Finding Good Stock Images Can Be a Chore
Are you tired of only finding the same old stock photography for your blog? How many times have you read an article promising to point you to THE BEST stock photography sites only to find circa 1996 clip art? You know the ones I’m talking about. Who even uses those anymore? Even worse are the ones that promise royalty free stock photography but forget to mention the big ol‘ watermark in every image.
Well, don’t worry because I’ve got you!
I’ve done the legwork for you and scoured the web to find the ten absolute best sites for beautiful, original, and relevant free stock photography for you to use on your blog or website. (Or even awesome stock photography for social media if that’s what floats your goat)
Related: The Ultimate Blog Planning Workbook
I’ve Found The Best Free Sites For Unrestricted Stock Photography You Will Love
Unsplash – I think this is my absolute favorite site for stock images. It is my go-to for absolutely beautiful and original images. I can almost always find what I am looking for on Unsplash.
Death to Stock – I’ve found this site to have a smaller selection than other sites. However, the images that Death to Stock offers are fantastic. Most importantly, each collection is themed so beautifully. It is truly an exhibition of fantastic art. Each time I visit this site I get inspired.
Free Range – I really enjoy this site for more “serious” images. It has a great selection and is really easy to navigate to find exactly what you are looking for.
Kaboom – The tagline for this site states “breathtaking” photos and I have to agree! This is a great go-to site for lifestyle bloggers. Kaboom offers beautiful high-res images from a variety of themes.
Wylio – Wylio is a pretty cool concept. It does require image credit, but it’s a pretty good habit to get into to credit the image creators anyway. Wylio uses creative commons to create their database of images to search for what you want, so you never know what you’ll be able to find. I really like the concept behind this site and enjoy just searching through it sometimes to see what I run across.
FancyCrave – Absolutely beautiful landscape and scenic photography to use on your pages and projects. This site is always my go-to when I am looking for this type of image. They have a smaller selection, but the quality definitely makes up for it.
Gratisography – Oh my gosh I love this site. If you want original stock then this is the site for you. I can always find images with bright, beautiful colors and original subjects when I stop by this site.
Raumrot – Just plain beautiful lifestyle images. Period. You can’t go wrong with this German site if you are a lifestyle blogger. They have great Urban, Technical, Sport, and Business images too. I suppose you could say that this is a more “manly” site? There’s really so much there, but it has a very sleek feel to it.
Pexels – A greatly varied collection of stock photography. Pexels is a great choice if you are looking for images of people. They have a ton of other great photos too, though, so be sure to take your time and look around while you are there. ( I will put a word of caution, however. The last time that I was on this site there were lingerie images. These, of course, aren’t a big deal to me. Some moms though might have little sidekicks that they don’t want looking at that kind of thing. So word to your mother…or, their mother meaning you!)
Myfknfreephotos – The most beautiful landscape photography available on a Tumblr blog.( …or quite possibly any stock photo site for that matter.) These images are amazing and really have a theme all of their own. They are truly unique and bring their own style to the game of stock photography.
Ready to Do Your Own Photography?
I have to admit that as much as I love having stock photography resources available in a pinch, one of my favorite aspects of blogging is learning and expanding my experience as a photographer. In fact, I have been a photographer much longer than I have been a blogger.
There are so many educational resources out there for learning how to up your photography game. One of the most useful communities I found when I was just starting out was the Digital Photography School from Darren Rowse. Not only do they have great tutorials, but also an amazing community and frequent challenges to really get you out of your comfort zone and expanding your knowledge and skills as a photographer.
While I firmly believe that you can literally take good images on any camera ( yes, even an iPhone! I use mine frequently and produce high-quality images) if you really want to step up your game I highly suggest a DSLR camera. I have always been a Canon girl. I personally find them more user-friendly and have just grown to love mine. However, I have friends who create beautiful images with Nikon and even Sony cameras. It’s just a matter of personal preference here, and which feels best for you.
While I absolutely loved my 7D ( before I went through depression and sold it & several lenses…can we say DUH lol ) I have to say that the Canon Rebel I started with when I began to get serious about photography was a fantastic camera and one that I will ALWAYS recommend to those just starting out with DSLR photography. It was easy to understand and consistently produced high-quality images.
Of course, you can have the best camera in the world and still not quite get it right if you don’t have an understanding of the concepts of light, timing, and other important factors to producing a photo. I talk more about this in my article on photography basics, but one of the most important things you can do to improve your photography is understanding the concepts of backlighting, front lighting, and even the best times of day for the particular images you are wanting to make. Natural light can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how much you know about working with it. If nothing else, I highly recommend doing everything you can to fully grasp this concept. I think you will be amazed at how much of an improvement it can make on your images.
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