Wading through a sea of cheesy stock photography can get lead a designer to chronic despondency. As designers we like visuals that look good – but until recently it’s been tough to find actual high-quality stock photos.
Thankfully there are many free resources that collect batches of creative commons photos(and videos) for use in any creative project. Graphic & web designers alike can rejoice at the plentiful bounty of high-quality photos available for free online.
These 10 resources are the best websites updated frequently that offer quality digital media we all love so much.
One of the newest sites I’ve found is FancyCrave which at the moment seems to be powered by Tumblr. It’s updated daily with free public domain photos for use in any type of project. You’ll even find some neat photo packs covering specific shots like mountains or workspace desks. Definitely an excellent resource for creating a landing page design.
For a greater variety of content Pexels has everything you could possibly need. Every single day the site releases 10 new high-quality photos into their collection. It also has a magnificent search feature that works based on tags.
Licensing gets a little tricky on Magdeleine but all the photos are still $0. Some are public domain while others require attribution through a link or text credits. You can sort through photos based on the license along with categories, colors, and tags.
One of the original free photo sites is Unsplash. It launched a couple years back and still runs a very minimalistic design. Unfortunately it’s not an easy site to search which means you can be crawling through photos for hours to find what you want. But the quality is there and every photo is completely free for commercial use.
5. Life Of Pix
Here’s a site that works in gallery format offering photos hard to find elsewhere. Life of Pix is maintained by a Montreal ad agency handling submissions from professional photographers who want to release their work into the public domain. If you check out the gallery view each photo is listed in thumbnail format which makes browsing the library a whole lot easier.
StockSnap works much closer to a search engine where groups of photos are added sporadically. They index public domain photos and offer collections based on keywords. Nothing particularly special other than a great interface and the library is completely public domain without any required attribution.
Moving into videos we have Coverr. This catalog includes high-quality stock videos mostly directed at web designers who need fullscreen video backgrounds. But anyone can use these videos from animators to video editors and special effects gurus.
Believe it or not this particular gallery includes free photos taken by one guy named Ryan McGuire. Every photo in Gratisography is completely free to download and use in commercial or personal projects. The site has a more dynamic range of content including HDR stuff and silly content perfect for photo manipulation.
Not all videos found at XStockvideo are free, but there are still many free videos to be found in the site. Personal use videos are almost completely free but commercial may have restrictions. If you don’t want to pay just look for videos with a “Free HD” ribbon across the thumbnail.
From the Eezy network comes a wonderful resource gallery of HD video clips for all creative purposes. Videezy includes stock video from cities to countrysides and everything inbetween. Movie quality is fantastic with some videos available at 2K or even 4K resolution.
All of these sites are just fantastic and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
So find your favorites and keep them bookmarked for the next time you need free quality stock photos or videos.