Magazines are a visual medium, but if you don’t have your own photography or a stable of photographers, stock photos are an option. However, stock photos can have a very generic look to them if you’re choosing the same images as everyone else. We’re here with some options that avoid that generic feeling.
For this list, we tried to stick to resources that curate open source images with a Creative Commons license. This means that the creators of these works have waived their rights to it, putting it into the public domain so that anyone can use it at no cost.
However, there were a few exceptions we liked too much to exclude. We made sure to link to the rules of the road for those resources so that you can make informed choices.
We love Unsplash for providing stock photos that don’t look like stock photos. Not only can you search for images by keyword, but you can follow different photographers and categories. It’s convenient for when you need a certain kind of image or want to stick to the same style of photography.
Worried that you’ll find a stock photo collection that you love but that they’re run out of content? Pexels uploads about three thousand images a month, so there’ll always be something new. They also have free stock videos!
If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, the tag cloud at the top of openphoto is great for browsing. The larger the link, the more photos there are in the collection. You can also see new photos as they come in, collections of popular photos (though we try avoid these so we don’t look like everyone else), or use the search toolbar to hone in on a specific image.
This resource is great for when you want to superimpose words or graphics onto an image. Like the title says, this collection features images with negative space, so you can add what you need while still having room for your text additions.
Almost all these images are the work of one photographer and you won’t find them anywhere else. These photos are free to use within the photographer’s terms, which are quite flexible. While all of this is free, you can upgrade to a premium membership for more features and extra images.
Like picjumbo, you’ll find exclusive stock photos here since Freerange stock draws from either it’s in-house photographers or their community of contributors. If you’re looking for quality (and who isn’t, really?) then you’re in the right place; all these images are shot by DSLR cameras or are high resolution versions of an original 33mm image.
This site is exactly what it says it is: a collection of mouthwatering open source food photos. However, they do have a few rules about how to attribute their images, so check those out before you feast on this resource.