Articles, Photography, Toolkit

Prettify Your Content Using These Free Stock Photo Sites5 min read

As a blogger, marketer or a social media enthusiast you are supposed to add ‘aesthetically pleasing’ images to your content to make it more engaging, the best way is to add stock images or even memes should do the trick. If you:

  • Think stock photos can cost a fortune.
  • Are not a MEMELORD.
  • Suck at taking nice photos (looking at my hoax self.) Well, here’s a very helpful article Asjad wrote if you’re looking into improving your photography skills.
  • Don’t have the time to roam outside and take your own photos.

Here I’m providing the links to all free stock photos that were in my personal stash for a long time, in order to ‘brandify‘ your content or evoke just the right amount of emotional response. These are the websites that I use unless I get the weird urge to take pictures and edit the heck out of them in the hope to make them look more aesthetically pleasing.

Instead of googling images (You need to stop doing that) which mostly are not in high resolution because they’re indexed from websites which optimize their images so the webpage won’t take much time to load.

Many of the websites offer photos which are released under Creative Common License means that you’re allowed to edit and use them for commercial and non-commercial purpose but you can’t redistribute them. With that out of the way, let’s get this list rolling.

Unsplash.com


Taking the first place in this list, it got an extensive library of photos which doesn’t consist cheesy photos of two businessmen shaking hands over a table.It’s more of a community-based website where photos are submitted by independent photographers  This is where i go whenever I need a relevant picture for my blog posts.

Licence: Free to use anywhere for both commercial and noncommercial purpose.

butterfly sitting on red flowers.
Credited to: Unsplash, edited by bia.

Pexels and Pixabay


The Big P’s in stock photography industry like Pexels and Pixabay are also a great source to look and can be used for commercial/non-commercial purpose while looking through dozens of photo libraries you can find the perfect photo from here. Pixabay has got 1 million stock photos and more are added each day and Pexels adds about 70 photos to their collection every month so you can easily sift through their collection and find high quality images. 

Pixabay also has an application available for iOS and android. 

 Styled Stock Photos


First I was just distracted by how pretty their site is, rose gold color with pink looks so good that I’m now half tempted to change my site’s theme color too. Providing clean, minimalistic images for your next project and a lot of them do look alike, Photos are allowed to be used for any commercial or non-commercial purpose.

wine glasses to prettify your content.
Credited to: StyledStock, edited by bia

ShotStash


Royalty free photos can be used for both professional and business purposes without any attribution.

Forest
Credited to: ShotStash, edited by bia

PhotoAC


A Japanese free stock photo site providing content more geared towards Japanese culture. This website requires you sign up to a free account to download photographs which are also licenced under CC0 1.0 universal.

Photo AC also provides free fonts, pictograms, map images and illustrations too.

Kyoto Japan picture taken from photoAC
Credited to: PhotoAC, edited by bia

Death to Stock Photos


Offers 10 images free on a weekly basis when you give them your email address. The images can be a perfect match for any of social media campaigns and you’re allowed to use any of the images in your inbox as long as you don’t redistribute them.

Death to stock photos.

Jay Mantri


I am both saddened and inspired by reading his site’s tagline.

Jay Mantri, make magic.
A tumblr website

The Stocks


This website link makes all the above links obsolete because instead of opening up different websites and cluttering your browser this one lets you search from different websites letting you stay on this one tab and apart from providing royalty free images, also offers videos, mockups, icons and fonts too.

The Stocks logo
It’s such a pretty website and yeah I don’t know my adjectives.

Gratisography


Quirky photos taken in HD that can produce some quality blog posts, Ryan McGuire, a famous photographer created this website to distribute his work freely.

A scary teddy bear.

The Pattern Library


Images in this website are perfect for banners and backgrounds and the pattern images are submitted by independent artists. Just check this site once, you won’t regret it. I’m drooling at all these pattern designs they’re all gorgeous!

screenshot from The Pattern Library.
Dear lord where was this site all my life?

Split Shire


The images from this website is used by magazines like The Huffington Post, CNN and even on book covers.

yellow compound dissolved in liquid.
Credited to: SplitShire, edited by bia

New Old Stock


New Old Stock photos is an antique website which got mostly black and white photos and it can be great for historical and vintage projects.

new old stock images man holding an ad.
Credited to: New Old Stock, edited by bia

Other websites worth mentioning:


Though these are all great site and you’re bound to find an image of your liking in any of these but you should be careful that it should reflect your project’s mood and not be overtly cheesy and should also engage web users.

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