Stock photos can enhance your design without the need for outsourced photography. Usually, online stock photo agency websites offer high-quality yet affordable photos. On-demand photos are in the $1-15 range, and a subscription plan can cost you as little as $0.26 per download.
There are also many free websites where you can find everything you need, from landscapes and office scenes to cute puppies. The issue is that many of these free websites are a hot mess. Often they're so unorganized, and the image quality is so poor that it doesn't make sense to use them.
But fear not, we went through the trouble of picking out 10 great free stock image websites that you can go to if you're looking for high-resolution $0 budget photos. Before you dive in, acquaint yourselves with the different types of images that you may use in your designs.
Pexels is a stock image website that offers high-resolution photos and short videos. Pexels has something for everyone from designers and bloggers to people making a poster for a house party. The service gives away photos under the Creative Commons CC0 license. It means that you have the freedom to use, change, and share all images without getting permission or giving attribution.
Pexels also promotes photo competitions and collaborative events. All creators, like artists, models, professional photographers, and photography enthusiasts, can take part. It's a great opportunity to team up with other talented people and win cash prizes. The icing on the cake is having your images posted on the Pexels website and social media handles.
Tired of using generic and unrealistic stock images? We get you. The problem with generic content is that it can't express brand personality. Unsplash is the place where you can get authentic images that are different from your run-of-the-mill stock photos. It also provides a free API to fetch high-res images right into your app. If your products need a diverse photo library, you'll appreciate the convenience Unsplash offers.
Unsplash also has a community chat on Slack where you can ask questions or get feedback on your latest work. The community is welcoming to everyone, professionals and beginners alike.
Pixabay offers high-quality images and handy filters that allow you to find images by media type, orientation, color, dimension, etc. But the best part is the impressive library of illustrations and vector graphics free of any copyright restrictions.
Pixabay also has a large community where all artists are welcome to join discussions. For example, you can get feedback and advice from other professionals or learn about great photoshoot locations.
Unlike stock image websites with many contributors, Kaboompics is a one-woman show. Every single high-quality shot on the website belongs to and is shot by its founder Karolina Grabowska.
Kaboompics has images on a range of topics, from fashion to food to nature. And each picture comes with a free complementary color palette! To learn more about using colors to your advantage in your designs, check out our Color Psychology course.
The Kaboompics website is also interested in collaborations. If you're a blogger or photographer who wants to promote your work, consider contacting Kaboompics.
If you are looking for unique stock images, Gratisography is the place to go. It is the brainchild of founder Ryan McGuire, who wanted to offer something different from just pictures of people in perfect suits, smiling families, and laughing girls eating salad. If you are looking for out-of-the-ordinary pictures, you're in for a treat! There's also a small but mind-blowing collection of whimsical illustrations on Gratisography. All pictures are free to use for both personal and commercial projects.
The main problem with most stock image websites is the lack of diversity. By contrast, Nappy is an amazing resource for inclusive design material. It specializes in beautiful, high-res photos of people from all backgrounds around the world. What’s even better is that you can request custom photos if you don’t find what you are looking for! Not to mention, their library is entirely free.
Looking for high-res mouth-watering food images for your cooking blog or food-themed design? Your search ends at FoodiesFeed. The website features cream-of-the-crop photos available under the CC0 Licence. It means that these images are completely free to use for any food-related content you can imagine.
What's more, some photos contain links to a food blog where you can find detailed recipes. That's right — now, cooking enthusiasts can easily recreate these amazing pictures themselves.
Women represent one of the largest consumer segments. In fact, according to statistics, women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing decisions worldwide. Besides, the number of female-led businesses is on the rise and will only increase over time. Don't miss the chance to reach out to this audience by using female-oriented pictures.
Styled Stock photos reflect modern trends of inclusivity. It represents women from all ethnic, racial, social, and cultural backgrounds. Needless to say, the website understands that feminine photography is beyond pretty pink things.
The collection also includes stunning lifestyle, travel, and food images of different colors.
Life of Pix
Life of Pix has tons of stunning, high-resolution images to help you tell your own story. It also has a partner platform, Life of Vids, that offers free videos, clips, and loops.
Each week, the Life of Pix team selects the best photographer of the week. This lucky person can see their 10 best works featured on the Life of Pix website and social networks, making it a great place to build your portfolio and follow photography gurus.
Images can be a powerful force in design. The right image can brighten up your design, blog post, or commercial. ISO Republic offers hundreds of images ready for the challenge. It has videos, too, and you can download and use them in your commercial and personal projects without attribution.
ISO Republic also has a blog where you can browse through organized collections, learn from professional photographers, or get inspiration to destroy your creative block.
Images are only a small but significant aspect of your design — learn about all the elements that come together to create a good design with our Design Composition course.