Photography plays an important role in design. Yet, these days we’ve grown accustomed to seeing tacky, obviously fake images attached to websites, reports, advertisements, and other media. For reasons unknown, stock photo sites seem all-to-keen to post tacky, obviously-fake images for sale, sometimes at ridiculously steep prices.
No one wants the photos. In reality, they do nothing more than make the stock image site look bad. Yet, the alternative-hiring a photographer-is way out-of-league for many people.
Photographers take stunning photos, indeed, but they come at a cost unaffordable for many people. Who has a few hundred bucks to fork over for a few (spectacular) photos?
So what is there to do when stock images suck and photographs cost too much money?
You thank your lucky stars you made your way to this article!
Say farewell to the problem and hello to the new way to get stock photos. Both cheap stock images and free stock photos are available at sites that take the ‘stock imagery’ out of stock images. They implode with design, style, and fun, piquing the curiosity of everyone who sees the photo. The site creators were people like you and me who were sick and tired of seeing cheesy, tacky photos for sale on stock image sites. Each site on this list offers cheap and free images for your choosing. The high-resolution, high-quality images look nothing like the usual stock photos we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. These photos stand out for their uniqueness and beauty, not the usual ” OMG, not another stock photo,” reaction.
The new and improved stock photo sites are put together by people like yourself, people who were tired of the usual, boring, cheesy smiling man in a business suit stock photo. Now, you’ll have a wide selection of photos to pick from. Download and use the photos however you’d like, on any platform or in any manner.
All for free. Yes, that four-letter-word we all love is finally yours with these awesome stock image sites.
Download the photo, adjust the image to your liking or take it as is, and use it for your social media posts, website, advertisements, or other print or digital needs. Which sites offer these not-so-stocky photos for free? Glad you asked. Check out the 7 stock photo sites below for access to great images for all your photography needs.
Canva is our favorite royalty-free image tool. It combines a database of royalty-free images with Photoshop-like design capabilities so that you can create very compelling blog covers and featured images as well as robust infographics and other designs.
Canva offers thousands of templates for blog graphics, social media images, and more so you can quickly take royalty-free images and modify them to fit your channel’s style.
You can use our template to get started getting free images with Canva. Follow the instructions in this video or the steps below:
- Create a copy of our template.
- Search for a photo by clicking on “Elements” on the left sidebar than searching for an image.
- Drag the image onto the background template.
- Save and download the image.
The best part is that Canva is integrated with many of the royalty-free image databases mentioned below, such as Pixabay and Pexels, so you don’t even have to go to those individual sites to get the images.
Pixabay is one of our favorite free stock photo websites for blogs. They have almost 2 million free stock photos and provide an easy-to-use search to quickly lookup relevant tagged photos.
Signing up for a free account eliminates the need to complete a captcha every time you want to download a photo. Pixabay also lets you choose which resolution photo you want to download so that you get the right-sized image for your blog.
Each week, Negative Space serves customers a new batch of free stock photos. Without copyright restrictions, anyone can use the photos however they’d like and for any purpose or need.
The site features beautiful images ranging from technology to landscapes to food. Find exactly what you want using the easy-to-use search features. Sort images by category, color, or other characteristics.
Pexels is another great free stock photo site that lets you download photos from hundreds of categories.
Allie and David, Death to Stock owners, knew how terrible the stock image selection was. They developed a site designed for bloggers, creatives, and business professionals to find high-quality images that vibe with their brand and needs.
Submit your email to register, and then enjoy all the amazing photos available. Each month, Allie and David send a new batch of photos to your email address.
Premium memberships are available, with part of the proceeds benefiting creative projects. These cheap stock images are worth well more than the low monthly cost.
Upsplash is one of the most well-known stock photo sites. It’s also one of the best. The site has a ‘do what you want’ motto, giving users free-range to do with the photos what they please. Unsplash uses a Creative Common License agreement.
Upsplash features user-submitted images in a broad range of categories. Images for business and personal use are available on the site.
Unlike many stock photo sites, Unsplash takes care to select images with a fun appeal in the industry they represent. You’ll find so many images that choosing your favorites might be easier said than done. Enjoy 10 new stock image uploads every 10 days with Unsplash.
Need stock photos of brown and black people for your brand, agency, or start-up? Nappy says they’re on a mission “To provide beautiful, high-resolution photos of black and brown people to startups, brands, agencies, and everyone else.” The site is one of very few of its kind. The appealing images certainly make an impression in the stock photos-world.
Like most everyone, the Nappy creators were dissatisfied with the current stock imagery available for download, particularly the lack of diversity. Companies that wish to represent themselves diversity had trouble because of the lack of photos.
Visit their website where you’ll find hundreds of black and brown-skinned people in their stock images. All images are free and licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CCO) license, giving users the authority to modify them or use them commercially.
Fancy Crave offers near-perfect food images ready-to-use after download. The photos look amazing and give a new perspective of photo-licious imagery. Use the photos on your website, as blog photos, on social media, in newsletters, business cards, or elsewhere you require great imagery.
The Fancy Crave library is diverse and broad. Expect far more than food photos. The site features photos in many categories suitable to freelancers, business owners, and many others.
Each day, Fancy Crave uploads two new stock images to the site for users. The daily uploads keep the site fresh and unique. Fancy Crave users always get full copyright usage to the photos they download. That means you can modify, alter, or otherwise use the photos in any manner you see fit. Just use them, says Fancy Crave!
Proudly proclaiming that it’s not ‘your typical crappy stock photo site,’ StockSnap.io features hundreds of completely free, use-as-you -please images in so many categories. They certainly prove their claims with their large collection of images in many categories.
Each week, StockSnap.io adds hundreds of new photos to their already broad stock image selection. This ensures users always have a variety of unique images to pick from. All free photos exclude copyright restrictions. Use them commercially or otherwise for any purpose.
Reshot offers unique images you won’t find all over the internet already. Hundreds of images are available at no cost. The license agreement varies on each photo, but many come completely copyright-free, giving you usage however you would like. Each photo offered on the site is handpicked based on its quality, appeal, and uniqueness. The stock imagery suits freelancers, start-ups, and freelancers, although anyone can find photos they’ll love on Reshot.
Use images for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The photos look amazing when used as blog photos, on websites, and on social media. Reshot doesn’t require attribution, but give credit where it is due and help keep the site going strong.
Best Free Stock Photo Sites
As you can see, the choice of stock photo sites is growing. New stock photo sites take a different angle at imagery than what we’ve had. So far, so good. Check out the seven stock photo sites recommended here. Each site offers great photos that just about anyone can appreciate. The sites mentioned here are sure to become favorites on your list as they provide images for all of your professional and personal needs. Tell all your friends!