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Where to find the best free photos and graphics

Steve Benjamins · Nov 17 2014 · Blog Home

This is my collection of the best websites to find free photos, icons and patterns. If you’d like to suggest a resource, send me an email.

Photo Blogs

Quality over quantity. Usually a photo blog is one photographer releasing photos as they shoot them. Generally these blogs have around 300 high-quality photos.

Photo blogs are all about quality (not quantity). The blogs I’ve listed here all have beautiful, inspirational photography. You won’t find any awful stock photos of people in suits shaking hands.

Photo Blog # of Photos
Unsplash 486
New Old Stock 378
Move East 1,100
Gratisography 288
Splitshire 252
Life of Pix 260
Kaboom Pics 745
Designer Pics 216
Iso Republic 204
Startup Stock Photos 90
Skitterphoto 198
Jay Mantri 180
Snapwire 158
Je Shoots 81

Wondering how to search all these blogs in one place? Stock Up, a search engine for free stock photos, is a way to browse high-quality photo blogs in one place.

You might also be interested in Splashbox, a way to sync new photos with your Dropbox.

Photo blogs like Unsplash are all about quality.

Photo blogs like Unsplash are all about quality.

Photo Search Engines

Quantity over quality. Photo search engines have thousands of free stock photos, but because there are thousands you really get a mix of quality- some are good, many are a bit cheesy. They are helpful for hard to find photo subjects.

Search Engine Registration Required?
Photo Morgue No
Pixabay No
Pic Jumbo No
Compfight No
Wikimedia Commons No
Stock Photos for Free Yes
Free Images Yes
Photo search engines such as Pixabay are all about quantity over quality.

Photo search engines such as Pixabay are all about quantity over quality.

Icon Collections

My favorite spot for icons is Icon Monstr. Not only does Icon Monstr have a ton of icons, they also let you set the color of your icon for downloading. This makes things really easy.

Otherwise, there are a number of other great icon spots that I hear about: Font Awesome, The Noun Project, Find Icons and Icon Sweets.

Searching for glasses at Icon Monstr.

Searching for glasses at Icon Monstr.

Patterns

I love Subtle Patterns. It has 300 high quality, subtle patterns. None of the patterns are overly aggressive (which is what you want for a website background).

If you’re looking for patterns that are a little less subtle, you’ll want to check out The Pattern Library, which has 50 patterns available. All their patterns are lively and colourful.

Three pattern examples from Subtle Patterns.

Three pattern examples from Subtle Patterns.

Unusual but Awesome Tools

Here’s a few awesome tools that are a bit unusual.

Placeit – Placeit takes a screenshot of your website and automatically generates real-life photos (see the example below).

Scoop Shoot – Need photos from around town? ScoopShoot lets you hire people around town to take photos with their phones.

Colour Lovers – Have difficulty choosing which colours to use? Colour Lovers has (literally) millions of colour palettes created by users that are ready for you to use.

Place It

Placeit is awesome. It takes a screenshot of your website and automatically generates real-life photos like this one.

Me low res Steve Benjamins I'm the founder of Site Builder Report. You can think of me as your website builder crash test dummy. I also make music (which you download for free) and I'm on Twitter.