Nothing completes a project quite like a quality stock photo. A picture of a smiling couple, shot by a professional photographer, can add that final touch to any website design, brochure or leaflet. But stock photography can be expensive, particularly if you’re on a tight budget or the client doesn’t want to pay for bespoke imagery.

This is where free stock photography websites come to the rescue. Often presenting a wealth of high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) mark, you can download anything you like at no cost and for commercial use without any attribution (although double check everything). Many of these sites make their money by offering “premium” memberships or partnering with brands and advertisers. Or they simply benefit from having a raised profile and accessing a wider audience.

At Shillington, we asked our students and teachers to help put together a comprehensive list of 20 of the best websites where you can download free stock photography for your own projects in 2018.

Lead image by Viktor Hanacek via Picjumbo

1. Pexels

One of the top sites out there, Pexels brings the very best free stock photos together in one place. That’s right. It collects and curates images from other sources, as well as add its own. It’s a one-stop-shop for your asset needs. And there is a huge range to choose from, covering popular themes such as “business” and “healthy”.

Image courtesy of [Pexels](https://www.pexels.com/photo/female-leisure-recreation-relaxation-1154638/)

2. StockSnap

“Beautiful free stock photos,” states StockSnap, one of our favourite bookmarked sites for high-resolution images, free from copyright restrictions. This helpful resource always has something decent to offer and we especially like its “trending” feature where you can browse images that are proving popular.

Image courtesy of [StockSnap](https://stocksnap.io/photo/T2OBBCZTQU)

3. Negative Space

Another highly recommended site is Negative Space. With a vast library of high-res pics for personal or commercial use, all CC0 licensed, you’re sure to find something suitable for your next project or piece of content.

Image courtesy of [Negative Space](https://negativespace.co/woman-red-hair-young-white-flowers/)

4. Life of Pix

Life of Pix is a fantastic community of photographers, all submitting their images for you to use for free. You can even take your pick from its new sister site, Life of Vids to discover free videos, clips and loops with no copyright restrictions.

Photograph by Toa Heftiba on [Life of Pix](https://www.lifeofpix.com/photo/french-toast/)

5. Burst

Shopify brings you Burst, its own free stock photos for websites and commercial use. Browse photo collections or discover the “top free pics of the week”, all to suit different themes and purposes.

Image courtesy of [Burst](https://burst.shopify.com/)

6. Picjumbo

We love a little Picjumbo for finding unique images for our projects. Categories range from abstract and animals to holidays and love, and there’s a premium membership if you want to access much more.

Photography by Viktor Hanacek on [Picjumbo](https://picjumbo.com/cotton-candy/)

7. Kaboom Pics

Kaboom Pics is especially wonderful as it considers the complementary colour palette of each of its free stock photographs. So if you need something specific to match your design, then Kaboom should be your first port of call.

Image courtesy of [Kaboom Pics](https://kaboompics.com/)

8. ISO Republic

Thousands of high-resolution, CC0 licensed images await at ISO Republic, a handy little platform that brings you superb free photographs from a range of different categories. We particularly love the food and drink selection—plenty of brightly-lit, colourful and mouth-watering pics to choose from.

Image courtesy of [ISO Republic](https://isorepublic.com/making-pizza/)

9. Death to Stock

One could argue that Death to Stock kicked off the craze for free stock photograph websites, but you could also say that they’re partly responsible for boosting the quality of what’s available. Creating their own images, available to download via a premium package, they frequently provide free pics too.

Image courtesy of [Death to Stock](https://deathtothestockphoto.com/)

10. SplitShare

Free stock photos for commercial use—that’s the promise from SplitShare, a website containing nearly a thousand free images. Here you’ll find blurred backgrounds, drone footage, interior shots and Cinemagraph pics, amongst the usual “people” and “business” stock photographs we’ve come to expect.

Image courtesy of [SplitShare](https://www.splitshire.com/?s=car)

11. Pixabay

Pixabay brings you over 1.4 million royalty-free stock photos and videos shared by its generous community. When you’ve found the image you want, simply choose the file size and download. If you want to support Pixabay, you can make a donation to the site.

Image courtesy of [Pixabay](https://pixabay.com/en/people-woman-girl-clothing-eye-2563491/)

12. Re:Splashed

This decent little website offers 1,162 free HD images for your web and design projects, and you can filter images by tag. No matter what you’re searching for, Re:Splashed is sure to deliver the goods.

Photography by Leonardo Wong for [Re:Splashed](http://www.resplashed.com/img/88435a2d7ae5.jpg)

13. FreeStocks

If there’s one thing that defines FreeStocks and sets it apart from the rest, it’s the feel of authenticity with its range of free stock images. This is the place to visit if you’re looking for those less formal and stylised type of photos.

Image courtesy of [FreeStocks](https://freestocks.org/photo/moody-outdoor-female-profile-portrait-2/)

14. Nappy

Nappy is a stock photo website dedicated to diversity, providing beautiful high-res photos of Black and Asian people for free. A must for your bookmarks to ensure your work represents everyone.

Image courtesy of [Nappy](https://www.nappy.co/)

15. Fancy Crave

Another great contender, Fancy Crave allows you to download photo packs for free – perfect for web design, background/desktop images, articles, cover images, posters, advertising and much more. And if you want to download unlimited stock photos that can’t be found elsewhere, then simply subscribe for just $9.99 per month.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Fancy Crave

16. Unsplash

“Beautiful, free photos gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers,” says Unsplash, one of the most popular stock photo sites out there. Over 550,000 free, do-whatever-you-want-with, high-resolution photos are available to download. And if you want to join Unsplash and contribute your own pics, it’s free to do so.

Photo by [Kristin Lopez](https://unsplash.com/@kashlopez) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/search/photos/cat)

17. Stokpic

You can download any of Stokpic’s free stock photos for commercial use. Simply browse the website or subscribe to its regular newsletter to receive 10 new premium photos every fortnight.

Image courtesy of [Stokpic](http://stokpic.com/project/man-making-tea/)

18. Skitterphoto

A place to find, show and share public domain photos, Skitterphoto’s images are free to use for any purpose. You can download them, edit them and use them commercially. Browse its categories or search by keywords. Simple.

Photography by Peter Heeling on [Skitterphoto](https://skitterphoto.com/photos/2394/colorful-shutters)

19. Foodies Feed

Sometimes, you need a decent stock image of some delicious food. Foodies Feed is where it’s at. With nearly a thousand pics of food, glorious food, you’ll not just find what you’re looking for; you’ll be wanting to raid the fridge!

Photography by Jakub Kapusnak for [Foodies Feed](https://www.foodiesfeed.com/free-food-photo/banana-and-bluberries-waffles-with-coffee-espresso-4/)

20. Shot Stash

Last but not least is Shot Stash, unique stock photos with no royalties, no fees and no worries. Stay in touch by subscribing to the website’s weekly newsletter or add to your bookmarks, ready for the next time you need a great stock photograph for your design projects.

Image courtesy of [Shot Stash](https://shotstash.com/free-stock-photos/woman-on-computer/)

Did you find this article helpful? We regularly post resource based articles to make your life as a designer a little bit easier. Check out some of our recent posts; 50 Free Resources for Graphic Designers and 16 Free Type Foundries for Designers on a Budget.

Hoping to break into the design industry? Head to our website where you can find out more about studying at Shillington and download our course guide to discover what you could learn in 3 or 9 months.