Using images that reinforce the content of your apps and websites can be an effective way to make them visually as well as emotionally appealing to the users.
There are many stock photography agencies and services like Shutterstock and Getty Images that license the rights to stock images that you can use in your commercial projects. But if you have a limited budget then using free stock photos that don’t require you to purchase a license or are available in public domain can be a good alternative.
Finding free high quality stock photos is not an easy task and is generally quite time consuming. In order to save your time, effort and money, I have put together a list of sites that offer high quality, free stock photos that you can use for commercial purposes. Most of these sites allow you to use an image without the need of attribution, however do check the licensing and attribution requirement before using an image in your project.
The Open Photo project is a photo sharing platform with images offered by various contributors free of charge under terms of Creative Commons licensing. Images are classified under various categories that you can browse to find the perfect photo according to your need.
Image courtsey: Heather on Open Photo
Morgue File has a huge collection of free, high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images contributed by many artists that you can use in your creative projects.
Image courtsey: hotblack on Morgue File
Unprofound has lots of quality, stock photos to browse, they can be filtered by color, are free and can be used commercially.
Image courtsey: jim on Unprofound
Freerange Stock is a photographic community, you need to sign up for a free membership, log in and download high quality, high-resolution free stock photos that can be used commercially.
Public Domain Archive is a repository of high quality public domain images. These free stock photos can be used for commercial purposes.
Image courtsey: Matt Hobbs on Public Domain Archive
Photogen is a gallery of free, quality, high resolution stock images that are free for both commercial and personal use. These images are keyword searchable and are categorized under different headings like architecture, celebrations and technology for easy browsing.
Image courtsey: Photogen
Public Domain Photos has a collection of public domain stock photos that you can use commercially.
Image courtsey: Jon Sullivan on Public Domain Photos
Contrary to its name, Death to the Stock Photo is a free email subscription that you can sign up for to receive a pack of ten high-resolution lifestyle photographs straight in your inbox every month. You can use these images in your commercial projects like apps, websites, mock-ups etc.
You can also check the list of free image sites like Picjumbo, IM Creator and Splitshire that I had written about in earlier posts, they too offer high quality free stock photos and images for commercial use that you can use in your work.
I am sure these sites will give you plenty of options to pick the right stock photo for your apps and websites. Please do not forget to share this post with others if you found it useful.