Update: I recently created a more comprehensive roundup of free stock photo sites—check it out!
Finding the perfect stock photo for a web or print project can be tricky if you’re a designer, developer, or even a casual blogger. It can be tempting to scour Google Images to find a terrific image, but please don’t! Most of the time, these images are not free for your use (whether personal or commercial), so it’s wise to skip Google altogether.
Instead, why not try some of these totally free alternatives? Check out the list below and let me know if any of these work for you (or if you know of any other good options)!
Looking for an amazing free image gallery or interested in sharing your photos with others? Then this is your site!
Free Images (formerly stock.xchng) gives users the option to browse through categories or to search their galleries of over 350,000 quality stock photos from over 30,000 photographers.
While some images are certainly better than others, this site is my personal favorite starting point in my quest for free stock photos. Register for a free account, and happy downloading!
Stock Vault is another wonderful and totally free stock photo site featuring over 40,000 high quality user-submitted images! The site encourages photographers and designers to share photos, graphics, and image files, creating a great resource for everyone to enjoy.
Stock Vault has plenty of basic categories to sort the images by, along with a more detailed search option.
Unsplash is a rather new free image site, but it’s quickly becoming one of my personal favorites! This awesome site features ten new totally free, high-resolution photos every ten days. You are free to do whatever you’d like with these downloads.
Unfortunately, there is no great way to search the site, other than to just take a peak around. But, it’s totally worth the time spent hunting once you uncover some of these beauties!
Morgue File is another great resource for free stock images, featuring a community of amazing photographers sharing their work!
The images can easily be searched and can also be filtered by tags like popular, new, and last downloaded.