Updated December 2020
Let’s be clear to start: stock photography shouldn’t be your first choice. There’s nothing better than professional photos of the actual business, employees, services, products and/or work completed. BUT… sometimes that full width image deserves a really great stock photo. They certainly have their place in web design. With this in mind, here are some of the best FREE stock photography websites to help along the way.
One of our favorites, Pixabay has a massive library of photos and illustrations. A word of caution however, many of the images are quite popular, so if you’re looking for something more unique, you may want to do a reverse image search on any you’re thinking of using.
This site is my first go-to when looking for really compelling full width images. You’ll find a large mix of photos (with emphasis on vast landscapes).
These images are incredible and while they don’t always have their place in a new web build, they’re incredible. At New Old Stock you’ll find old photos that you can’t find anywhere else.
Some really great architectural photography on this site! Like most of the sites on this list, they have a wide range of images, really great for small business websites.
People, places and things in a standard, stock format. Good for businesses that need specific photos to highlight on page, content needs (generally).
This is strictly food photography. There are lot of hidden gems on the site. Supplement your food photography with nicely staged, food images.
Another quite broad selection of stock images. There are many options to choose from, although if you’re searching for something very specific, you may not find it here.
One of my favorite aspects of this site, is the ability to browse by collections. This can be incredibly helpful if you can find stock photography that fits your niche market.
Created and maintained by Shopify, Burst has a lot of great photo options. Just be warned, these photos are used widely by Shopify websites, so be choosey about which photos you use.
Another large repository of a vast number of photos in a wide range of categories. Browse through the featured images to get ideas, or search for something more specific.
A bit smaller than most of the sites on this list, that can work to your advantage since that means the photos won’t be as widely used on the internet.
Picography is mostly focused on Business, Tech, and Landscapes/Geography. A great option for business websites.
Another business focused stock site, this one has a wide range of categories that will likely work within your niche market.
Looking for something a little more offbeat? Look at Kaboom Pics, with a wide range of unusual but gorgeous photos, you can find something that will really make your design pop.
Another collection of a wide range of photos, from Animals to People to Sports. If you have trouble finding something specific on the other sites on this list, Skitter Photo might have it.
While not the most user friendly interface if you’re looking to browse, Life of Pix definitely has a lot of great photos of people and places.
15.5 Million Images on this site. It’s one of the largest on the list, and has a wide range of really cool options, with a great search function.
Many of these sites look pretty much exactly the same as the others. ISO Republic is one of these, but it’s worth keeping it on your list in case your favorite site doesn’t have what you’re looking for.
Kind of a weird choice here, but Styled Stock provides “feminine” photos. Sound sexist? Probably. But if you’re looking for the perfect image for your beauty website, this might be a quick way to find something.
If you need something more quirky or artistic, Pik Wizard might be a good option for you. You’re not necessarily going to find something super specific here, but browsing can provide some great ideas and unique concepts to work with.
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