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On the other hand, some projects have such limited budgets that they cannot cover the price of stock photos. Those include personal projects and pilot projects. In these low-payment or no-payment projects, another route should be taken to find resources for the design project. Yes, it is the free route. There are many websites that provide free stock photos with different license plans. For example, some websites allow use of stock photos for both personal and commercial projects, while others restrict the usage to only personal projects.

When you search for a free stock photo website, there are a number of factors that you can use to filter the results, such as:

  • Image Quality

The size and resolution of the images are very important factors for use in projects such as printing and video production. Some websites limit the free download to only small photos, which limits the usage of the image to only web designs.

  • Usage license

As we mentioned already, some websites limit free stock photo usage to personal use. So it is very important to review the license for the image before downloading it.

  • Professional photos

Some websites provide numerous images for free download, but they are useless in real life because their composition is such low quality.

I admit that searching for free and professional photos is very challenging because most of the professional photographers prefer to sell their photos to sites such as iStockphotos or Shutterstock. But you can still find good options on the free sites. Therefore, having a list of free stock photography websites can increase the odds of finding not only what you’re looking for but also a professional composition and large size.

The following list includes a number of websites that provide free stock photos for free download. Check it out and share with us your feedback about these sites. Which one do you think is the most useful?

  1. Freerangestock
  2. This website provides free stock photos that you can download after registering on the website. The images are available in large dimensions. The Freerangestock interface is very similar to professional stock photography websites, which makes it more usable and easy to navigate through.
    freerangestock

  3. Morguefile
  4. The homepage of this website is very minimal, and you can click on the Free Images link to go to its archive page. That page allows you to search for free stock photos from its archive or find images on other paid resources, such as iStockphoto, Fotolia, Dreamstime, and more.
    morguefile

  5. PhotoPin
  6. Photo Pin is one of the most useful search tools for free images that you can use either personally or commercially. The site fetches the free images you’re searching for and allows you to download them as long as you add a copyright reference to the photographer.
    photopin

  7. EveryStockPhoto
  8. This is another image search engine similar to Photo Pin, and it lets you search for images through a number of sites that contain free images, such as Flickr. You can click on the image to find the available sizes and license information.
    everystockphoto

  9. StockVault
  10. Stockvault is one of the great resources that lets you search for images and download in high resolution without the need to register on the site. You need to check the image usage guidelines, however, because some images are not allowed in commercial projects.
    stockvault

  11. PixaBay
  12. Similar to the Freerangestock website, Pixabay requires registration in order to download free images. When you navigate to any of the images and click the download link, you will see a range of resolutions based on your needs. The resolutions vary from image to image.
    pixabay

  13. FreeImages
  14. Freeimages provides categorization for images, which allows you to search for free stock photos based on a specific category you need. It does not provide a range of resolutions to select from, so you simply obtain the image by clicking on its thumbnail.
    freeimages

  15. Freedigitalphotos
  16. The interface of Freedigitalphotos is not as clear as many of the sites above but you can still find it easy to search and find free images to download. The images provided are usually small in size and can be used for the web or be embedded in your design work.
    freedigitalphotos

  17. Stock.xchng
  18. Stock.xchng is one of the most commonly known websites for free photos. All you need to do is register for a free account and start downloading images. The only concern about Stock.xchng is that the images are not professional, and it is hard to find a suitable photo for some projects.
    stockxchng

  19. Photl
  20. Photl allows you to search for images and either download a low-resolution version for free or buy a high-resolution version of the chosen image. When you choose the large size for download, you may experience slow download speeds.
    photl

  21. FreePixels
  22. Here is another free stock photo website that is marked by a clean interface and easy navigation. No registration is required to download the free images.
    freepixels

  23. Rgbstock
  24. Rgbstock is another free image website that requires registration in order to download photos. The image sizes are large enough to use in various projects.
    rgbstock

    In addition to the above list, there are other websites that also provide free images:

    • Imageafter
    • Freemediagoo
    • Placekitten
    • Lorempixel

    If you find other free image resources that you think can be useful for designers, share them with us in the comments below.