My Top 5 Resources for Free Stock Photos
As a designer, I often scoff at those tacky, cliché stock images of tiny fish-eye perspective people pointing at a giant clock to indicate being late, or an astonished businesswoman gaping at a large upward-trending graph with no data on it. However, imagery is one of, if not the most powerful elements of any good design and although I typically advocate for using your own authentic, relevant images, sometimes it is necessary (or just way easier) to find ready resources. That's why I've compiled this list of my top 5 go-to resources for FREE stock images.
There is undoubtedly a place for paid stock photography engines, for instance when you need something exceedingly specific (i.e. an African-American, same-sex couple, arguing on a couch in a mediators office *real-life example*). But, in most cases, you can find something great from one of these sites.
Why should you use photos from these resources instead of skulking around Google images?
You'll get beautiful professional photos, probably better than any you could take yourself;
You don't have to worry about usage licences;
You'll avoid a lawsuit.
Perfect for when you just can't get that perfect food pic for your instagram feed. Just fake it!
Extremely high-quality, high-resolution food images;
Lots and lots of those trendy overhead style pics that are currently en vogue;
No attribution required;
A much smaller library than the others, but also a very niche topic;
These photos are curated from many different sources, including some of the ones listed above, but;
You can sort photos based on dominant colors, category, tags, or license;
Results show resolution, palette and camera specs;
Free for commercial use; attribution required for some.
These photos have a very specific style so you my not have use for these all the time, but they're very cool and work well for brightly coloured, eccentrically themed websites.
New photos added every week;
A very niche collection of artistic, eccentric and humorous photos;
Free for commercial use without attribution.
Always make sure to double-check the licence of any photo you intend to use to avoid trouble. Even if the licence doesn't require attribution to the author, it's always a nice thing to do and appreciated by the artist.
Now, go let those creative juices flow!