Updated 9 February 2019 – now contains over 58 resources!
Regularly finding stock photos and items for creative projects that don’t require a money tree can be a right pain in the butt. Yes, people deserve to be paid for the photos they take, or the graphics they create, there are no arguments there. Unfortunately for most people, buying images and graphic design items regularly can become a financial headache. We all need a free boost up from time to time.
Thankfully, thousands of generous souls provide their stuff for free. While there are many more options out there, aside from the list below, I’ve included a number of my favourite places for finding content. This list contains websites where the content is available for both personal and commercial use – an important distinction if you are using content for clients, as well as yourself.
Where required, I have mentioned the sites where the stock photos and other items require attribution. That is, whenever you use their items, you must put a link back to the place you got the item from. This is how people receive recognition for their work. For the remaining sites, while attribution is not required, it is polite to acknowledge their generosity by linking back.
- Snapwire Snaps – new images every 7 days
- Get Refe
- New Old Stock – free vintage photos.
- Unsplash – 10 new photos every 10 days.
- Death to the Stock Photo – monthly photo packs available by free subscription. To subscribe for the free monthly photos, scroll to the bottom of the home page to find the subscription box. You can also sign up for a paid monthly subscription to have access to their entire catalogue, plus additional photos not included in the free packs.
- Albumarium – free with proper attribution.
- Pixabay – images, vectors and illustrations. Requires signup.
- Startup Stock Photos – stock photos with a business theme.
- Magdeleine – attribution required.
- Gratisography – some good photos, and some..erm, odd ones
- Split Shire
- Life of Pix
- Epicantus – NB: hasn’t been updated since Oct ’17.
- Finda – for searching images across multiple sites. Check attribution on photos.
- Foodies Feed – free food stock images.
- Free Nature Stock – exactly what it says it is
- Free Range Stock – requires membership. Be careful when looking at the search results, as there are premium stock photos included above and below the free ones, and you will be redirected to another website if you click on them.
- Good Free Photos – check individual photos for attribution.
- Iso Republic
- Jay Mantri – hasn’t been updated in a while, but the pics are high quality.
- Je Shoots
- Burst – Hosted by Shopify. Credit not required, but appreciated!
- Move East – Photos taken from locations around East Asia.
- Photo Everywhere – attribution required.
- Pickup Image
- Skitter Photo
- Stockphotos.io – membership & attribution required.
- Foter – requires membership. Photos are usable in blog posts using the provided embed code.
- RGB Stock
- Stok Pic
- Superfamous – attribution required. Photos of landscapes, nature and architecture – some great ones if you are looking to create some texture overlays.
- IM Creator – check attribution requirements on individual photos.
- VisualHunt – VisualHunt contains well over 354 million stock photos, and some are absolutely stunning. Well worth a look!
- Kaboom Pics – Attribution is not required, but is appreciated. Turning your ad blocker off is also appreciated, as it helps cover their costs for hosting the site.
- The Stocks – The Stocks is a website that has many of the above image links (plus many others I haven’t listed on the site) built into it, so you can access photos, mockups and other visuals from within one area
- All the Free Stock – This is another site that lists many free stock photos, video clips, and stock audio in a single place.
- Negative Space
- Fancy Crave – A stock photo site for commercial use. Each photo submitted to the website is assessed by the Fancy Crave team before it is added to the site, ensuring that only top quality photos are made available.
- Nappy – White people are over-represented in most stock photography websites. Nappy is a new site which seeks to correct this by offering high quality images of black and brown people.
- Graph Berry – free PSD templates, mockups, UI kits and icons.
- Freebies Bug – free fonts, stock photos, PSD templates, WordPress themes (bear in mind that free themes usually don’t have any support), Illustrator files, Sketch files, website codes and plugins.
- Deviant Art – free graphics, vectors and images. Check the licencing (attribution) requirements on each one.
- Freepik – free vectors, PSDs, Illustrator files, etc. Have their own exclusive content (marked Freepik), and link to other sites that may require signup and/or attribution.
- Vector Portal – free vectors, templates, logo objects and more. Check attribution for each one.
- Dry Icons – free vectors and icons. Attribution is required, or attribution-free items can be purchased for a small fee.
- Creative Market – Each week Creative Market has a list of six freebies you can download for the week, including fonts, images, vectors, PSD templates, website templates, etc.
- Flat Icon – free vector icons, icon fonts and PSD/Illustrator/After Effects plugin.
- Texture Zoom – free textures for enhancing photos, etc.
- Fotojet offers a more affordable price point to Canva and PicMonkey, with comparable features
- Pixlr X is Pixlr’s replacement for their old Adobe Flash version, giving you basic options for image adjustments such as contrast, brightness, sharpen, smooth, etc. Fantastic for quick adjustments that don’t require you to have Photoshop-like knowledge. For additional editing features, try Pixlr Editor. Go high level with the ability to edit Photoshop and Sketch files with Pixlr Pro, which is $US5/yr (at time of writing). Pixlr also has as a phone app.
- GIMP – free open source image editor. Like Photoshop, but with a few less features. There is a lot of help documentation available to navigate this software.
- Inkscape – the free equivalent of Illustrator.