One of the most difficult things you can do as a online content creator is to marry a great photo with your copy. Most often times the image is what gets the reader’s attention. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing crappy stock images of people in suits shaking hands, pointing at nothing, etc etc so those articles will get passed over easily. Not only are a lot of these stock photos tacky, but some of them cost serious money!
Thankfully, there’s been a growing number of websites with beautiful stock photography popping up all over the web. Best of all, they’re free.
This is an updated list of awesome websites that provide free stock photos. This article is a version of a post by Christopher Gimmer.
What About Licenses?
Many of these photographs on the sites listed below are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
However, some photos may require attribution. We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.
Pikwizard has a very large selection of beautiful high resolution images. The site also includes a useful image editing feature making it very easy to crop images to exact specifications, add text, etc. There is a small fee if you decide to incorporate some of their design templates, but those who are not proficient in Photoshop will find it worth a buck or two.
Attribution is not required for Pikwizard images, but individual photos have different usage licenses. Most are free to use for editorial and commercial use. However, a few images come with restrictions against commercial use meaning that you cannot use them in the creation of banner ads, etc.
StockSnap.io has a large selection of beautiful free stock photos and high resolution images. The site also has a very handy search feature making it easy to browse through the thousands of images available. In addition, the site tracks views and downloads so you can find the most popular photos available.
StockSnap adds hundreds of images on a weekly basis and all photos are released under creative commons public domain – no attribution required.
Unsplash is a collection of free high-resolution photos and has arguably become the best source for stock images. In fact, we’ve noticed some of our theme authors using these images in theirBootstrap themes & templates.
Unsplash releases 10 new photos every 10 days and they’re released under the creative commons public domain license.
Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures are added weekly and are free of copyright restrictions. All pictures are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.
Negative Space provides 20 new photos every week released under Creative Commons CC0. The photos are searchable and can be sorted by category, copy space and color.
Splitshire is a collection of delicious free stock photos by web deisgner Daniel Nanescu. The photos are free for personal and commercial use.
This mention comes with a bit of sad news. The owner of the site Nic passed away and thus no longer provides new pictures. All photos that have been posted were released under the creative commons license public domain dedication.
Life of Pix
Life of Pix is a resource created by the LEEROY creative agency offering free high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions. New pictures are added weekly.
Death to Stock Photos
Every month a photo pack of 10 photos within a certain category will be delivered to your inbox. The goal of Death to Stock Photos is to bring you a variety of options in which to use for your mockups, blog posts or social media.
Death to stock photo uses their own license which you can read on their webpage.
Superfamous is the Los Angeles-based studio of Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter. You can use the work for your own purposes — including commercial use — as long as credit is provided. Folkert features various collections including aerial, biological, geological, and more.
Picjumbo is a collection of totally free photos for your commercial & personal works. New photos are added daily from a wide variety of categories including abstract, fashion, nature, technology and much more.
A curated collection of free resources, all for commercial use. Since the photos are curated from various sources, some photos may require attribution.
New Old Stock
Vintage photos from the public archives free of known copyright restrictions.
Free mobile photos for your personal or commercial projects.
Freestock offers a wide range of high quality photos all released under Creative Commons CC0.
Get 7 free photos every 7 days. Photos are public domain and free from copyright restrictions.
7 new photos released every Thursday under the Creative Commons CC0 license. Jay Mantri posts some really nice photos with a variety of different themes.
Tookapic stock is a marketplace for both free & premium stock photos. You can filter by free photos which are all released under Creative Commons CC0.
As you can see, there’s a growing number of fantastic resources for stock photography. These websites have become a blessing for designers, bloggers and creative people. We strongly encourage you to browse through each of these and use them on your radio station websites and promotional materials. Just be sure that the individual image license covers you.