Forrest T. Heath III


Top 5 Sources for Free Stock Photos

January 11th 2016

I do a lot of work with images for my company, Pareto Design. I used to rely solely on the the tried and true method of purchasing stock photos from all the usual suspects. One day I begrudgingly agreed to help a friend with his half backed idea for a startup (story for another day, didn’t end well). He gave me next to nothing to work with budget wise so in a moment of cheap innovation, I turned to the internet for a free solution. Turns out the stuff available for free is amazing and I was a fool to ever pay for stock photos. After tireless searching, I found the best and the brightest of the young free stock photo class. The five websites below have consistently provided great photos for my projects. What will you do with this great free photo power?

Unsplash- Literally the only place you ever need to visit for stock photos for you project or business. All photographs can be used for any purpose — both commercial and personal. Blogs, art, book covers, tshirts, and more — paid or unpaid — they’re all allowed under the license.

NYPL Digital Collections- Over 180,000 free high quality historical photographs and documents. A great retro resource.

New Old Stock Photos- Vintage photos from public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions. These photos are literally so old copyright wasn’t a thing when they were taken. Pretty great for an edgy black and white vibe.

Photo Collections IO- A similar but less extensive version of Unsplash. More focused towards landscapes, nature, and architecture.

Gratisography- Photos By Ryan McGuire, some really quirky stuff like people dong word faces and colorful shots of toys but depending on the project, and invaluable resource.

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