Finding imagery for design and marketing work that isn't a cliche stock photo of people in suits shaking hands can be a nightmare. It was a running joke in the office when we had to find multiple images for our accountancy programmes. Not only are the images tacky, but they can cost money too!
Fortunately there are some beautiful websites growing in numbers now, offering awesome stock photography without the cheese. I've pulled together my top 8 for now to get us started. There are many more out there though, so do let me know in the comments if I've missed any of your favourites.
Note about licences: Most of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under the creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify and distribute, even for commercial purposes without asking permission. How cool is that!
However, some photos may require attribution, so please make sure you double check before using.
Here we go...!
My personal favourite. Pexels provides high-quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. The photos are well tagged so you can search for all sorts. They also have 'discover pages', which group photos by theme e.g. animals, seascapes, entrepreneur life and artistic portraits, so you can get lost in the options and find some really different imagery.
Another large collection of free high-resolution photos gifted by photographers and released for free under the Unsplash license. You can find the best photos featured on their homepage, but the search works well too to find what you're looking for.
StockSnap adds hundreds of images on a daily basis and all photos are licensed under the creative commons public domain, so no attribution is required. The site has a great search feature, which makes it easy to sort by popular searches and recently added images.
This is a great resource from Shopify that provides free stock photos for entrepreneurs. Some photos are licensed under the CC0, while others are under Shopify's own license - so just keep an eye out. Most of the photos are original photos that were taken in-house and are themed around trending business niches, but you can find more general images too.
Reshot is a great library of handpicked free stock photos you won’t find elsewhere. Built for startups, freelancers & makers who are sick of tacky stock photos. Free to use commercially and editorially–no attribution required.
Community of creatives who share copyright free images and videos. All images are released under the Pixabay license, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.
A collection of quirky free high-resolution pictures you won't find anywhere else. The images are added weekly and captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.
This is fabulous. A collection of vintage photos from the public archives that are now free of known copyright restrictions. Well worth a browse.
So that's all folks. Let me know what you think and your favourites.
Until next time... happy snapping!