A lady looks through her camera.

15 stunning FREE open-source or creative commons stock photography websites

10 Jul 2017

Darren Fisher - Developer and Consultant

Written by
Darren Fisher
Developer and Consultant

Stock photography is a necessary evil. Sometimes you just need to purchase a photograph that does the trick. And sometimes you can't really afford to even purchase one or there's no value in doing so. Perhaps like us you write a lot of blog content and want to keep your writing visually appealing without taking out a loan to pay for all that photography?

You need not fret because as the internet matures, more and more people are realising the value of open source and creative commons technology and content, so I thought I'd go on an adventure to find 15 stock photography websites that offer up FREE and creative commons imagery for all of us to benefit from.

So without further hesitation let's get in to it!

FindA.Photo screenshot.

1. FindA.Photo

This powerful image search engine allows you to search through thousands of free ( CC0 licensed) stock photos from 10 different sources. You can even browse by colour or keywords.

Visit FindA.Photo
Freerange Stock screenshot.

2. Freerange Stock

Freerange Stock describe themselves as: "Good photos. Totally free." The model is simple: Freerange Stock provide the platform, photographers provide the photography and the ad revenue from the site gets shared. This means that you get free photography whilst the photographers still get paid!

Visit Freerange Stock
Gratisography screenshot.

3. Gratisography

Gratisography provide free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.

All pictures are by photographer Ryan McGuire and free of copyright restrictions. What's more? Well Ryan promises new awesome pictures added weekly! What's not to love?!

Visit Gratisography
Libre Stock screenshot.

4. Libre Stock

Libre Stock is another image search engine which boasts the ability to be able to search the best 47 free stock photo websites in one place! This is a great place to go if you need to search for something quite specific as you'll have more chance of finding that perfect image.

Visit Libre Stock
Morguefile screenshot.

5. Morguefile

Morguefile is a website whose positioning statement is: "free images for creatives, by creatives" and what could be simpler than that? This open source mentality is akin to how Drupal developers work so we love the ethos. There are over 350,000 free stock photos available for commercial use. Sounds good doesn't it!

Visit Morguefile
Negative Space screenshot.

6. Negative Space

Negative Space is another CC0 images only website. What truly sets Negative Space apart though is the search capabilities. Browse by category, keyword, colour and copy space position. Now that's some serious search power if you're looking for that perfect image to add copy to.

Visit Negative Space
New Old Stock screenshot.

7. New Old Stock

Recapture history. New Old Stock source vintage photography from public archives which are free of known copyright restrictions. Working on a project that needs a vintage photo? This is definitely the place to go.

Visit New Old Stock
Pexels screenshot.

8. Pexels

Pexels also "collects" stock photography from other sites and acts as a search engine for free imagery but what sets Pexels apart from the other free stock photo search engines are the "discovery tools". Probably not the best (but still good) for finding a specific image but great if you want to sift through photos of "flowers that are red" and so on.

Visit Pexels
Pixabay screenshot.

9. Pixabay

I've got absolutely no qualms in saying this is absolutely my favourite free stock photography website. Why? Well, there's just something about 860,000 guaranteed CC0 images and illustrations that does it for me. I know I can come here, pretty much always find the image I require and then use it without copyright headaches or attribution concerns.

Visit Pixabay
SplitShire screenshot.

10. SplitShire

SplitShire has a fantastic collection of free images for commercial use and some great tools to discover and browse them as well. The whole website is slick and enjoyable to use. Anything else that's good about it? Sure. How about free stock video as well. You're welcome!

Visit SplitShire
Stock Snap screenshot.

11. Stock Snap

Another massive collection of high-res CC0 images with some great sort and filter options.

Visit Stock Snap
Stock Up screenshot.

12. Stock Up

A slightly more refined search engine which boasts a modest 14,837 free stock photos across 28 websites. What sets Stock Up apart are the roster of clients who they claim use them which includes: Product Hunt, The Huffington Post, Forbes and The Next Web.

Visit Stock Up
Stockvault screenshot.

13. Stockvault

Another user to user stock photography site which boasts new photos, textures and illustrations every day.

Visit Stockvault
Unsplash screenshot.

14. Unsplash

Unsplash is another site which is jam packed with what they call: "Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos". The interface is dead simple and you could easily kill several hours knocking around the " collections" area of the site.

Visit Unsplash
Visual Hunt screenshot.

15. Visual Hunt

Visual Hunt are another search engine and probably the most wide-reaching and comprehensive search engine of the lot. Boasting 354,191,553 Creative Commons Photos and 116,892 CC0 - 100% Free High Quality Photos, you're probably going to find what you're looking for but when you find your image you'll need to double check the licenses to see if there are any terms attached to the image's usage.

Visit Visual Hunt

Go forth an spread imagery

I hope you find these stock photography websites useful. It has certainly aided us to document them in one place so that we can come back to it again and again.

If you enjoyed the article, or have any more site suggestions please do let me know in the comments below!

Darren Fisher - Designer & Developer

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