If you’ve been surfing the web or looking for current web trends then you probably noticed that large engaging photography has become a prominent trend in more recent website design. But finding compelling photos that are high resolution and meet your target audience needs can be extremely difficult. Most stock photo sites either provide super cheesy photos of business people shaking hands or free low resolution photos taken by amateurs. Not to mention, a lot of the time most half way decent photos are way out of budget. It’s also not always the most practical to hire, set up a stage and take your own photos. So as a web designer, I know that it can be extremely difficult and frustrating to find good quality, high resolution, and even artistic photos that meet a project’s needs.
After one of my go-to stock photo companies raised their prices through the roof, I found it necessary to explore other photography resources. I wasn’t surprised that they were hard to find and somewhat limited, but I’ve been able to put together a solid list of go-to stock photo sites that are free for all use, even commercial. We may need to purchase some photos here or there, but having photos you an do whatever you want with is great for designing websites and wowing clients.
The list provided below are all free for commercial and personal use. But it’s always a good idea to double check photo licenses and always credit authors when asked. I also want to give big thanks, to all talented photographers that are willing to donate their work to the public domain.
Unsplash provides 10 new photos, every 10 days. You can even subscribe to their email campaign and receive the photos right to your inbox. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means the author has dedicated their work to the public domain. You can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
Similar to Unsplash, Little Visuals provides 7 new photos, every 7 days. You can also subscribe to their mailer and have these photos sent right to your email. All photos published on Little Visuals have no copyright laws and can be used on any project, commercial or personal, without permission from the photographer.
Pexels adds at least 30 new photos every week that are completely free and can be used on any project, even commercial without permission from the photographer. Pixels even has a nice search feature to help you narrow down your desired photo category. The only restriction on Pexels is that any identifiable people in photos may not appear in a bad light, in a way that may be found offensive, unless they give their consent.
Gratisography adds new photos weekly and has similar copyright rules to all sites included in this post. All photos are free for personal and commercial projects as well as free of all copyright restrictions. You can also subscribe the their email campaign in order to receive picture alerts for new photos added.
5. Life of Pix
All photos on Life of Pix have been donated to the public domain. This means, once again you can do whatever you want with these photos. They’re free for commercial and personal use. Life of Pix even has free videos that are donated to the public domain. Visit Life of Vids for more freebies!
Not only are these photos free and easy to use, but the majority of these photos are perfect for web design projects. From one web designer to another, I hope these free photography sites make your photo hunt much easier, now and in the future.
Know of any other free stock photography sites? I’d love to hear about them. Please post the details below!