Whether you write a blog, design, or just dabble, chances are that at some stage you’ve needed imagery from sources other than your own. Thankfully, we have the internet and there are many, many free stock photo sites. However, finding hi-res, quality photography that suits your needs can be a bit of a challenge. Also, you need to check the licence agreements carefully if you are not wanting to link back, give credit, or infringe copyrights.
The following stock photo sites are the ones that I have found the most useful, and all of them are completely, do what you want, free. There are pro’s and con’s to each, and I’m sure there are plenty others that I’ve missed, but these are my top 4 (in no particular order).
Unsplash is the go-to for many designers, the site has a wide selection, gorgeous, high quality imagery and no ads. They also have a pretty kick-ass Instagram, showcasing new photos and designs made with Unsplash stock. The only draw back – as with every free stock site – is that some of the images are very popular, and you might just find that your cool new blog header…is featured on a few other blogs.
If I had to pick, Pexels would be my personal favourite stock imagery site. Again, plenty of beautiful images, bigger selection than Unsplash, but not to the point that you have to dig for what you need. There are little ads up in the corner, but not to the point that they are distracting.
Huge selection of photos, illustrations, vectors and videos. I find Pixabay especially useful for if I’m doing some photo manipulation, as there is just so much to chose from. However, if you are wanting standalone images, you can often have to sift through a bit of dirt to get to the diamonds.
Beautiful ( And I really mean BEAUTIFUL) images delivered to your inbox. A little different in that it is a subscription service, DTS sends out a themed photo pack every few weeks. Obviously this can be a drawback if you are looking for something specific, (you can however download the last 4 packs on their website, and a premium subscription gives you access to every photo in the DTS library) but signing up is well worth it, and over time you can build up a nice little library of your own. (I’d recommend a external hard drive)
As mentioned before, all of the sites are completely, 100% free, do what you want photos. Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay do all give you the option to donate “coffee” to the photographers, which is a really cool way to show your appreciation of their work.
So ya, hope this can come in handy to someone, and, if it does, I’d love to know 😉