Free stock photos aren’t that hard to find on the Internet; there are many sites that provide them.

The problem is finding high-quality stock photos that don’t have unclear licenses on how you can use them.

Dustin Senos, Designer at Medium, knows this conundrum all too well. That’s why he put together a list of sites where you can get free stock photos that don’t suck.

I thought I’d share Dustin Senos’s list of 10 websites here, discuss the sites he mentioned in his post, and also show you sample stock photos I got from the sites:

1. Little Visuals

Little Visuals

This site sends you 7 high-res photos every week, straight to your email inbox. You can use the stock photos any way you want because they’re licensed under public domain.

Examples from Little Visuals:

Source

Source

Source

2. Unsplash

Unsplash is similar to Little Visuals, but instead of 7 stock photos every 7 days, they’ll give you 10 every 10 days. Unsplash also has a public domain license. This website is by ooomf, a marketplace for creative talent.

Examples from Unsplash:

Source

Source

Source

3. Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock Photo

This site has a vision: to reverse the association of stock photos as being "dull" or "lifeless." Death to the Stock Photo provides truly free life-style photography photos every month that have very minimal licensing restrictions. (See their custom license here.)

Examples from Death to the Stock Photo:

Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock Photo

4. New Old Stock

New Old Stock

The vintage photos on this site created by Cole Townsend are in the public domain and are free of any known copyright restrictions (explanation on Flickr).

Examples from New Old Stock:

New Old StockSource

New Old StockSource

New Old StockSource

5. Superfamous

Superfamous

The beautiful stock photos on Superfamous (the studio of interaction designer Folkert Gorter) require attribution under the Creative Commons Unported 3.0 license.

Examples from Superfamous:

Source

Source

Source

6. Picjumbo

Picjumbo

I’ve written about Picjumbo before, a neatly-organized collection of free high-resolution stock photos by Viktor Hanacek that embody a clear terms of use license.

Examples from Picjumbo:

PicjumboSource

PicjumboSource

PicjumboSource

7. The Pattern Library

The Pattern Library

The Pattern Library is something I’ve covered recently as well. The Pattern Library doesn’t provide stock photos, but rather, beautiful seamless background patterns.

Examples from The Pattern Library:

The Pattern LibrarySource

The Pattern LibrarySource

The Pattern LibrarySource

8. Gratisography

Gratisography

The free high-res photos on Gratisography, a joint project between artist Ryan McGuire and the Bells Design creative studio, are free of any copyright restrictions under the CC0 license.

Examples from Gratisography:

GratisographySource

GratisographySource

GratisographySource

9. Free Refe Mobile Photos

Free Refe Mobile Photos

This site gives away free photos shot using camera phones. This site is by Refe, a marketplace for mobile photos. Fun fact: One of our long-time and favorite contributors, Tomas Laurinavicius, is Product Manager at Refe, so if you like this site, please tell him about it.

Examples from Free Refe Mobile Photos:

Free Refe Mobile PhotosSource

Free Refe Mobile PhotosSource

Free Refe Mobile PhotosSource

10. IM Free

IM Free

IM Free is a hand-picked collection of free resources that you can use for commercial purposes. They have plenty of high-quality stock photos on this site, as well as other design resources like background patterns and such.

Examples from IM Free:

IM FreeSource

IM FreeSource

IM FreeSource

Be sure to check back and bookmark Dustin Senos’s list on Medium because he says in the post that it’s an "ongoing list," so I’m assuming he’ll add more awesome sites whenever he comes across them.

Do you know of other websites that offer free high-quality stock photos like the ones above? Share it with us.

Updates: New Sites

I’ll add new links here whenever I come across them.

Author:

Jacob Gube is the co-founder and a managing editor of Design Instruct. He's a web developer, and also the owner of Six Revisions. Follow Jacob on Twitter: @sixrevisions