There are loads of free stock photo websites and image galleries all over the web. Some are generic submit-your-own sites such as giant Flickr, whereas others cater for specialised niche markets such as travel photos, landscapes, people and macro photography. Stock image providers such as Istockphoto charge per image download; at the other end, others such as Rgbstock offer stock photography free of charge in return for the publicity generated. Other stock photography websites fit somewhere in between.
Working through the terms and conditions of each site to work out which offer free commercial and non-commercial stock photography can be a headache at the best of times. That’s why we have put together a list of the best free stock photo websites on the web for you. Images free for personal and commercial use.
6 image archives free for personal and commercial use
A fresh, clean website that is easy to use. All images are free for personal and commercial use including websites, blogs, brochures and marketing.
2. High Resolution Stock
This is technically a texture share website, but should be included it here as it is a great designer image resource and involves photos. The website design here is probably the most tasteful on this list. Create your own, upload, download and share your textures. This is a bloggers must have, and also a great tool for webmasters, presentations or school projects.
3. The morgue file. Don’t let the name put you off – this is one of the web’s biggest and most popular free image archives. The self-proclaimed image archive by creatives for creatives. The purpose of this free image website is to provide image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits. Some free stock photos do carry conditions such as link back or author credit.
Free stock photos for almost all use (you cannot resell the images, sell on printed tshirts, sell as part of a website template, or use in a logo).
5. Jeyjoo Gallery
A niche image archive concentrating on high quality free images of a travel and macro photography genre. They are actually a Sheffield web design company offering absolutely free stock photo downloads for commercial and private use in return for the publicity generated. Linkbacks and/or author attribution are requested.
6. Free Digital Photos
Similar to Jeyjoo, Free Digital Photos offer free image downloads for commercial and private use on small photos, with the option to purchase larger photos. Linkbacks requested. A nicely presented website, and images are easy to find.
The giants of image archivery I feel this talk on stock photography wouldn’t be complete without quick look at the giants of digital stock photography. Getty Images, Istockphoto, Fotolia, Big Stock Photo, Jupiter Images and are all in this category. Most of these sites charge per image download. Because anyone can upload their pictures, the same photos can appear on different sites and it can be difficult to find really great pictures as images are not given a quality check.