If you’ve ever found yourself working on a project searching for just the right image, but only finding overpriced stocky looking images instead, you are not alone. My frustrations peaked about 2 years ago when I was working on collateral for a law practice (do photos get stockier than that?) and, after going through shutterstock, istock and yes, even ridiculously priced getty, I’d had enough. I knew there had to be a site with photos priced for real people that weren’t so obviously staged. So, after searching the typical sites, I adjusted my google query, panned + mined, then struck gold. This week, I’m here to share the photo wealth 🙂 Read on for my go-to sites for the best in free + affordable photos.
Let’s start with the free photos – the pro is that these kick serious butt in the way of ‘stock’ photography, the downside is, these generally get used a lot, by a lot of people. Ever since I found these sites and started using these photos, I notice them used all the time in site themes. I would consider how much people are going to see the application you’re using the photograph on to gauge if you should open your wallet or not – if it’s for a family get together for example – use em! Selling invitations to a get together – it might be worth paying a few bucks to stand out that much more with less common photography (see below).
Free Photo Sites
this is hands down the most popular of free stock sites – it has great photography, but keep in mind they’re used the most.
I like this site because it pulls photos in from other free stock sites and it has search so you don’t endlessly scroll forever.
I love this one because they send you new free photos to your inbox at the beginning of every month. This is great because since the photos are emailed, they’re not as commonly used everywhere online.
this site compiles all the major free stock sites on one site. Some of the sites listed require attribution though, so just be sure to double check, rules are usually listed at the top of each page.
Affordable Photo Sites
foap is a site full of user submitted photos, so cheesy staging is rare. At $10 a pop, it’s affordable, and you’re throwing a little cash to people just like you and me which always feels good.
the photo section on Creative Market has grown a lot recently and includes some really great images, many times for $10 or less
this is my most recent discovery – although each photo is only $1 – the catch is, that since it’s a club, you have to apply for membership and once accepted, you’re obligated to pay $10 a month to remain a member (you can download 10 photos each month with that, any extra you want are still $1 each), or $99 a year (this gets you 99 photos, any extras are still $1 each)
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