Top 10 websites for free, non-cheesy stock photography

Image courtesy of Death to Stock

There are many times when we need a decent picture to complete a project or a bit of content. But most stock photography sites are either too expensive or have too many cheesy images of stuffy characters in suits.

What is one to do when faced with the requirement of a decent pic, that frankly – doesn’t look like your typical stock photo?

There are a growing number of websites offering fantastic, non-cheesy stock imagery, and even better – they’re free! They offer this service because they either have an upgrade option on their website, where you pay a subscription to access more, or they want to raise their profile.

Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under Creative Commons, which means you can copy, modify and distribute the images for commercial purposes, all without asking for official permission. Here are 10 of the best.

1. Death to the Stock Photo

Founded by two rogue photographers Allie and David, Death to the Stock Photo was launched in 2014 to help creatives struggling to find images that fit their vibe and tribe. There are plenty of free photos to choose from, but there’s also an option to upgrade and ‘go premium’.

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2. Pexels

Described as the website with the ‘best free stock photos in one place’, Pexels adds five new high quality photos daily.

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3. Little Visuals

Little Visuals is a simple yet wonderful free resource where you sign up to get seven high-res images zipped up in your inbox every Thursday. Think quality city scenes and rolling landscapes, and you're able to use the images any way you want.

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4. Life of Pix

Life of Pix offers high resolution photos with no copyright restrictions. All images are added weekly and donated to the public domain, courtesy of Leeroy, an advertising agency in Montreal and its trusted network of photographers.

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5. Stocksnap

Calling itself your number one source for beautiful free stock photos, Stocksnap offers hundreds of high resolution images, added weekly. And not a whiff of cheese either.

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6. Unsplash

Another great little website, Unsplash adds 10 new photos every 10 days. And those pictures are quite wonderful. From fantastic portraits to architectural imagery, this will become an essential bookmarked site.

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7. PicJumbo

Created by Viktor, a web designer who understands the requirement of decent stock photography, PicJumbo offers full quality photos for free. Attribution is appreciated but not necessary.

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8. Gratisography

Gratisography provides free high resolution pictures you can use for your personal and commercial projects. All pictures have been taken by Ryan McGuire and are free of copyright restrictions.

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9. SplitShare

Photographer Daniel Nanescu loves photography so much that he gives his shots away for free. He's the driving force behind SplitShare, a website that's already had 80,000 downloads and over a million page views. And if you love the free images that you can access, there's also a 'premium' service where you can receive even more. The thing we love most about this particular site is the categorisation of images. Browse through fashion and food, wedding and technology - to find the free pic you need.

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10. Startup Stock Photos

For all those startups out there, this site is for you. Offering free stock imagery that you can use for any purpose, Startup Stock Photos even allows you to contribute and add your free pictures.

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