Free tool of the week: Stock photos online



What nonprofit isn’t hungry for great FREE photos for publications, online communications, and presentations?

I blogged a while back about flickr’s Creative Commons licensed photos, which can be used free with proper credit given to the photographer. But here’s a  list of other online sources for free stock photos, many of which are recommended by photographer Robin Good. It may take some time to find exactly what you’re after on these sites, but it an also save you photography fees in lean times.

Just a suggestion—if you use photos from any of these sources, it would be a nice idea to give credit to the photographer. These artists have been very generous to allow their shots to be used without charge for non-commercial uses. Return the favor.

  • If you want to start collecting some great generic photos, go to iStockphoto every week and download their free photo of the week.
  • For more than 100,000 free photos, go to the stock.exchng. It’s an impressive collection of high-quality photos taken by amateur photographers from around the world. (Good does mention that at times this site is hard to access because of heavy traffic.)
  • FreeRangeStock contains a collection of free high resolution photos. All photos are already sharpened, distortion corrected, and color corrected. Some have been manipulated in Photoshop to make them more effective.
  • All the images at Open Stock Photography come from Wikimedia Commons and can be used by anyone, for any purpose. A unique feature on this site is the color search where you can pick a color from the color wheel or enter the hexadecimal code to find images that match a particular color. The feature requires patience as the site searches the extensive database for matching colors.
  • Images from are organized into a handful of categories (lifestyle, business, computers, travel, etc.).
  • If you’re after photos of textures to use in your work, check out Mayang’s Free Texture Library—a collection of nearly 4,000 textures, doors, windows, signs, paint effects, and aerial views.
  • For free large format photos, go to FreeLargePhotos and drool over the gorgeous landscapes and many other kinds of photography—nearly 3,000 choices.
  • FreePhotosBank has some great stuff in a range of categories–for instance 54 free photos of currency! Who doesn’t need dollar shots these days.
  • FreeFoto is the largest collection of free photos on the internet—124,000 and counting, including 300 shots of textures.
  • StockVault offers over 13,000 free images in categories like objects, people, nature, design templates, buildings, seasonal, transportation, etc.

If you use any of these, please let me know which are your favorite sites! Good hunting…

CC photo credit: Naixn



3 Responses to “Free tool of the week: Stock photos online”

  1. David Wall Jnr Says:

    Just found this cool site that’s got 30 images for free – All good ones

  2. Steve Gibson Says:

    perhaps also have a look at (with more links) (travel images)

  3. Portraiture Photography Says:

    I’ve just always used the creative commons photos in flickr and paid for photos from istockphoto when needed. However, it does get tiring searching creative commons for half an hour to find a good photo so I’m going to bookmark some of your suggestions. Thanks for the info!

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