the 5 Best Free Stock Photo Websites

Good stock photos are hard to find. A recent Clients from Hell post reminded me, suddenly, of how many times I've struggled to find stock photos that fit the bill and didn't veer too far into cheesiness. Sometimes it seems like clients expect a magical website with every photo ever taken, for free, that includes every element they need. Strangely, that's not how the real world works. 

I'm a big fan of using "pretty, emotion-inducing" photos for posts. I'm not big on a lot of text or of super obvious pictures that I haven't taken myself. I've really gotten into finding the best stock photos recently and I thought I'd share some of my favorite sites. 

1. Creative Market

Creative Market is a great place to find good stock photos, as well as other creative materials (including fonts and vector images), for sale. They offer weekly free deals, which usually include a stock photography package. The photo above is from the currently available Hipsta package. 

2. Death to Stock Photo

Death to Stock Photo is an incredibly popular site that offers free, monthly stock photo packages. You can also sign up for pro, which offers you even more photos and benefits. They have sent me easily some of my favorite stock photos; they are all beautiful, well-lit, and evocative. 

3. Life of Pix

Need nature photography? Life of Pix is one of the best sites for great nature and landscape photography, if you're looking for something basic and simple. Their website is simple and beautiful. 

4. Picjumbo

My favorite thing about Picjumbo is that many of their photos include people and technology -- two elements that I often look for in stock photogs. They have a variety of photographers as well, which means they offer a variety of styles and feels. Their site is easily divided into categories -- technology, people, bokeh (if you're looking for something abstract and colorful). As a warning, their website has a lot of ads, but don't let that stop you from appreciating the photography. 

5. Magdeleine

Magdeleine has some absolutely stunning still life and abstract photos, as well as a vast collection of nature and landscape photography. Their photos are definitely more atmospheric and moody, perfect for a deep or reflective post. I love their still life photos for DIY posts or newsletters.