Designers and artists rely on free stock photos a lot and it can sometimes be difficult to find the right one. To help you with this, we rounded up the 17 best places to get free stock photography. Have a look!
Free Stock Photo Websites
Stock photos are expensive but there are ways to many ways to get free stock photos. Generally, the quality of free stock photos does not match those from paid stock photo websites but if you’re looking for something simple (i.e. landscapes), you’ll be able to find it from these websites. Be sure to check out these free stock photo websites before buying them from other stock photo agencies!
Public domain photos are photos without intellectual property rights usually because of expired copyright or by choice (ex. government work). Thus, these images can be freely with less limitations than other free stock photos. There are many sources for public domain images but our favorite is the one on Pond5 where they made it easy to find and download the image you want.
stock.xchng is one the largest free stock photo website with over 400,000 photos and 2.5 million registered users. They have been purchased by Getty Images but still run as a free website. All their images use a standard image license agreement. Their website still looks the same way it did years ago but it’s still easy to use despite the smaller thumbnail sizes.
Dreamstime is one of our favorite places fore free stock photos. What makes Dreamstime great is that they have a lot of high-quality stock and you don’t have to worry about licenses or restrictions. Dreamstime has nearly 10,000 royalty-free images licensed under their Limited Royalty Free License (RF-LL) that gives you the same terms as their regular Royalty Free license but with a maximum amount of 10,000 copies. If 10,000 copies isn’t enough for you, you can still purchase the image under the regular RF license.
MorgueFile is one of the oldest free stock photo websites; founded in 1996 with the purpose to “provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web’s morguefile.”. Because of their age, they have a lot of good quality photos and an easy-to-browse website. The best part about MorgueFile is no registration required!
This is one of the cleanest and easiest to use search that lets you find free photos on Flickr. Each image download informs you of the terms (in case you need to attribute the author) and provides a clean HTML code that you can copy and paste for the credits. The best thing about StockPholio is that you get direct downloads with no registration required.
This is the world’s most popular website for textures. As implied by its name, CG textures has a lot of textures but they also have stock photos too. We love CG Textures because all their photos are distortion/noise free and perfect for 3D artists. They offer a free account which lets you download up to 15MB/day in most sizes.
DeviantART separates from all other free stock photo websites because their images tend to be geared towards artists and you can typically photos here that you can’t find on other websites (ex. fantasy, models, etc.). We’re in love with the stock on DeviantART but the rules some authors use make it more of a hassle to use than other stock photo websites. No registration required but please read their rules – many authors on DeviantART have their own rules and they vary greatly from one author to another.