10 Bookmark-Worthy Websites for Free Stock Photography

10 Bookmark-Worthy Websites for Free Stock Photography

free stock photographyWe’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

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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: stock photos

6. Unsplash

A personal favorite 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

7. 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: negative space

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

Bonus websites!

11. Burst

free stock photography: burstShopify has officially released its own stock photography site — Burst. Burst includes all sorts of product shots and entrepreneurial lifestyle photos that you can use for your client's online store.

As an added bonus, if you have a client that wants to start selling online and expand their product offering, but doesn't know exactly what they’d like to sell, Burst offers business starter packs — photos, suppliers, and more to get an online business up and running.

12. Lorempixel

free stock photography: lorempixelWhile 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

About the Author

Keir is based in the UK and works on the Partner Community 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 his blog, listen to his podcast, and follow him on Twitter.

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