Where to find the best free photos and graphics
November 17 2014 · Steve Benjamins
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.
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|
|New Old Stock||378|
|Life of Pix||260|
|Startup Stock Photos||90|
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 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?|
|Stock Photos for Free||Yes|
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.
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.
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.