I’ve been slowly collecting a number of sites that provide free stock images on this post. Now that I’ve been using them for a while, I’m updating this with a few notes about each one.
- http://minimography.com/ is probably the one I use least. The images are all very minimalist and clean and modern. They look great, if that’s what you want. Since I tend to use pictures of smiling and laughing children a lot (go figure), this site isn’t a lot of use to me. But it’s very high quality and the pictures are strictly curated.
- https://unsplash.com/ is my favorite for dramatic, inspirational, or simply beautiful shots. There’s lots of shots here of night skies and mountains and rushing rivers. Often they are filtered for dramatic effect. I really like these free stock images for backgrounds or to put behind quotes. It’s also fun because they offer to email you 10 images every week. Or you can use their Chrome app that produces a random image every time you open a new tab. I had to disable it because it was too distracting.
- https://freerangestock.com/ provides what most people think of as stock images, but free! I can find my laughing students, teachers looking industrious, and people staring at cellphones intently, along with anything else you might find at Shutterstock or iStock. That includes graphics and vector images, too. Great variety, great quality.
- http://pixabay.com is also a pretty standard stock image site. I’d say the variety and quality is not as good as FreeRangeStock, but I’ve found some fun images there.
- http://morguefile.com/ is similair to pixabay. It’s hit or miss whether you find what you are looking for and whether the quality is any good. Morguefile does feature only photographs, so no cartoons or icons or vector drawings.
- http://gratisography.com/ is a mix of standard stock images and beautiful inspirational shots. All photos are the work of one photographer so the variety isn’t as great as other sites. But the style tends to be uniform, so it’s very useful for finding multiple shots that work well together.
- https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/ Flickr is a photo-sharing site for photographers, professional and amateur alike. This site is just a way of searching for images there that the photographers are allowing others to use. Be sure to check the terms. In most cases you will need to include attribution, and in some cases you can’t alter the image in any way.
- http://findicons.com/ As the title implies, this one is all icons. I’m amazed how often I use icons in my writing. I like adding marginalia like helpful hints or references to other pages. I like using icons to set those off. So this is a great site for finding lots of icons.