Stock photography is a rapidly growing industry on the web. Sites like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock make vast sums of money just by hosting high quality stock images. However, if you’re like me, you don’t always have the resources to buy the photographs you need, particularly if you need the extended license.
This is a list of 10 amazing free stock photography sites, with a bonus 11th stock photo request site. If you need a stock image, be sure to check out these galleries before spending the money for the other stock photography site. The images aren’t always the same quality that you might find on a paid site, but sometimes they will do the trick just as well as other sites.
Stock.Xchng is probably the most well known stock photography site out there, with over 350,000 stock photos for you to choose from. The images all fall under a usage policy, so be sure to read it before you use an image, but overall, SXC is an amazing stock photography site. They have several methods that help make finding the right image a breeze.
MorgueFile is another popular stock photography site, featuring high quality stock photos that are free to use. Check the FAQ to verify the image usage policy as always.
Featuring a more modern design and interface, StockVault provides all the functionality you’d expect from a stock photography site. Still somewhat small, StockVault continues to grow and now has 11,000+ stock images to choose from.
Another more modern site, EveryStockPhoto boasts one of the largest free image galleries on the internet, with almost 4.5 million photographs to choose from. However, images fall under different usage policies so be sure to carefully read the usage policy associated with the image that you are using.
OpenPhoto is the open-source equivalent for photography. Featuring a large, high quality image gallery, you’ll be able to find the image that you need with the search function.
Well, you may need to need German or have a page translator available for this one, but Pixelio.DE has over 280,000 stock photographs in 147 different categories, so if you can’t find the image you want on other sites, try checking out Pixelio.
Nations Illustrated is somewhat unique as it features almost exclusively landscape and scenery photographs. Coined as “The World In Pictures”, if you’re looking for quality images that you might see in National Geographic, try Nations Illustrated to find the photo you need.
The name may remind you of a Disney fairy-tale, but there’s nothing imaginary about Image After. Featuring another very large database of photographs to choose from, Image After definitely deserves to be mentioned up with the top stock photography sites.
PhotoGen is somewhat less known and has a little overlap with some of the other stock photography sites, but nonetheless features a great image gallery of free stock photographs.
Don’t let the layout fool you, Unprofound is nothing but professional. Unprofound features a large collection of widely unique photos that you won’t find on other stock image sites, so be sure to check out their gallery of images. Also, if you’re an uploader, you can get a free gallery portfolio.
Still can’t find the image you’re looking for, after checking out all 10 of those sites? Okay, well don’t give up hope yet, because there’s one last place to mention.
PhotoRogue is a revolutionary concept where designers and artists can request a stock photograph, and the PhotoRogue team will actually go out and capture the photograph that you request. Not every request is fulfilled due to time and location constraints, but they still do a fantastic job keeping up wtih requests.
Now you should have all the stock photographs you need.