We all need photography for our projects or content. Sometimes, we can't afford to pay for a photographer, let alone stock images. There are times when we just need something that's free and we're allowed to use.
That's where the rise of free stock photography websites has helped cash-strapped freelancers, startups and small business in recent years.
These sites survive because they often have "premium" features where you can pay to access much more, or they might just want to raise their profile and benefit from people using and sharing their work. Whatever the reason, we're grateful for their generous offerings.
If you're already aware of Death to the Stock and you're a big fan of StockSnap, then these fresh recommendations will certainly be added to your list of go-to free stock photography sites. As always, if you can make sure that you read the rules and add credit where it's due, that would be appreciated.
Burst is a fantastic new resource, courtesy of Shopify, that offers a wealth of free stock images, many of which are licensed under Creative Commons CC0 and available to use for whatever you like. Just check the small print, as some pics will require attribution.
Animals, architecture, fashion, food and drinks, nature, technology, objects, people – FreeStocks is a great little stock photograph website that covers just about every subject. All photos on freestocks.org are free and licensed under CC0 (Creative Commons Zero). You can copy, modify and use them both in personal and commercial projects. However, you can not sell the photos themselves.
Jeffrey Betts is the founder of MMT, a great resource that provides free CC0 photography for personal and commercial use on websites, projects, themes, apps, and more. "I launched MMT in 2014 to share my love of photography with the world," says Jeffrey. "Over the years I’ve taken countless photos and wanted to post some of those photos to use for free and give back to the online community."
His content spans many categories, including nature, city scenes, workspaces, and macro photography. The photos can be freely downloaded, used, and redistributed for both personal and commercial purposes.
Every month, over 80,000 people from 209 countries visit KaboomPics, a royalty-free service for stock images that its founder, Karolina, has created. You are free to use her photos for purposes such as creating graphics for your blog or social media, making HTML/PSD templates (for sale), decorating your articles, PowerPoint presentations...you can even print them on t-shirts.
5. Foodies Feed
Do you often need a photograph of some food? Foodies Feed is the only place you need to visit to satisfy your appetite for great food imagery. Even better, all pics are free and listed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence.
6. Jay Mantri
Jay Mantri is a designer by day, "burger monster by night". He's also a very generous soul who provides free stock images for you to use, for whatever purpose. "Free pics, do anything (CC0) and make magic," says Jay, on his website.
Need something a little more feminine? Styled Stock is the place to visit. It provides beautiful and free styled images for your projects with a feminine touch. You are allowed to use their images for any commercial or non-commercial purposes. However, the image copyright is still the property of its author.
You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although not required, a link back to Styledstock.co is always appreciated.
8. Negative Space
Beautiful, free high resolution photos with no restrictions – that's the promise from Negative Space, one of our favourite go-to stock imagery websites. For personal or commercial projects, all of their CC0 licensed pics are completely free to use.
Another fantastic resource for free stock photographs, ShotStash lets you download its imagery to use for commercial or non-commercial purposes. You can use them to illustrate articles or blog posts, print in t-shirts, phone cases or book covers, post in social networks, distribute in your design and use in Keynote or Powerpoint presentations. Just read their license rules.
Epicantus is brought to you by Daria, a visual and UX designer as well as lean startup coach. She creates a lot of landing pages and prototypes to collect feedback and test various business ideas, so she knows how important it is to make things fast. "Finding images that carry the right message usually takes hours, therefore every photo I make in my spare time will appear here for you," says Daria. "All of them are free for personal & commercial use."