five free stock photo sites (you’ll actually want to use)

Fiddle & Spoon - Free Stock Photo Sites

The term “stock photo” conjures up a pretty specific type of image for most of us: a fiercely fake group of people — often a range of different races and genders — who all look maybe a little too happy to be at the beach / pointing at a phone / eating a salad. Maybe your mental image is of a business woman in a suit looking important and angry, or perhaps an over-saturated couple frolicking in a field. Stock phototography definitely has its place (mostly in corporate brochures) but if you’re like me and die a little inside when someone asks for a stock photo, you’re in luck; that’s not all that’s out there.

Say whaaaat.

Thanks to some fabulously talented and generous people, there’s a huge range of photos out there to suit your every purpose. The following are five of my absolute favourite (and absolutely FREE) stock photography sites: photos that are real, and pretty, and not over processed. Photos by creatives, for creatives. AND THEY’RE FREE. Did I mention that? Not even a single credit required.

Unsplash

www.unsplash.com

Usually my first stop when looking for a photo. Unsplash have an awesome range of images submitted by different photographers all licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes. The site is super clean and super easy to use, with ten new high-res photos released every ten days. You can browse all photos released so far, or sign up to their mailing list and get the ten delivered straight to your inbox! The image range is very broad, with some great lifestyle shots; styled food shots; nature and landscapes.

Death to the Stock Photo

www.deathtothestockphoto.com

Source of the gorgeous photo above! Death to the Stock Photo specialise in lifestyle shots, all with a very similar aesthetic, so if you’re looking for a series of photos this one is definitely for you. Signing up will get you a pack of free, very gorgeous photos sent straight to your inbox once a month, although to access all past images (over 400 of them) you’ll need to sign up for a premium membership. DTTSP images are published under the Photograph End User License, which means you can reproduce them; add them to a collection; and make adaptations of them for personal or commercial use; just don’t redistribute them. In other words, don’t include them in your own photo packs and pretend they’re your own work. That’s just rude.

Startup Stock Photos

www.startupstockphotos.com – attribution required

A little closer to your traditional stock photography, Startup Stock Photos are a good place to start if you’re looking for studio or tech shots — think Macbooks and iPhones, studio spaces and meeting rooms — but much more organic than your usual stock photography. Images from SSP are available to share, copy, edit and redistribute for any purpose (even commercially) BUT appropriate credit must be given, with a link to the license.

Foodies Feed

www.foodiesfeed.com

Fabulously styled food photography, all by amateur food photographer Jakub (with the cooking mostly done by his girlfriend Hana). Photos are available for download in small themed packs, ranging from meals to markets and everything foodie in between. All smaller packs can be downloaded immediately for free, and larger packs can be unlocked by simply following Jakub on Twitter. If you’re looking for a larger series, he also offers high-res thematic packages for a small, one-off cost. His photos are available for both personal and commercial purpose, are free to edit, and don’t require attribution — just no selling/reselling!

Jay Mantri

www.jaymantri.com

Some gorgeous travel imagery by photographer Jay Mantri, with seven new images posted every Thursday. All photos have a very distinct vibe and style, and are a great resource if you’re looking for something raw and energetic — pretty far from your usual stock photos. Published under Creative Commons Zero, you can copy, modify and distribute the images — for either personal or commercial purposes — with no attribution required!

Have you got any more to add to the list? Let me know below!

22 Comments

  1. Reply

    Melissa

    November 15, 2014

    Thanks! I had heard of a couple of these but it is always great to get a new source of photos :-)

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 16, 2014

      Absolutely! I love receiving a new pack of photos in my inbox, it’s like Christmas!

  2. Reply

    Jess - alittlepartoftheworld

    November 15, 2014

    I had only heard of and access death to the stock photo. I am so excited about this list and can’t wait to check them out. Thanks. Jx

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 16, 2014

      No problem lovely, hope you find them useful! x

  3. Reply

    Fleur - Our Urban Box

    November 15, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been browsing Splash and Death to the Stock Photo for a while now but hadn’t heard of the other two. Have bookmarked for future reference.

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 16, 2014

      Thanks Fleur! Hope you can use them x

  4. Reply

    Em - Print Em Shop

    November 16, 2014

    Can’t wait to take a look at these. It is difficult to find great stock photography. Thanks for sharing, lovely!

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 16, 2014

      No worries, Em! It’s really hard, good to know there are some great ones out there though ;) x

  5. Reply

    Victoria James

    November 16, 2014

    Thank you for this fabulous list . . . am hooked on unsplash already! Am loving your blog too – will be back for another fix very soon x

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 16, 2014

      Thank you sweetness! How good is Unsplash!! x

  6. Reply

    Jakub

    November 17, 2014

    Hello Jemima,

    I’ve just noticed some traffic coming from your site. I have to say your website is BEAUTIFUL! Also love your style, already followed on Pinterest and Instagram :-) Thank you for mentioning my Foodie’s Feed as well, I really appreaciate you like what I do. I wish you only the best, dear.

    Cheers,
    Jakub

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 17, 2014

      Aw, thank you so much Jakub! Absolutely love your work, very happy to share :) x

  7. Reply

    Laura

    November 17, 2014

    wow, this is so timely! I saw this post just LITERALLY as I started a job where I need free stock photos fast! Thanks so much!

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 17, 2014

      Haha, hooray! That’s fantastic Laura, glad I was able to help :D!

  8. Reply

    Mel

    November 17, 2014

    Thank you! I found an absolutely perfect photo almost immediately!

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 18, 2014

      That’s awesome, Mel!! x

  9. Reply

    Catherine

    November 18, 2014

    Hi Jemima,

    GREAT list, my faves are Unsplash and Death to stock photo, but I wasn’t aware of the others… BRILLIANT!

    Would you be ok if I reposted on my blog with full credit back to Fiddle & Spoon?

    x Catherine

  10. Reply

    Ling @ Ling Out Loud

    November 25, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing list of freebies!

    • Jemima
      Reply

      Jemima

      November 26, 2014

      No worries at all sweetness, hope you found it useful! xx

  11. Reply

    Bob

    April 22, 2015

    Hi,
    Great post. Also check out http://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of unique public domain photos. Appreciate it if you add it to your next list.

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