Stock photos suck.

For years, they’ve robbed the internet of any shred of creativity. Any time you needed an image for your website, blog, or email newsletter, you went searching for free stock images to fill the void. (and sometimes even paid ones)

And they were all terrible.

free stock images

Stock photos are so generic and bland that you probably didn’t even notice that this is actually Hollywood superstar Vince Vaughan parodying stock photos in this stock photo.

So, it was time for a change. The internet responded to our collective need for free stock photos with an amazing variety of high quality images in all sorts of categories.

There are a ton of resources here for free stock photos, but I probably only use about a dozen of them. They serve my needs just fine. But I’ll let you decide which one of these free stock photo sites is best for you.

41 websites to find awesome free stock photos

Use free stock photos wisely

I generally follow one simple rule when it comes to stock images. I never use them when I need an image of people. They always look fake, unnatural, and detract from whatever message I’m trying to convey.

The best times to use stock images, as you’ve seen in most of these websites, is when you need photos of landscapes. Nature, cities, wildlife, space, travel, etc…

If you’re in need of a photo of human beings, make sure it is genuine, natural, and unique.

Example of a bad stock photo

free stock images

Example of a good stock photo

free stock images

So make sure you use free stock images wisely.

And when you can, skip the image and use a custom illustration instead. It’s all the rage in web design these days.

Got a free stock photo site you love to use? Let me know in the comments!

Free stock photos have sucked for a long time, but no longer! These 41 websites offer amazing free stock images for your blog or website.
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4 Comments

  1. Tip

    November 10, 2017 at 3:26 am

    Hi Patrick, short and to the point article and you have certainly accumulated such a great list!What are your favourites at the moment? Have you also come across rawpixel.com? Not to overdo it but I think you’ll surely add rawpixel.com to your frequent list after your visit 😉 Hope to see you there.

    Cheers,

    Tip

    Reply

  2. Paul

    September 29, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Fantastic collection of sites! There’s also https://negativespace.co – a hand-picked collection of well over 1,000 CC0 images to freely download. Worth bookmarking 🙂

    Reply

  3. Monika

    May 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Great list! Try also http://monisphoto.com/ – free photos available for personal or commercial use without the need for permission or attribution

    Reply

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