Ever wish you had a collection of really great stock photos? Better yet, really great FREE stock photos? They do exist, and I’m sharing three of my favorite sources today.
Have you ever been here? You’ve written the perfect post for your blog, and you just know it’s going to be a hit. It’s funny, current, and jam-packed full of fabulously helpful tips. And you’ve got this really cute story about a dog and some lemonade – gold! Except, you need the perfect photo to draw people in. After all, the dog isn’t until the third paragraph.
So what do you do? Well, hopefully you know what NOT to do, which is grab the first Google image you find, crop out the watermark, and slap it on your post.
No matter how many people say it, not every image on Google is free for you to use however you wish. Just because you can’t find the owner doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
But now, you can forget the days of random image searches for photos that aren’t really what you wanted in the first place, have low resolution and look terrible, and may or may not be under copyright.
3 of My Go-To Sites for Free Stock Photos
These are all email lists, which means you sign up once and start finding blessed little packs of beautiful photos in your email every so often. It’s a truly magical experience.
(Click green “Join” button in top right)
10 photos every 10 days
This is my hands-down favorite source for free stock images.
You can sign up for their list and receive photo packs (10 photos every 10 days), or you can just search their site. If you head over to the site, fair warning: you may want to set aside some time for ogling. I dare you to scroll through their photos and not get sucked in by the beauty.
These photos are high resolution and stunning in quality.
Love the images but not really sure what to do with them? Check out Made with Unsplash for ideas.
One note about Unsplash images: As it turns out, you and I are not the only ones who know about these free stock images. A lot of blogs, websites, and ads use Unsplash images, as well. This isn’t a bad thing – but soon, you’ll start recognizing the images on some pretty popular blogs. If you see an image used a lot, just use another one – there are plenty to choose from!
Some examples from Unsplash:
Monthly photo packs
These photo packs come monthly and tend to follow a theme, like an artist’s studio, cooking, or desk work. The site is not searchable, although you can see some recent collections. There is a premium service with more photo packs, but I’ve only ever used the free version.
The themed packs are nice, because if it’s a theme you like, you have a whole collection of matching photos to use on your blog and across social media.
Some examples from Death to Stock:
(Click the blue “Subscribe” button in top left)
7 photos every 7 days
The free stock photos portion of Snapwire is a tumblr blog that features the photos from their email packs. They also offer a service where you can request custom photos that are taken for you, although I’ve never used this service.
I just stick to the free stock images, which are beautiful.
Some examples from Snapwire:
Note that not every photo shown may still be available from the respective sites. These are examples of what you can get by email. Sign up and start building your collection!
:Tips for photo collecting:
If you subscribe to any or all of these sites, you will soon begin to develop a pretty sweet collection of free stock photos. Word to the wise – start a basic organizing system now, before your growing collection overwhelms you. Finding the right photo for your blog post should be enjoyable, not a chore.
- Tag every photo with its source, such as “Unsplash”.
- Do this every time you download a photo pack. It’s quick, and when you use the photo, you know that it’s free for commercial use.
- Start a basic filing or tagging system, even if it’s just “forest”, “desk,” “phone,” etc.
- As you begin to use your collection, you’ll realize how you want it set up for your needs.
- Don’t download EVERY PHOTO POSSIBLE
- Just because it’s free and ok to use doesn’t mean a photo belongs in your collection. Will you actually use it? In a few months, weed through your collection a bit. You’ll begin to spot photos you just won’t ever use.
How will you use your photos?
That’s it for this roundup! Now get out there, subscribe, and start wowing us!
You make awesome content. Shouldn't your graphics match?