“A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Web designers know this best. Images are essential elements for any web design style you’re using and for any themes you are crafting. Beside typography, web navigation and many other elements, using images in making WordPress themes or any website layout adds depth to your website, helps you convey your message effectively and creates a connection with the website’s visitors.
The only challenge is, there are tons of free stock images as well as premium stocks images that sometimes make it time-consuming to pick out your target images. So, hop into this A to Z collection that you’ll return to every day to choose your stock images. They’re not only great resources for finding images for your design project but also a great source of inspiration.
Free Stock Images
Picjumbo is a huge free stock image for you. Every day there are new images for you to save to your computer. All are absolutely free of charge. However they do provide premium package if you like to buy. The images here can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. Quality? You don’t have to worry about that. The images are shared with high quality and topic specified.
This is a curated collection of free resources, all free for commercial use. They have images that are categorized in different groups, such as Ambient, Art and Music, Business, Black and White, CityScape, Education, Fashion and Beauty, Food and Drink, etc., to make it easier for you to find the images you want.
The free collection from this stock includes Creative Commons (CC) photos from Flickr. That means you can freely use all the images for commercial use.
Well, let’s be clear that not all photos on Flickr can be used freely. Most photos on Flickr are All Rights Reserved. This means unless you contact the photographer and get their permission, you can’t use that image.
However, there are CC photos on Flickr for you. Just go to Advanced Search and scroll down till the end, you’ll see “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”. Check this box and “For commercial use” box to get the photo you want.
You may use Google Image Search a lot but did you know that if you’re looking for images for commercial use, you must use Advanced Search or Search Tools? By using this, you can check the license for you images you choose so you can avoid grief and complaints if someone ever finds out that you’re using their work without approval.
With its power, Google Image Search allows you to find images by targeted keywords, size, color, type, time, rights, etc. You have everything here to dig into a huge collection and find your desired images.
You can find many free gems in StockVault to save into your image library. Actually there are paid images too and they are linked to ShutterStock a premium stock image. On StockVault you can search free photos by keyword like vintage, business, food, music, etc. You can also browse photos by the categories on the left-hand side.
Stock Exchange is one of the very popular free stock photo sites with 407,073 photos online. You can find many high resolution images here and download them by signing up for a free account. You can also share your own photos with others because Stock Exchange is where generous photographers share their work with other fellow designers.
Photos in Stock Exchange are grouped in many different categories: Abstract, Architecture, Business, Computers, Concepts, Food, Seasonal and events, etc.
This one is my favorite. Unsplash provides free high resolution photos for you, and you can actually do whatever you want with them. All photos here are under CC license so it’s safe to use them in your commercial work. The website’s homepage is quite like Tumblr keep on scrolling down for an amazing large-size image showcase.
There are 10 new photos every day on this free stock image site. You can also share your own photos and let others download them via Unsplash.
StockPhotos is a high quality, high resolution, public domain and CC licensed, professional free stock photos sharing community. The website layout is Pinterest-like and it claims to have around 25,000 free images.
The categories in this website are highly specified, with main and sub-categories. What I love the most from this stock is that there are many beautiful free images. Personally this is one of the best stock image sites out there.
Photo Pin is where you can find millions of CC licensed photos for your blogs and websites. Actually the website takes CC licensed photos from Flickr and lets you download/embed photo directly via a lightbox preview.
Pixabay is a free photo repository for stunning, public domain pictures. It’s your source for free vectors, free drawings, and free photos. You can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use, without attribution requirement to the original author. You can also upload and share with others your own photos via Pixabay.
Foter has an amazing number of free stock photos: 228,927,427+ photos for you. You can search for photos by keywords or categories. Like other free stock images, you can download or embed the photo’s code in your website. The embed code contains all necessary CC attribution, that are mandatory to include, so you don’t need to attribute the authors manually.
However, it’s funny that when I browse images in the Music category, it shows me various images in other categories too, like a Coca cola truck, or wedding rings, or some landscape photos.
Morgue File gives you multi-purpose high resolution photos for your work be it an illustration, reference, presentation, or design. The photos on this free image source come in large size and you can crop the theme directly on the site.
Premium Stock Images
If you have a budget to spend on images for your website, then Getty Images is one of the best choices for premium stock photos. The site is popular for its photos for news and editorial pieces, in which you’ll need photos of celebrities, world leaders, countries, etc.
Getty Images have extended their business with 3 specified premium stock image websites at: iStock (stock photos, vectors, videos and music clips), Thinkstock (royalty-free images selected from Getty Images and iStock) and Photos.com (posters, art prints, framed art, and wall art).
You can start purchasing images from Stocksy with just $10. The website brings you high-end, curated, and royalty-free stock photography that makes your website impressive. Take a look around this website’s collections, and you’ll be amazed with all the extremely creative and meaningful photos.
Shutter Stock provides over 30 million stock images, vectors, and footage for your creative project. All of them are royalty free. The paid subscriptions are quite expensive but it’s worth every penny. You can try it for free and then decide whether to buy a subscription or not.
With 27,044,565 royalty-free stock photos, 123RF brings you the most stunning stock images for only $0.21/image. Their subscriptions are really fair and affordable for any budget.
Veer provides stock photos, stock illustrations, and vectors that are aimed straight at designers. They make it very flexible for designers to pay for the files with 3 methods: Pay as you go ($2/image, $9/font), Prepay and save ($0.99/image, $5.94/font), Download 20 images a day ($0.33/image).
Enjoy and move forward with your project!
Make sure you’ve bookmarked all the stock photo sites listed above and have fun using them. And don’t be stingy share your favorite stock image sites with your designer fellows (tada, we have social share icons on your screen’s left-hand side).