We’ve all used stock photography before. Whether sourcing an image for a creative project or to accompany a blog post, we’ve all scoured the web for that perfect shot. The type of imagery we use is key as it really does say a lot about who we are or what we’re trying to say. Using cheesy ‘set up’ shots of stereotypical business types, high-fiving over their latest deal will only distance yourself from the reader and may discredit your message with it’s non-genuine aesthetic.
With stock photography being quite costly, it was deemed only an option for those who would see a return on their investment. Today, there is a wealth of free resources out there for those looking for high quality, royalty free stock imagery, so the ‘oh that’ll do’ approach to sourcing imagery for your project should no longer be accepted. Imagery is a key visual aspect to any project so picking the right image is vital if you want to be heard.
Below are 15 of our favourites free stock photography websites here at Reflect Digital, all containing high-quality, beautiful stock imagery to ensure your next project gets the attention it deserves!
A great source for free stock photography, Negative Space allow you to use their images however you wish with clear category navigation and search functionality, aiding your search for that perfect image. The images featured are of high quality and with new photos being added every week, this is a fresh and reliable source for free stock imagery.
Reshot openly promote themselves as offering ‘handpicked, non-stocky images’ -a quick look through their collection and it’s abundantly clear that they practice what they preach. A wealth of stunning imagery has been lovingly curated to allow creatives to ‘make something from nothing’. They understand that by offering quality over quantity, they elevate themselves as an essential resource for beautiful stock imagery.
The photos featured here are of extremely high quality and are completely free to use either personally or commercially. With a simple search and browse function, finding the right image couldn’t be easier. 3000 photos are added every month so there is always something new to enhance your project. In addition to this, they offer several tools that allow you to access their extensive library straight from your desktop or through Photoshop.
A vast, extensive range of free imagery can be found here and all for free. Like most, it has a clear search bar but it also allows you to filter your results by type, orientation, category, dimensions and colour – should your requirements be specific. The images all appear to be of high quality making this a very dependable resource for free stock imagery.
With images being added every day, Iso Republic is blossoming into an essential resource for high quality free stock imagery. The images are of exceptional quality making them perfect for those in the creative industry. For a small fee, you can also take advantage of their premium photo packs, which display stunning imagery for commercial use.
A nicely presented site with a wealth of high-end free stock photos. It is extremely easy to navigate and includes a simple search function as well as a useful ‘categories’ link that allows you to browse your way through their collection if you’re not after something too specific.
Life of Pix have created a stunning selection of free stock photography, presented through a very well designed, easy to navigate site. With an easy to browse category section and an advanced search that allows you to filter by category, colour and orientation, finding the perfect image couldn’t be easier. Their image detail page also boasts some nice features. Users being able to simply cycle through the large preview images, view contributor details, tags and find images using a similar colour scheme.
This is a great source of free imagery, boasting a vast collection of quality stock images. The browse function has an extensive selection of categories alongside the simple search bar. You’ll have to register to start downloading images, but the range of images on offer means you should sign up without delay.
Libreshot is a collection of images by Martin Vorel. He kindly allows you to download and use his photos anywhere, even commercially without attribution. With a large collection of sensitively taken shots, Libreshot offers something a little different from other free imagery sites. If you subscribe, Martin will send you all the latest free images directly.
‘Free, do whatever you want high-resolution photos’ is how Unsplash describe their offering. Immediately you’re greeted with a selection of jaw-dropping images covering a vast array of categories. A very clean website with simple search functionality and ‘collections’ section, finding the perfect image can be achieved with ease. Joining Unsplash will also give you 10 hi-res images straight to your inbox every 10 days.
Foodies! Naturally looking food photos that are completely free to download now has a place, thanks to Foodiesfeed. Started by Jakub Kapusnak as a personal project to give away his food photos that began to pile up after he became passionate about food photography, Foodiesfeed now regularly gets mentioned as one of the best website to get free food photography. The only issue here is once you start browsing through the mouthwatering collection, it’s very hard to stop!
Whilst sourcing modern, stylish imagery is relatively easy, finding old historic shots remains trickier. Thanks to New Old Stock, there is now a resource for vintage photos from the public archives that are free of any known copyright restrictions. All photos are available at the very least for personal and non-commercial use and the site offers an email subscription service allowing you to stay informed. Whilst the offering is understandably limited, there is still a wealth of otherwise unattainable imagery on offer here.
Pikwizard has an extensive range of great free stock imagery. It has a simple search function and also includes a ‘most popular’ section which categorises images by popular themes if your happy to browse for that perfect image. Whilst it includes helpful features such as a share function, tags and download stats it also has an edit function which allows you to take your selected stock image to the next level. Aided by a short tour clip, Pikwizard demonstrates how you can create a simple design project using their templates and editing tools.
A very slick offering from Shopify, Burst is a fantastic library of royalty-free images. The images are of a very high quality and are nicely categorised, saving you time when hunting for the right image. Burst feature a neat FAQ area offering reassurance to anybody downloading their images. Whether you’re after a natural shot of a working office or a serene landscape, Burst will more than cater for your needs.
Stocksnap exist to offer high quality stock photos for any creative project, for free! With a very intuitive and user friendly interface, they present a dazzling array of imagery that will save you hours of searching. Their collection is neatly categorised and your search can be narrowed further using their clever sorting system. They centre around a community based contribution system and only feature super talented photographers so you can be sure the images are of the highest quality.
It’s time to move the game on.
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