8 Best Websites to Get Free Stock Photos for Commercial Use
We’re talking design here, right? At least, I hope that’s exactly what you've come here for. And what can be me more natural and essential for the designer to work with than images? No need to explain how powerful and engaging a good shot can be, no matter if you build a website, a social template, or a mockup scene. The trick is to find the right photo, even if it takes the whole bunch of time.
And what about price? Today, I feel almost as devastated when I look at the pricing tables of traditional photo stock websites as I did when I was a beginner with no dime to spent on assets. Fortunately, there is an alternative available for everyone, and I today I’m going to bring you a list of my favorite photo libraries that offer tons and tons of beautiful free stock photos for websites and commercial use.
I want to start with my recent discovery, the Moose created by guys from Icons8. I bet, you've never seen anything like this before, because in this library all photos were made by the same team in a consistent style across all photos. Just think of it — standard light, angles, and backgrounds allow you to combine the objects, models, and backdrops as you wish! And yes, it’s free to download and use for commercial use, just don't forget about the link.
If I would rank this list, Unsplash would be an absolute champion. A pioneer of (bullshit-)free photo stocks, it was an obvious game-changer when it appeared. It took me a while to realize, honestly, because its library was quite vast and of incredibly quality even on release. They supposed to charge but they didn't. And they don’t. As a result, Unslplash managed to build a fantastic community of passionate and talented photographers who are ready to offer their amazing work to the world with no string attached. And no wonder, as a photo-enthusiast, I’ve started my own profile on Unsplash years ago, and uploaded some shots to share.
Today, Unsplash is huge. Thousand of beautiful hi-res photos and images, smart tags and filters, curated collections, wallpaper and shop sections, even an app for your smartphone! It’s everywhere (absolutely deserved), and you should check it out if you somehow missed out on Unsplash.
When it comes to my website, I'm a Squarespace girl, as you might notice. However, I must give a credit to Shopify for their free photo stock library, Burst. It's getting a standard, guess, but Burst is way more than just a photo library with a search bar. Besides thousands of open source images in high resolution (available for email subscription BTW), it offers well-grouped collections, tips on how to post and run Facebook ads, and trending business ideas. Definitely worth your time, guys.
After spending so much time on food and cuisine-related design products, I just can’t pass by a professionally-made food photograph! That’s how Foodiefest has made to my list. Of course, you can find some nice food photos on other websites, but the focus is always a good thing when you're in a hurry and know exactly what you want.
Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions. Recapturing History. What to add! I love New Old Stock so much. Vintage style will always be a thing in the design industry, and this library is a 100% genuine and brings fantastic vibes to your work. Besides, you should note that this is not a stock as we get used to them, it's a constantly updating collection of basically random shots. Which makes it even more fascinating to me to browse through latest images hoping to find a real treasure.
Jay Mantri is my favorite photo blogger who posts his shots under the Creative Common license. Which means Jay doesn’t mind you using them for commercial purpose! Not so many updates in his feed lately, but the amazing photo archive is still available for everyone. So, if you are just like me, who have an amazing time just browsing through photo collections across lifestyle, urbanism, architecture, nature, food, and many more categories, this blog would be a great fit for you.
Death to Stock is more complicated than any other website from the list. Basically, it's a subscription service for artists that brings premium photos, video, graphics and media downloads. Sign up with your email to receive free sets of images every month alongside occasional stories, and giveaways. Though my catch from Death to Stock is kind of occasional, I'm still getting excited every time new email from these guys hit my inbox.
Now, let's say you don't need just an abstract beautiful image for your mood board, or a hero block but something very specific. What if you need something specific, like a woman with a laptop, or a man looking on his wrist? In this case, I go to Pixabay and use its search engine to browse through over 1.4 million free images. As far as I know, this is the largest library of the free for commercial use images you can get (yes, some of them can be found on other websites, but this is not about exclusivity), and sometimes it's all that really matters.