*UPDATED December 2018
If you have a blog, you probably have the need for photos every once in a while. Unfortunately, buying stock photos that are royalty free can get expensive, especially if you need a new one for every blog post you write. Not to mention, stock photos are not generally known for being the most attractive or creative–it’s not hard to spot a stock photo. The good news is that there are websites out there with free stock photos for you to use royalty free–ones that actually look really good!
So here it is…
My Top 5 Free Stock Photo Websites:
When Unsplash.com first came on the scene, they promised: “10 new photos every 10 days.” Today, it seems they have more than that added daily. Literally, all of these photos are beautiful. In particular, I would have to boast about the scenery photos this site has to offer. There is a pretty nice keyword search feature, and you can also filter them by different “Subject” tags (e.g. people, buildings, etc.). If you’re like me, and you want to just browse the entire selection of photos, I recommend you toggle to the “grid view” so you can see more at once. By default, it displays only the “Featured” images, but you can see even more by selecting “All”.
Since I first wrote this post, I’ve learned about Pexels.com, and it has quickly climbed up to number two on my list of go-to’s. As with many of these sites, I do end up seeing many of the same photos I find on Unsplash, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find many photos on Pexels that I don’t see anywhere else. I also have to boast about the search feature on this site, which is comparable to that of Unsplash.
3. ISO Republic
Isorepublic.com has a nice variety in it’s photo content. One thing you instantly notice is the vibrant colors in these images. You can filter based on the type of photo you are looking for. What’s most notable about this site is you can also search for different photorealistic textures.
Gratisography.com has free photos by photographer Ryan McGuire. These photos are bright and colorful and are unique in that most of them have a comedic element to them. It’s nice to have some not-so-serious stock photos available to you, especially amidst all of the seriousness you often find in other free images.
Though many of these free stock photo websites provide beautiful photos of scenery and exotic destinations, you’ll quickly find that images of people are in shorter supply. Pikwizard.com, however, has a large selection of photos featuring people. This newer stock photo website boasts 100,000 completely free images on their site, with over 20,000 of those are exclusive to their site, and they are adding new images to their library daily!
*Bonus. IM Creative
We’ve listed imcreative.com last, not at all because its photos lack in quality, but simply because it is the only site on this list with photos requiring attribution. This is certainly not a bad thing; it just requires a little more work (Click here to learn more about how to attribute creative commons photos). This site actually has a wide selection of photos with several categories to browse under. When searching for free stock photos, it is often hard to find good ones of people, but this website has a lot of usable images with people in them.