Stock photos are images that photographers took beforehand for creative people to use in their marketing materials. They are not bespoke or custom photos, but instead photos that can be used quickly and easily to give a more professional and emotional dimension to your content.
Note: Many stock photos do not include people’s faces because that would include paying professional models and having them sign a privacy release. These photos are given away for “free”, so that would not be feasible for the photographer. If you want more personable photos you should check out my favorite paid stock photo sites.
These sites are free from copyright restrictions so you can use it in commercial contexts without any problems. In fact, you may recognize some of these pictures because I use them on my website!
Remember: a picture is worth a thousand words! Why not take a couple more minutes and find an appropriate image to enhance your message?
I have organized these from my most used to least used. Just because one stock photo directory may be close to the bottom does not mean you shouldn’t use it, but rather the photos have more limited photo subjects and styles. Who knows, they may have that unique style that you’ve been looking for!
Free Stock Image Sites
A huge community of photographers providing images for free!
One of my favorites. Everything is freely provided by contributing photographers.
Large variety of high quality images.
A wide variety of image types, from technology to landscapes and more.
This is a great site if you are looking for free images of people.
Check it out if you are looking for some good photos.
Has some generic images, but is not as great for a project if you are looking for something specific.
Some photos of people in a fashion magazine style. Also good for landscapes, architechture, and textures.
Very artsy photos of creative people. Not as many options as some of the other stock sites.
Very artistic photos of fashion, textures, and nature.
Very unusual photos. You probably wont find anything else like it.
A free email subscription service. You can pay for a plan to give you access to a whole image archive.
If you are interested in some images with a bit more quality and diversity, check out my Great List of Affordable Stock Photos.