easily searchable collection, but Unprofound is a very unique site that provides free stock photos sorted by color.
This site has about 1,250 images, spread over a number of categories. The photos are very good quality and available in high resolution. A nice feature is that you can add images to your lightbox and then download them all in a ZIP file.
More than 3,000 photos focused on travel and leisure time in the U.K.
This is a small but quality collection of just over 950 images. No registration is required to download.
ImageBase has really nice high resolution images that fall under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. The site is searchable and browseable.
If you’re looking for a straightforward photo collection without a lot of other options, this is a good starting point. You select a category — primarily location-based and scenic — and can view thumbnails displayed on one page.
This site has 5,000 photos and 8,000 clipart images. The photos are separated by category with a limited search option.
16. Free Images
Free Images has more than 3,000 original stock photos all taken specifically to add to the image database on the site. They are categorized and searchable, with the top three categories being Home, Financial and Flora.
This site provides necessary information — direct links, terms, required attribution — with each photo, eliminating the need to dig around for the rights for a specific photo. They provide a fair mix of subjects from animals to technology.
18. Majestic Imagery
This is a small collection with just over 450 images. Most of the photos are scenic and nature settings.
19. Cepolina Photos
Cepolina has over 8,000 photos; some are high resolution. You can search, browse by category, or sort by clicking on image icons.
Dreamstime has a nice variety of images, but most require the purchase of credits. You can use the search function to locate free photos.
If you’re having trouble finding a specific photo, and don’t need it immediately, add this site to your list. You submit information on the photo you’re looking for and site volunteers attempt to capture the perfect shot for you for free. The photos taken are added to the public gallery for everyone to see and use.
A collection of public domain images from U.S. national parks. Other categories include headshots of government officials, event-specific photos and photos taken at youth programs.
For other U.S. government photos, try:
And here are a few more free stock photo sites:
Many of the sites listed here provide photos that are free for personal or commercial use as long as you provide a credit to the photographer and/or site. But since usage rights can change, be sure to read the policies on each site before using the photos.
Which of these is your favorite stock photo site, or do you have one to add to the list?