Updated: May 24, 2022
Whether you’re a graphic designer, photographer, or just a person looking for great photography to use, anyone can get use out of free stock photos.
Some might argue that stock photos are cheesy, but they don’t have to be! You just have to know where to get the right pictures.
Many of the websites below offer amazing photography for free, but some photos may require attribution, like the one in this post. I’ll include the licensing information with each recommendation below, so let’s get started.
Unsplash.com is a great platform for photography, as photos are submitted by various photographers knowing that “all photos published on Unsplash can be used for free.” To quote the website’s licensing policy:
You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible. More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.
Unsplash is where I got the photo used for this post, and they offer simple and clean credit options including a short text link like the above or a cool badge. Quality is maintained because their team vets each submission and chooses the best ones to offer for free.
Freepik.com is a great alternative to Shutterstock, with a large collection of both free and paid photography. Their stock photos are a little more “stock photo-y” in the traditional sense, but sometimes this is more on-brand depending on your needs. Use their filters to sort out free photos in the search query. Each image is free for personal and commercial purpose with attribution. Whenever you download a photo, an attribution link is generated to make it easy.
StockSnap.io is another great option with a large library of beautiful photography. Their license allows you to “copy, modify, distribute and perform their photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”
Pexels.com offers incredible photography images for free without attribution for any use or modification. What’s unique about their site is that they also offer free stock videos.
Pixabay.com is similar to Stocksnap.io and Pexels, and also offers photography images for free without attribution.
Foodiesfeed.com is a collection of images specifically for food photography. This resource is also all for free without attribution.
There’s countless other websites that offer their own free photography, but these are just my favorites. Sometimes you need ‘stock photos,’ and sometimes you need a photo that looks and feels more organic.
Have you ever used any of the above? Do you have any recommendations of your own? Let me know in the comments below!