It doesn’t matter whether you have a business website or a blog – at one time or another you find yourself in need of quality images or photos. It seems like there are dozens of stock photo websites now where you can buy images for $1-10 – with istockphoto being (probably) the most expensive. There actually are places where you can find free quality stock images and photos for download – you just have to know where to look.
The stock.xchng website is probably the most well known place to get free stock photos. To download photos you have to signup for an account, and you have to watch the licenses. Some are free for personal use only. Also nearly every page of results has istockphoto results above and below the free images – as long as you pay attention to what’s free (and what’s not) you’ll be find. The nice thing about this site is that there are lots of very high-res pics for download at no cost at all.
Dreamstime sells stock photos, but if you know where to look – they do have a free images section. You have to signup for a free account to get them, but they are free, and there are lots of images
Stockvault is a great place to find free images if you are using them for non-commercial use (like a blog or personal presentation). This is another website where you have to pay attention to what photos are free and which are ads for pay stock image sites (as the results can be intermingled).
Morguefile does require and account, but there are more than 10,000 free stock images that are royalty free. This website is a big better than some of the others because the free photos are a big distraction free and it’s much easier to distinguish the free images from the paid ads and results.
Freepixels is a smaller site with a few ads, but the images they do have are easy to navigate and download (with an account). There are aout 40 categories of images, mainly organized in abstract, architecture, nature, objects, food and drinks, travel, and people.
Photogen is another smaller site we like because while it does have ads, the image results are actually all free (and not intermingled with paid results). It’s easy to navigate and easy to download high quality images (with an account).
Free Images is another website you should place at the top of your search list because not only do the have 6,000+ images – but you can view, access, and download them hassle free without an account. Searches are lightning fast, the ads are clearly marked in the sidebar, and the images are easily accessible by organized categories.
Texture King is a unique site because they have free “stock textures” images. If you’re looking for an overlay, background, backdrop, etc., these are some great images! Another great (nearly ad free) site that does not require an account at all to view and download the images (which are high quality).
What makes Every Stock Photo unique is the fact that this site is actually a search engine for other free stock photo sites. It has results form stock.xchng, flickr, photoXpress, and more.
Nations Illustrated has photos from all over the world with about 7,300 pictures (of varying quality). Most seem to be travel related, but you don’t need an account to access them, and about the only ad distraction you have to put up with is adsense.
Another term for free stock images is “PD” (public domain) and at the Public Domain Pictures website you’ll find all kinds of them. It’s fairly easy to tell the ads from the free pictures. Images are varying degrees of quality, but you can access and download them without an account.