While sites such as iStock and Shutterstock have an extensive range of images and videos for you to choose from, they will come at a price. However, new FREE stock image sites are emerging. They provide royalty free images (and video) for both personal and commercial use. Their libraries may not be quite as large, but they are growing significantly, and they offer great alternative images to those found on the corporate giant websites. At Glow, we are beginning to use these type of sites more and more and encourage our clients to take advantage of these fantastic visual sources.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Unsplash was created as a result of the difficulty the founders were having in finding great, usable imagery. Home to a growing community of photographers – from hobbyists, professionals, emerging brands and everyone in between, Unsplash offers a great selection of imagery and video. A little more alternative than other sites, there are some ideal options to utilise for an edgier aesthetic. The site itself is easy to use and you have the option to donate to the contributor, or credit them in your work – but this isn’t a must.
Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos and videos. It is easy to search for a specific image or video clip or find a huge selection of content related to different subjects and styles using its Discover page. We love this feature, which uses a board like appearance and associated tags, in a similar style to Pinterest, to make finding images even easier. Again, like Unsplash, you have the option to donate or credit the contributor.
Pikwizard offer over 100,000 free images and videos, with 20,000 of those exclusive to its site. Its library is continuously growing, with new additions being added daily. It has a great selection of people-based imagery, which tends to be rarer on free stock photo sites. With a variety of styles, you can get your hands on more ‘classic’ style stock images (if that’s the look you’re going for).
While you won’t be able to find everything on these sites, we’d highly recommend taking a look before purchasing imagery/video on premium stock image sites. What you could discover may completely change the aesthetic of your project, so it’s definitely worth spending a little extra time looking through each site first