Images are everything these days. And unfortunately one or two good ones on your website or blog just won’t do the trick. So it is essential to have a pool of amazing, high quality free stock photos at your disposal so that you can spend your money on things that aren’t free.
Some of these are my favorite go-to image sites and others were great discoveries that I came across researching for this post. With this list, there is definitely no need to pay for photos anymore! Good luck.
Pixabay is first on my list because it is my first stop for free photos. They’ve got a huge selection and (for free photos) they’re pretty amazing. Experiment with different keywords and take note of the “related photos” that are listed under each picture when you click through. I still edit and touch up most of the photos I choose, but many of them are ready to go right away!
Unsplash is a neat website with a cool concept. You subscribe to it (for free) and every week you get an email with 10 free images. Most are landscapes, but that works well if you’re adding text on top. I try to go through the email every time I get it and save my favorites, but I’ve also created a special folder in my inbox where I save the Unsplash emails so that I can go back if I’m in need of something specific.
Pexels is just like Pixabay with one really cool feature – on their homepage, they also show their newest high quality photos. I like going there just to see if something jumps out at me (it’s almost like Pixabay and Unsplash put together!). I still tend to find more on Pixabay, but Pexels selection is large, so if I’m stuck I will usually be able to find something here.
Death to Stock
Death to Stock is another free subscription service that will send you a pack of images once a month. They come from a creative duo and they’re great if you write about blogging, working from home, design, or anything else in the arts. The images are all high quality and most lend themselves to the addition of text, which is a big bonus in my book.
Gratisography is a really unique place to find free photos. Most of the photos are a little weird…but almost all of them are high-quality. And let’s be honest, after a while you get tired of the same looking photos. When that happens, this is where you want to go. It’s different, but really, really impressive.
LibreStock has a huge selection (probably the largest on this list), but the quality isn’t necessarily the highest. However, if you’re good at editing photos this might be your best destination. There is a lot to choose from, so it’s great for niche topics…or better yet, for the broad topics that you feel like you’re always using the same images for. It will also automatically connect you to other free photo sites if your search terms match (which can be a big bonus).
StockSnap was a new discovery for me and I’m really excited to start using it! They have a Pixabay type setup with a basic search engine, but also have the Unsplash and Death to Stock feature of weekly emails for new images. Many of the images are unique to StockSnap, so it’s a good fresh selection if you’ve been scouring the others for a while.
I’ve added Picmonkey to my list for newbies, but it is not a stock photo site. It is a free photo editing tool, but the reason I’ve listed it is because it can be a lifesaver if you just can’t find the photo you’re looking for. There is a design option that you can choose that will allow you to design your own canvas. You won’t be able to design a photograph (obviously), but you can do some amazing things with just text and embellishments that will look 1000x better than a bad photo. Some of my most pinned images are actually just text images created on Picmonkey. Nothing is worse than a bad photo! Everything is visual these days, so if you can’t find the right image, just ditch it and create something original.
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