7 Excellent Free Stock Photography Sites For 2013

By on May 11, 2013

As the internet continues to grow so does it’s resources and freebies. There are a lot of them out there these days, and I wanted to share with you 7 of the best stock photo sites that I use to find free stock photos. When I first started years ago there were only a few from to choose from. Here are my favorites maybe you can use some for your next project or design.

As always make sure you read the sites current terms of service and licensing rules, many are subject to change at any time and you should be aware of them before you use any free content, especially if it’s for a paying client. So without further ado and in no particular order here they are:

Best Free Top Photo Sites


1. morgueFile

I know I said no particular order, but I do have to say morgueFile is one of my favorites. The interface is absolutely beautiful featuring a Facebook/Twitter style infinite scroll. You are not required to signup or register to download their images, the site is lightning fast.

If you do decide to signup you can flag images as favorites so you can easily go back and compare when looking for that perfect photo.  With almost 300,000 images available for free commercial use, this is one site that should be at the top of your bookmark list!


2. Stock.XCHNG

Stock XCHNG Homepage Screenshot
Stock.XCHNG was founded in 2001 and boasts about 400,000 free stock photos for use in your projects. Later acquired by Getty Images in 2009 many users have said the quality of stock photos has went down.

I still find it a valuable resource based on volume and subject matter alone. They do require a signup in order to download the high resolution versions. Just watch out for the “Similar Images” as they will land you on a iStockPhoto, another one of Getty Images paid properties.


3. Free Range Stock Photos

Where Free Range Lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality and licensing. They also require registration to download their high and low resolutions images (as the previews are actually watermarked).  Free Range has a unique revenue sharing program for Photographers allowing them to submit their Google Adsense ID code and earn money.


4. OpenPhoto

OpenPhoto is one of the simpler designed sites, created in 1998 by michael jastremski their primary audience is artists, developers, teachers and students.  It’s a speedy site featuring arrow key navigation, very well categorized pictures as well as tag clouds to help you along the way.

No registration is need to download the images, they also give you quick copy HTML boxes for attribution.  You won’t find the best professional photos here, but when your in a pinch for a specific type of picture OpenPhoto delivers.


5. Stock Vault

Looking for those hard to find people pictures?  You know the ones of business people and people on white backgrounds?  Look no further, Stock Vault offers over 39,000 free stock photos (3,000 of them being people).

No login necessary, enhanced features such as similar images by the same photographer,  and an overall nice interface to browse images.  Keep this one handy, you’ll be a regular.


6. everystockphoto

You’ve hit the motherload!  Not really, everystockphoto shows that it has almost 20 million images, but it is not a stock image site, it’s an aggregation search engine for license specific stock photos, scraping listings from all the popular sites and giving you easy access to them.

Still an excellent resource, however I tend to use these types of sites last as you end up with a plethora of tabs and open widows losing site of your original search.  Be carefull with this as it is littered with sneaky paid advertisements and may link you to licensed files which are not appropriate for your intended use.


7. Pixel Perfect Digital

Another great site with a decent amount of very high quality photos, organized neatly with a great interface this is not a site to be overlooked.  Unfortunately many of the photos are very generic and have limited subject matter use.  Not to worry though no registration is needed so cherry pick what you need and move on to your next project!

There are hundreds of free stock photo sites out there, probably ones that I am unaware of,  This post is just to share my favorite and the ones that I have found most useful.  If you feel a site should be added, please comment below!  Thanks for reading and I hope that this post has helped some webmasters and designers out!

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