Since originally writing this article I have now found a new resource I use daily and that is Stencil. Get started with their free plan today.


A picture is worth more than a thousand words

We all know this to be true… This will often lead us going to websites like iStockPhoto to find that perfect shot for our marketing materials and websites. However especially in the last while you may have been shocked to see the price rises of using these type of stock photography websites. I remember only a few years ago when you could get most small images for $1 but now you are looking at more in the vicinity of $15 plus for a very small photo.

When you consider that some freelance writers in these time of austerity are charging even less than $15 to write a thousand words it would now seem that the saying holds true in even more ways. However as business owners and marketing professionals there is a better way.

Here are the best websites for Free Image downloads

Yes you read that correctly no more having to scavenge Google Image search and fear being reprimanded in the future by the actual image owner, Using this list of the 5 top secret spots online to find free images, you will be able to download to your hearts content free of charge.

1. stock.xchng

This website claims to be the “leading source of free stock photos” and it definitely has good cause for this claim with an image database well into the millions and some great search features that allows you to find your perfect shot. These features include;

  • Ability to search by photo theme
  • Searching by user upload (This allows you to follow your favourite artists)
  • File type
  • Camera type
  • Country
  • City

Link here to stock.xchng


2. shutterstock

Founded in 2003 in New York by Jon Oringer this website has grown from strength to strength and is also listed on the NYSE. There is no registration fee, but you do need to sign up before being able to download the images you want. This website does have a more pleasing feel to it than stock.xchng which I guess comes from its stylish New York roots. This website is definitely one to keep bookmarked when you are on the hunt for great images.

Link here to shutterstock


3. morgueFile

As depressing as the name may sound don't let it deter you as the results you get from this pioneer in the industry of stock photos is by no means sub-par. Apparently the name comes from the fact that a morgueFile is a place to keep post production materials for use of reference. If you don't know exactly what that means don't worry you are not the only one! But anyway what matters is that when you search for photos here you are going to be presented with a myriad of free options to choose from. SEARCH AWAY!

Link here to morgueFile


4. dreamstime

This website is very popular online at the moment with lots of people sharing it on social networks and recommending it. It benefits from a very easy sign up process and also one of the largest collections of stock photos at this moment. You won't go wrong adding this website to your list to find the perfect image.

When visiting this website make sure to click the top menu that says “Free images” as this website does feature both free and paid images.

Link here to dreamstime


5. stockvault

This is our final free image download hot spot for you. This one has the smallest collection of photos out of this list, but is worthy of adding to this list nonetheless. It just takes that one photo sometimes to make all the difference to your marketing materials and stockvault may very well have it. The benefit of a website like this may be when you are first starting out your search for images as when you press the search button it won't overwhelm you with too many photos to choose from like the other websites on this page. Once you are more comfortable with the browsing experience for images you can then progress onto the larger databases if you didn't find what you were looking for.

Link here to stockvault

So there you have it!

This list will keep you more than busy looking in the right places for great photos. I don't know if you noticed but I do wonder what it is with all these websites starting their names with a small letter – maybe they think it looks cool and trendy.

Do you have any other great sites that you use?

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