Photography and image representation are an integral part of website design. Many businesses do not have access to high quality industry specific imagery for their new website. So where do they turn? To stock imagery of course! Now if we remove the large amount of cheese from most of these sites and after some digging (and no wallet emptying) it is possible to get some great imagery for free.
Now before you go and gather a massive imagery bank there are quite a few things to be aware of, most importantly -be careful that the image is definitely free? It is very important to do your research and confirm that the image you are using is free for commercial rights so that you are not in breach of copyright law. Breaching this law could land your business in trouble both legally and financially. And unfortunately, “I didn’t know” won’t fly as a defence. Do your research and look for clear instructions on the stock photo website such as: “commercial use allowed,” “commercial use and modifications allowed,” or “no known copyright restrictions.” If it’s licensed under the Creative Commons or public domain, these can also be used. If in doubt, read the fine print, and if still in doubt -don’t use it!
Now with all of that out of the way here’s the list of Dmac Medias picks for free imagery websites:
This is our platform of choice, sign up to a free account to get 10 free downloads a day. Alternatively, the yearly subscription of €89.99 is definitely good value if you have a large project/projects to work on. Freepik has excellent filtering for their images which makes finding a suitable one a lot easier. Filters include file type, main colour used, orientation, licence, and people with a few filters available under this heading. In Freepik’s own words: “We love helping you bring ideas to life. We want to grow every day. Our goal is to offer the best high-quality content: illustrations, photos, icons, mock-ups, and presentations templates”
According to StockSnap “this is not your typical crappy stock photo site”. The site curates the best stock photos from around the web and uploads photos from select photographers within its network. All photos uploaded to the site are released under Creative Commons – CC0 and do not require attribution. That means you can copy, modify, distribute any photo on the site, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission!
Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and easy to discover through their discovery pages.
Get all the Free Stock Images, Videos, Music and Icons in one location. All of the sites here offer images listed under the Creative Commons Zero licence, so you are free to use these images in commercial projects. And, as you probably guessed, they’re all free.
Find free photos, vectors, and videos courtesy of Adobe, which all meet the exact same licensing standards as the company’s paid content. Some shots look a little more posed and stock photo-like than others… but still a good range to pick from! Note: you do need to create a (free) Adobe account to download.
Beautiful Feminine styled images for your projects. You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although not required, a link back to Styledstock.co is appreciated.
Disclaimer on Licences
All pricing and free availability is valid as of April 2022. All free imagery may be subject to payment if The original provider deems this.
Check individual photos as some may not be licenced to be used freely in a commercial situation.
Some photos may require attribution, (recognition and crediting to the original author) we advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.