Where to Find Free Stock Photos for Your Website

April 25, 2016

Where to Find Free Stock Photos for Your Website


A few short years ago, I was working at an ad agency where I huge part of my job was sifting through Shutterstock to find photos for our client’s campaigns. This task was tedious for a couple of reasons:

1. Most stock photography is suuuppperr cheesy. Like, women eating salad, fake business dude signing a deal kind of cheesy. It’s hard to find a good stock photo that doesn’t look staged.

2. Searching for stock photos on massive stock photo websites like iStock, Shutterstock and Getty images require you to get pretty specific with your search terms. There’s SO much content, that everything starts to look the same and it’s hard to find anything worthwhile.

3. Traditional stock photography is EXPENSIVE. A generic, high resolution image can start around $35 a pop and I’ve seen prices of up to $150 for a single photo before. When I was at an agency we paid for a premium account that allowed us to download up to 25 images a day for a monthly cost, but for most businesses, that’s not an economical option.


Over the past couple of years, there’s been an explosion of free stock photo options (*insert prayer hands emoji here*).

If you’re a small business, start-up, or freelancer, this is the way to go to find photography for your website and print materials.

So  now you’re probably like, WHERE THE HECK DO FIND THESE MYSTICAL FREE IMAGES YOU SPEAK OF? That’s the only downside with free stock photos is that they can be pretty darn difficult to find.

Lucky you, because I’ve rounded up all my favourite free stock photo resources below:


Visual Hunt – I’ve consistently been impressed at the range of images I can find on this site. Sometimes I’ll end up something weirdly obscure and somehow this site has the perfect photo.


Pexels – This site is a really good source for nature based images. If you need lots of sunsets, landscapes, or animal photos, this site is your jam. They also have plenty of “lifestyle” type images too, if photos of kitchens and computers are more your thing.


Unsplash – Unsplash tends to venture out into some unconventional territory. I often find their images are more artsy/architectural than advertising focused. Great for background images on your website or another kind of ambient texture!


Stock Up – This is a great stock photo site for start-ups. If you need pictures of iPhones, Macbooks, or cool looking people who you want to use your app, this is where you should go.


Foodshot – Loads and loads of (duh), pictures of food. Instead of scamming someone’s nice instagram shot of their brunch for your blog, do the ethical thing and use a photo from here instead.


The British Library – If you have a project that calls for a historic vibe, you can dig through The British Library’s Flickr account and take what you like!


The Library of Congress – Similar to the British Library, the Library of Congress has oodles of images categorized and archived on their Flickr account. Lots of great vintage finds here.


Nomad Pictures – There’s a real hipster vibe to this one. Need a photo of matcha? Nutella? Fixie? Got ya covered.


DesignersPics – More generic by nature, but if you’ve got a more generic type of client you’re working for, these are the right amount of subtle.


Kaboompics – I like this site because I feel like their images are always a little playful and kind of fun!


And there you have it, 10 awesome sites where you can find free stock photography that you can use virtually any way you like. May you never have to use a photo of a woman eating salad ever again.

Looking for more amazing, free design resources? I gotchu covered. Download the free ebook below!

22 Free Design Tools for Your Online Business




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