10 Bookmark-Worthy Websites for Free Stock Photography

10 Bookmark-Worthy Websites for Free Stock Photography
Free Stock Photography

We’ll be the first to say that having visually stunning images is one of the most important factors for any web design project, especially ecommerce stores. We are also the first to appreciate how hard it is for web designers to get high-quality photography from their clients without having to take the photos themselves.

Therefore, having a number of “go-to” royalty-free photo sites on hand is always helpful. Whether you need a great product image to showcase your design, inspiration to brighten up your day, or a background for your latest project, here are 10 free stock photography websites worth a visit.

You might also like: 7 Handy Websites for Free Stock Videos

Free stock photography sites for web designers

Flickr

Not only is Flickr one of the leading image hosting websites out there, but many users also choose to offer their photos for commercial use under a Creative Commons license. Using Flickr’s photography search tool, simply select the “commercial use allowed” license and enter your image keyword to see results.

Free Stock Photography: Flickr stock photography

Pixabay

Pixabay is a source of over 430,000 beautiful, royalty-free stock photos and copyright-free vector graphics. You can download and use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form — even for commercial applications.

Free Stock Photography: Pixabay royalty free photo laptop

Stock Snap

Every photo uploaded to Stock Snap is released under Creative Commons: CC0 and does not require attribution. Photos are sourced around the web and from within the creator’s photographer network. To make life easier, Stock Snap also allows you to filter your image search results by date, popularity, and views.

Free Stock Photography: Stock Snap royalty free image cafe

Pexels

Pexels’ image database currently includes just over 3,000 free stock photos with at least 70 new high resolution photos added each week. All photos are handpicked from royalty-free image sources and are licensed under CC0 for personal and commercial usage.

Free Stock Photography: Pexels coffee beans image

Stock Photos

With direct links to categories including design, technology, lifestyle, and places, Stock Photos includes approximately 27,000 images available for commercial use as long as you give credit to the authors.

Free Stock Photography: free stock photo beach

Unsplash

A personal favourite of ours — this site is a deceptively simple, yet powerful directory of free-to-use high resolution photography. Their stock photo database is growing with 10 new photos added daily, plus you can refine your search by using keywords or categories.

Free Stock Photography: UnSplash photographer stock image

Negative Space

With 20 new free photos added each week, this site offers a large library of restriction-free images in a simple interface free of clutter. This stock photography site goes the extra mile by allowing you to filter images by category, colour, and the position of people and objects in the photo.

Free Stock Photography: Negavtive Space stock photo airport

Death to the Stock Photo

Founded by two rogue photographers named Allie and David, this site has the simple aim of helping brands "create rich digital experiences that elevated their visual aesthetic without shelling out wads of cash, or their sanity." Free monthly packs of royalty-free stock images are available to users via their mailing list.

Free Stock Photography: death to the stock photo post its

New Old Stock

If you’re looking for something a little different in your stock photos, check out New Old Stock. This Tumblr-powered blog features some amazing vintage photos from public archives — all free of known copyright restrictions.

Free Stock Photography: New Old Stock photograph of sunburst and canadarm

Stock Up

Stock Up is featured at the end of this list with good reason — once you’ve bookmarked this website, you might not need another one. Currently, Stock Up lets you search across a compilation of 25 high-quality, free stock photo websites. Their royalty-free image index is refreshed each week, so new photos are constantly being added.

Free Stock Photography: Stock Up beautiful field stock photo

Bonus website for free stock photography: Lorempixel

While not strictly speaking a free stock photography directory, Lorempixel is a great asset to have in your coding toolbox. Think of it like a Lorem Ipsum generator but for images — all you have to do is create a specially formatted URL, adding in your required parameters and you’ll receive placeholder images to use in your web design projects.

This is especially useful when mocking up designs in HTML or when you need to create a lot of images (perhaps for a product gallery) quickly.

Here are some handy examples:

Did we miss any tools that you use? Share your favourite free stock photography websites in the comments below. 

You might also like: 5 Websites to Download Free Subtle Textures and Gradients for Flat Design 2.0

Photo of Keir Whitaker

About the Author

Keir is based in the UK and works on the Partner Growth Team at Shopify. You'll often find him at conferences and running workshops on Shopify theme building. You can subscribe to his newsletter, read his latest articles on Medium, listen to his podcast, and follow him on Twitter.

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