Top 5 Free Stock Image Sites


Having high quality pictures is essential to any kind of online or print promotion. After all, your smartphone can only do so much. Stock image sites allow you to license and use national-quality shots in your work. However, most of them charge. In this video, Eric Spellmann lists his top 5 (plus a bonus) sites that are completely and totally free to use. He also lists his top paid sites for when the free offerings just don’t cut it.


Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey I am Eric Spellmann and today’s topic is the Top 5 Free Stock Image Sites. But here’s a question. Why Stock Images? And what are they exactly? Basically they are pictures you can use. Pictures you can use for print work, on your website, on your blog, anywhere you wanna put them. And they’re free. And they’re high quality.

That’s the key. Instead of you going out with your little iPhone and taking these pictures, you can simply go download these photos and use them. And they’re national quality taken by real photographers and they’re exactly what you need.

Keep in mind that when building websites, when putting together web pages or even any kind of print material, you want pictures! If all you have is a bunch of text, no one wants to look at that! So, I love Stock Images because they allow me to get something out quick and easy.

But they must be legal. Let me say that again, you must be legal. I know a lot of you know you can go online, download any picture on the internet and then put it on your website or put it on your newsletter. Be careful. That is illegal if you are using someone else’s image without their permission!

And in fact I will tell you this. There are a lot of software robots that are scouring the web looking for people misusing images. And when they find em, they get a red flag, it’s sent to lawyers and then you get a letter saying that you owe the owner of that image ten thousand dollars! And guess what. There’s not a thing you can do about it.

You have to pay! So don’t do that. I’ve seen people come to me with these horror stories, these crying stories that they used some cheap web designer out there who just went out and copied pictures but the owner of the website is now the one having to pay the ten grand! So it’s got to be legal. So everything you see in this presentation is going to be completely and totally legal.

What is it better that you can do? You know they have better lighting and usually the models in them, the people in them are better looking. And I have a whole session on that little dicey issue you can watch. They’re great for websites because they break things up.

They give people something to look at. Remember everyone on the internet has ADD and they’re lazy. If all you have is a bunch of text, like I said boring, so you need to have some pictures. And also keep in mind.

Pictures reinforce the point you’re trying to make visually. You can use them in print, so if you have a print newsletter that you send out to people or even believe it or not a newspaper or a book or I can go on and on and on. Signs, Posters, Banners they’re perfect for that kind of thing.

When looking at Stock Image sites, sites that either sell you or allow you to simply use photos, you’ve got to realize that on the paid ones there are basically 2 ways to get paid. Subscriptions or Credits. A Subscription usually means you pay them a certain amount per month and you get so many pictures a day or so many pictures per month.

And you can download as many as you want up to that amount. And all you pay is a certain amount every single month. Credits are where you go in and buy, say 10 credits and then when you see a picture you can apply a number of those credits to get that picture. When you run out of credits, you buy more credits. And obviously you get big discounts if you buy big blocks of credits.

So the key is to figure out if you are gonna go to a paid site, are you gonna be doing this on a regular basis or it’s just a one time deal? It it’s a one time deal, then buy the credits. But if you’re gonna be doing this all the time, subscriptions are definitely cheaper. Now you’re probably saying Eric we want the free ones. Stop telling us about the paid ones! Well here’s the list.

Pixabay.com is one of my favorites with very high quality photos and an interface very easy to use. Deathtothestockphoto.com is an interesting site because they really don’t have a site where you can download photos but they email them to you on a regular basis. A whole bunch of free, really high quality ones.

So I subscribe to that one and once again these are totally free and legal to use any way you want! The license is completely open. You can use it with advertising anything you want. Rgbstock.com is a great one. Gratisography.com is wonderful, and then public-domain-image.com is also good and then I’ve got one more which is a bonus. Freeimages.com!

These are my favorites. These are my top 6 favorite sites to get free images from. Now if you want, hit pause on the video and write these down so you can check em out.

But just know that these are the best ones out there. I’ve had really good luck with them and I haven’t run into any legal issues whatsoever. They all do a really good job on making sure that they have the license to do this.

BUT, what you’re going to discover is that they don’t have near the inventory that a paid site does. And so yeah, a lot of times I would use paid sites and believe it or not they’re cheap. I mean you can get down to just pennies to a dollar maybe a photo. Extremely cheap. Bigstockphoto.com is my favorite, I’ll just say that right now.

That’s the one I use the most. They have a huge number of extremely high quality photos and it’s so easy to search. And basically when I buy them I use the credit system. And it comes down to around a dollar for the photo I need.

Keep in mind the more resolution of the same photo you want, the more credit you’re gonna pay. If it’s print, it’ll have to be pretty high. But if its web, I’ll be honest I can go with a small one. Pay about a dollar and I’m good to go.

Dollarphotoclub.com, I’ve used this one a couple of times and it’s great. And I have some friends who swear by it Istockphoto.com is the big one on the block. They have more photos than anybody. And they’re probably also the most expensive.

But, if you just can’t seem to find that photo anywhere else, if none of the sites I have given you have the photo you’re looking for and then go to istockphoto, buy some credits, not their subscription and I guarantee you’ll find the photo you’re looking for.

Remember. Remember, remember. Legal is more important than free!

As always if you have any questions check out my Facebook, go to my website, give us a call, I’ll be happy to help answer them in any way I can. I’m Eric Spellmann; I’ll see you in cyberspace.