A lot of our clients need stock photos and the good news is there is an ever-growing group of sites that are providing free image downloads. Here are a few of our favorites:
Unsplash is a free photo archive that is based upon users uploading photos and offering hi-res images that are free to use however you want. The difficulty of this service, at the time of this writing, is that that you can’t search on photos so that means a lot of scrolling. It’s not the best if you’re looking for something specific. If you’re a designer though and want to have an inventory, you can subscribe (for free) to a daily email of 10 free images.
Dreamstime is a service that offers both scaled pricing for a lot of images and a lot of them are free. Better yet, they have an advanced search feature that allows you to search for specific content, as well as narrow your price range down to only low-cost or even just free images.
Everystockphoto is another service that allows for free images and advanced searching but their inventory of images is more limited.
Creative Commons is a great option for public-domain content, whether you’re looking for photos, audio, or something else. They have a great search function that spans across multiple online assets such as Flickr, Pixabay, and a number of other photo-hosting sites. The results include images that have Creative Commons licenses, meaning the images don’t not necessarily fall under public domain, but they can usually be used under certain conditions.
New Old Stock is a service that focuses on vintage photos from the public archives. These photos, according to New Old Stock, have no known copyright restrictions on them. They do have a somewhat hidden search feature in the top left but unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. For instance, a search on ‘kennedy’ (at the time of this post) doesn’t return the image below titled, “President John F. Kennedy with Unidentified Visitor”. Other than that annoyance, this is a great site for vintage photos.