Graphic Design AdviceGraphic, Design, Advice
ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2020

Free Image Resources for Your Design Needs


Finding the ideal stock image for your design use, free of charge, needn't be a hassle like it was once upon a time. Today, there are countless free stock image resources available, thanks to many generous online creative communities and the ease of access to their content that the internet provides. Below are 13 great and diverse online sources of stock image resources for a variety of different design needs, all of which feature impressive collections of high quality pictures that are free to use.

Burst

Burst is run by Shopify and includes almost 7,000 free high-resolution stock images from contributors all around the world. Burst is likely to be useful for finding the right picture for your design needs, covering photos of landscapes, business, animals, fashion and much more. It is also a great source for snaps of people, boasting diverse images across different ethnicities, ages and genders. Burst is updated every single day by its contributors and doesn't require photo attribution. Because it is geared toward entrepreneurs (looking at you designers and bloggers) they've helpfully created a page on trending business ideas that includes tips and suggested images for kickstarting your business.

FoodiesFeed

Everybody loves food, right? If your design project is going to feature food images in some capacity, Foodiesfeed is the best place to start looking. Their large and ever-growing collection of photos is suitable for food bloggers the world over thanks to a wide range of cuisines and meals (think enticing entrees and delicious looking desserts) captured in styled and creative presentations. With almost 1.5 million downloads and counting, Foodiesfeed content is free for use in personal or commercial designs, without any need to credit the original photographer.

Free Nature Stock

Royalty-free and updated with a new photo daily, Free Nature Stock's stock-in-trade is made self-evident by its name. Free Nature Stock is the creation of Adrian Pelletier, who personally snaps each shot and provides them on the site for personal or commercial use (without attribution) as you see fit. (Adrian does however accept payment in the form of coffee.) The site's collection of images is almost 1,000 strong and consists of breathtaking nature photos, including mountains coated in fog and lush green forestry, making them perfect for inspiring website, blog and social media backgrounds.

Iso Republic

Iso Republic offers a wide selection of images, numbering in the thousands, free for personal or commercial use. Its collection, which is updated weekly, is broad and includes a significant amount of natural and city landscape, texture, business and technology related photos, making it ideal for anything from travel blogs to online stores. The site boasts a useful system for browsing categories of its photos, including animals, architecture, food, music, travel and many more. Iso Republic's licensing means there are no restrictions for editing, sharing or using their high quality stock images, and no requirements for permission or crediting the artist.

Jay Mantri

Los Angeles based Jay Mantri's inspiring photos are a mixture of exquisite natural and city landscapes, with abstract and textural shots, excellent for anything from featured pictures for a blog to webpage backgrounds. His collection sits at roughly 400 and is usually added to on a weekly basis. Jay offers many of his high quality photos for free, and under his licensing agreement they are free to use for personal or commercial use without attribution.

Negative Space

Negative Space describes their free image content as "beautiful" and "high-resolution" and browsing through their extensive range of technology, landscape, fashion, object, business and abstract photos makes it a difficult point with which to argue. Their collection of more than 1,100 photos, coupled with their artsy philosophy, makes them a great source of images for creative people, particularly because of the variety of technology and web design content on offer. Their images are free for unrestricted personal and commercial use, without the need for attribution to the original photographer, under their licensing agreement.

New Old Stock

This site is particularly cool, and a personal favorite: you'll love it too if you're a fan of vintage photography. New Old Stock is a source of mostly black and white photos taken from public archives. This means they are old enough to be free of known copyright restrictions, and therefore free to use without the worry of attribution. New Old Stock comprises about 600 free images, with a handful of new photos added each day. The site also offers pro photo packs, which are photo collections edited and curated for a nominal fee for easier use. If your design project is in need of any vintage photography, a search on this site is a must.

Pexels

Pexels comprises close to 3,000 images, with about five new photographs added daily. Their artistic content is carefully picked from a large spread of other free image sources, meaning they have a wide variety of image options that are all high quality. Thanks to the site's effective and easy-to-use search function, finding the right shot from the available library is a cinch and a big time-saver, if time is of the essence for you. Pexels is another site that has its own license, meaning you can access or modify their images for personal and commercial use free of charge and without crediting the photographer or artist.

Picjumbo

Picjumbo began in 2013 and has grown to become an enormous online collection of free images for all your design needs, capturing content across all sorts of areas such as the abstract, nature, technology, fashion, food and beyond. The site is updated with new high resolution photos daily, and by subscribing to their newsletter you can receive free images direct to your inbox. Their collection is available for use in either personal or commercial design work, and attribution is specified as not necessary but much appreciated.

Pixabay

Pixabay describes itself as "a vibrant community of creatives" that provides copyright free images and videos. The site boasts more than 1.6 million stock images and videos shared by its community. Navigating the impressive number of images is made easy by the filtering function of the site's main search bar, allowing you to confine your search by orientation, color, and size dimension. Because Pixabay's resources are released under their own license, high quality images are available for your design needs without asking for permission or crediting the artist, which includes for commercial use. Pixabay notes that while you are able to use their images as needed, i.e. copying, modifying, etc., content depicted in its images may be protected by other rights, and they advise that you check this before undertaking any serious editing if you are unsure.

Stocksnap.io

StockSnap.io adds hundreds of high resolution photos every week to its impressive set of images. The site has a beautiful array of nature, landscape, people and food shots, but its offering extends well beyond these categories thanks to its large collection. The site's search bar makes it easy to filter and flick through the thousands and thousands of available pictures, and because the site monitors views and downloads you're able to browse the most popular photos (or avoid them if you're after something rarer!) Under its licensing arrangement, StockSnap offers its images for no charge, free from copyright restrictions, for personal and commercial edits and use without attribution.

StyledStock

StyledStock shares self-described "feminine stock photography", intended for female entrepreneurs of all varieties. Their collection is free for personal and commercial use, and encompasses a wide range of categories including beauty, business, fashion, florals, food, and more. Their site also offers a neat search function that allows you to filter by color when you're looking for that perfect image to fit your design needs. Under their licensing policy, you are free to adapt and use the images without attributing the original artist. However, a link back to the site is appreciated.

Unsplash

Unsplash is one of the most popular online sources for high resolution stock photos, offering a large collection of images released for free under their own license. The site is popular for the curated content featured on its homepage, as well as the quality lighting and filter effects featured in their expansive catalogue, which boasts pictures of many city and natural landscapes, common objects and people. Attribution is not required for any of Unsplash's images, which are added to every ten days, with ten new photos each cycle. Unsplash also occasionally highlights projects that feature images from their catalogue: if you're interested in promoting your creative designs that use their images, you can put your name down for their mailing list to receive email information and updates.

In 2020, there really is no longer a need to fret about finding the right image for your design needs, no matter what they might be. Chances are that there's a site out there containing the perfect image for free, just sitting there for you to find, download and fulfil your design needs!

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