Sources of Free Stock Images, Free I Say!

One of the things about working in marketing in an SME / small local company is that there never is enough budget to do most of the things I’d like to get done.  One of those things is stock photos and vectors.

Being neither a designer or photographer, I’ve come to rely on stock photos and vectors for everyday work, be it updating the company website, creating cliched motivational posts for Facebook, or simply having appropriate images for the blog or email blasts.  But stock photos and illustrations are EXPENSIVE.

Luckily, posts like this and this are a god-send for poor marketers like me, and I finally have a way to update the images on my website so that they look a little bit more up-to-date, and hipster-ish even, after I’ve filtered them to death (ha).

Loads of choices for free stock images

Loads of choices for free stock images

Here are some amazing sources:

1. Pixabay
You can search Pixabay for photos, vectors and illustrations by keyword. Attribution is not required for most photos.

2. Unsplash
Unsplash adds 10 royalty-free photos every 10 days.  The photos are amazingly gorgeous and high-quality.  They are mostly of natural subjects (picture the Grand Canyon, rivers, forests etc), but great cityscapes or office-centric photos come up once in a while, making them suitable for technology companies like the one I work at. You can search by keyword.  Attribution is required.

3. Picjumbo
Picjumbo has amazingly high-quality images in (especially) travel, architecture and food. They have some very decent technology / office – centric images too. You can search by category or by keyword. Attribution isn’t required, but appreciated. There is a paid subscription mode where you can download images in packs (rather than individually). The site is a tad naggy in that sense, but it’s a small price to pay for such amazing and free stock images.

4. Flaticon
I have been trying to find icons suitable for use in my website, emails, and many other collateral, but it was pretty difficult to find updated (read modern-looking) icons until I came across Flaticon. The vector icons are free, searchable, and downloadable in SVG, PSD, EPS and PNG formats. You can even download them in whole packs. There’s also a free Adobe extension plugin, but I haven’t tried that yet. Yes the icon design is flat. That’s what the URL says already. But that’s what makes them easy to use for a dummy Illustrator user like me.  Attribution not reqiured.

5. Flickr
Flickr has always been touted as the place to go to for free high-quality images. But I’ve not downloaded or used any images from Flickr as yet. Definitely searchable, and attribution required.

6. Freepik
Another one that I have not used yet, but a quick search through Freepik‘s stock photo archives turns up very good quality and nicely-filtered (hipster!) images, that are great for websites, blogs and Instagram. I spotted a number of images that are already on Picjumbo, but have not checked what’s the story there.  The site is searchable by keyword, and attribution is required if you are on the free plan.

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