The Ultimate Free Stock Photo Guide

Do you need free stock photos for your email marketing or blog? Creating professional newsletters can be a difficult process if you don’t have the resources or access to high-quality content. By now there are hundreds of sites that exist but only a small collection which are really worth using regularly. We went through the long tedious process of curating our own selection and since sharing is caring, thought we’d spread the love. Below you’ll find our top picks for the best free stock photo sites as well as a few other great sites with free design resources.

The Classics

These are the all-rounders we turn to most often for their easy navigation and consistent high-quality stock photos.

Pexels is quite possibly our favorite, with a well-curated selection, intuitive categories and enough photos to satisfy most projects. They may not have the largest volume of stock photos but that’s about the only fault we’ve found in them.

beautiful skyline at night

Stock Snap is another go-to for stock photos which don’t look too stocky. Their site has a great look and in case your search needs a little extra fine tuning you can also filter by ‘Trending’, ‘Views’, and ‘Downloads’.

tookapic isn’t so different from the first two but included a large host of stock photos you won’t find anywhere else. In case you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, tookapic should fill be able to round your project out.

The Eccentrics

In case you’re looking for something a little zany or outside of the box, these are the sites to turn to. They don’t necessarily have the consistency or functionality as the classics, but with a little digging, they’ll have your missing something.

Gratisography is a whimsical mix of vibrant, fun stock photos that will add some color to any project you’re working on. Their stock photos include everything from the formal to the obscure on a site that looks great. The site even includes a brand new search function so you can navigate their army of stock photos in no time.

man sucking on lemon with sour face

New Old Stock Photos is exactly what you might expect from the title- old stock photos lost to the public which are all truly one-of-a-kind. Browsing is a bit cumbersome since there the photos aren’t categorized, there’s no search function and you’ll need to scroll through one at a time. Nonetheless, this continues to be one of our favorite go-to sites for unique stock photos.

natives herding bison

Startup Stock Photos is perhaps the best source you’ll find for business themed free stock photos. They have a consistent style across all photos although navigating them takes some time as they have no search function and single-frame browsing.

young man writing on whiteboard

The Designers

These sites boast the sleekest photos of any you’ll find in this list. Each site has a consistent, clearly defined style and a creative edge you won’t find on competitor sites.

Unsplash is an ultra-minimalist alternative with very-high quality stock photos but not so many options. The site includes a search bar as well as filters for ‘Featured’ and ‘New’ photos. We love them because their stock photos are some of the highest quality you’ll find and anything but generic.

new york's flat iron building

DesignerPics is a very well-curated selection of mostly still images which will add some flare to any project. It may not have the most stock photos, but everything on the site is well categorized with a search function for you to narrow your search.

empty office chair with desk

The Giants

If volume is what you’re after, these last options have you covered. They contain the most number of stock photos although this is supported by advertising which appears through each site.

PicJumbo has a large range of stock photos to satisfy nearly any project. The biggest compromise is that the photos are not very well curated and contain a lot of generic stock photos.

town square at sunset

Free Images is another one of the largest databases of free stock photos who also boast the most search filters. Ads are everywhere so just be careful where you click, or donate to help reduce their dependency on advertisers.

tree in winter with frost

All photos under the above listed sites use Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Creative Commons Zero means that you can use the photos  in any way you’d like, without asking permission or giving credit.

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  1. Hi, Thanks for your great article with free photo websites. We are the Team of . We have created a website with thousands of free stock photos with public domain license. All images on our site can be used free for private and commercial projects. Maybe you can add our site to your list of free stock photo sites? Thanks

    1. Ian Roderick -

      Dear Rosi, many thanks. Cool pictures!

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