Photo by Ryan Mcquire
What comes to mind when you hear the words “stock photo”?
Generic shots? Transparently staged friendships?
Well, you’re right, but there’s so much more! There are hundreds of sites that house stock photo images, and of those hundreds it can be tough to narrow down the ones with the best images for you. Stock images can be used to build your brand, blog, following and engagement. Jeff Bullas states that articles with images get 94% more total views than articles without them.
According to Buffer:
Both Instagram and Tumblr’s platforms’ base was built on sharing images alone. The demand for imagery on social networks/blogs can often outweigh the supply of it, and that is where stock photos come in. While scrolling through stock photo sites for content, you’ll find that each site has its’ own style of photography, quality, captures, and editing. Depending on your brand and content, you have to sift through many of them to find the right hub. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best FREE stock photo sites! Take your pick, and post away.
There are three words to describe StockSnap: beautiful, free, and high-resolution. Their search feature is simple to navigate through, and they keep track of each photo’s views and downloads so you can sift through the most popular images. With hundreds of photos being added to its’ database daily, you’re sure to find something you like! StockSnap photos are released under creative commons public domain, which means there is no attribution required!
Deeming themselves a “photography community” while veering away from typical stock photo websites, Unsplash focuses on providing high definition grade-a photographs (just look at the definition in the photo above). Their photos have been used by bands for album covers, Apple for ad campaigns, websites, app backgrounds, and more! All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means no citation is needed for use.
Did this shot make you smile? Gratisography is filled a slew of fun and surreal photos, like the one above, that generally give you a similar feeling of happiness meeting quirkiness. All shots are taken by Ryan Mcguire, a talented photographer and graphic designer. With his surreal edge and brilliance, you’re sure to veer away from the dullness of the average stock photo. Although there isn’t as much content as your typical stock photo website, the creativity makes up for it and there are new photos added every week. You don’t have to credit Ryan when you use his work, but he appreciates it when you do.
4. Negative Space
We came across this photo and were blown away. Providing detail like this for free is one of Negative Space’s many perks. They have a continuously growing collection that they add to weekly. Their gallery is easy to filter through: sortable by category, copy space position, and color. Their photos are also free of copyright restrictions! Now, just stare at the detail on this elephant a bit longer while you decide if this is the right hub for you.
5. Death to the Stock Photo
More than just a clever name, Death to the Stock Photo is a new approach to stock photo websites. After submitting your email address into their system, you receive a batch of photos delivered to your inbox every month. Their high quality images are geared towards businesses, bloggers, and creatives. Death to the Stock Photo’s Premium membership costs $15/month or $180/year. The best part about their premium membership is that a percentage of the profit funds photography trips and other creative projects to help continuously feed their database!