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Blog/6 of the best places to get free stock photography

24th May 2021

All designers need stock photography from time to time, and depending on the number of images you need, buying good quality photography can quickly become one of the most costly parts of any project.

The reason we add photos is that the old adage of ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is absolutely correct – research showing that the human brain processes the messages contained in a photo around 50,000 times faster than those contained in text.

But how do non-photographers get enough photography to effectively communicate our message without the cost of the project running away from us?

Nowadays there are lots of sites that offer free, high quality photography for you to use on your website, in your brochure, video or flyers, and all that you need to do in return is to credit the photographer (and sometimes you don’t even need to do that!)

Here are half a dozen of the best sources of high quality stock images (photography, illustrations, icons and even videos) for you to delve into whenever you need to.

1. Pixabay

Pixabay offers high quality photography, illustrations and videos that you can use for free on your communications. Aimed more towards business rather than personal use, they have a wealth of professional images in a range of resolutions (a free account is required to download their bigger images).


2. Unsplash

Unsplash have a collection of over 300,000 high quality, high resolution images from over 50,000 contributors. Unsplash’s collection is high quality, grows daily, and the breadth of subject matter is excellent.


3. Pexels

My go to source of free to use videos, Pexels also has a large collection of good quality photography for you to use, many of which rival those you’d get from a paid for photography source.


4. Gratisography

If you’re looking for something a little ‘wahey’, then Gratisography is the place for you. Cats in ties, businessmen in clown shoes, people pulling funny faces – that sort of thing – all of it is covered here. Not for everyone, but sometimes you need to bring out your inner Timmy Mallett.


5. Morguefile

If you’re looking for stock photography that doesn’t scream stock photography then Morguefile could be the website for you. Their vast collection of photos, videos & vector graphics is less polished than many of the other sites, but their focus is on everyday scenes and objects as seen by regular people.


6. Reshot

A collection of around 25,000 really interesting, beautifully shot images. Reshot aims to give emerging photographers a platform to share their work, and some of the contributions are stunning and offer something a little different. Maybe not quite as extensive as some of the competition, but easily a match for quality.


Maddison Creative 2020