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The best places to get brilliant stock photos

Every website needs some pictures, and high quality ones are a must these days.  If you’re blogging, you’re going to need a steady supply; here are some places to find great photos you can use for free on your website.

Free resources

The Stocks is a really useful place to start – it’s a single site cleverly built so you can browse some of the best sources of free photos all in one place.  You can sift through lots of different sources, from the well known Pixabay and Unsplash, to less well known and even individual photographers’ royalty-free sites: Little Visuals, New Old Stock, Super Famous, Startup Stock, Gratisography, GetRefe, Crow the Stone, Pexels, Jay Mantri, Madeline, Travel Coffee, Moveast and Barn Images.
http://thestocks.im

**Since I first wrote this article I came across LibreStock which is brilliant – it searches 43 different free stock libraries so you don’t have to search separately.  You then go to each individual library to download.
http://librestock.com

Also look at:

https://stocksnap.io
http://negativespace.co
https://picjumbo.com
http://deathtothestockphoto.com
http://publicdomainarchive.com

Paid-for stock libraries

Not all of the sources above has a search facility which means it can be quite time consuming to find something suitable.  If you’re looking for something unusual or very specific, you may wish to pay a stock library.  Stock libraries can be less expensive than you may imagine – try the following.  (Always remember to check what size the image needs to be and download the appropriate size – sometimes the price varies.)

https://fotolia.com
http://www.dreamstime.com
http://www.bigstockphoto.com (This one has a free 7 day trial with 5 downloads a day.)
http://www.shutterstock.com (More expensive than the three previous.)
http://www.istockphoto.com (At the time of writing, the most expensive of the options listed.)

Google Images

There are masses of photos from all kinds of sources freely available for use that you can search via Google Images (https://images.google.com/).  Search by keyword, then click the cog at the top right of the search results (as shown below).

 

Google Images

 

Choose “Advanced search,” scroll down, and next to “usage rights” choose “free to use or share, even commercially” (or whichever is suitable for your purposes).  Choose from the search results, and click on the picture to see it on its original website, where you will be able to see if there’s an accreditation you need to include.

 

Google Images

 

Note that whatever the source you use, you must always read the small print and check if you need to give a credit for the image you’ve downloaded or purchased.

The photo used above is from Unsplash, by Caleb Ralston.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Alannah Moore
    8th October 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks to @ultrahdart for tweeting these great additions to the list:
    http://www.splitshire.com
    https://foodiesfeed.com
    http://www.uhdwallpapers.org
    http://kaboompics.com

  • Reply
    Tom Francis
    12th November 2015 at 5:11 am

    Good list of resources – I have reviewed a number of additional free stock photo sites on my blog here https://www.itpages.com/download-high-quality-free-stock-photos/

    Hope you find these links useful!

  • Reply
    Yinan Chen
    24th August 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Hi, very informative article.
    Please also check out https://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of unique public domain photos, all high-resolution and free to use for any purpose.We specialize in photos by location as we document cities, national parks, state parks, national landmarks, and more. We update with 20+ photos each week. Appreciate it if you could add us to your list of sites.

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