3+1 Best Sources for Public Domain Stock Photos
- May 18
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Being a designer means to be pressured constantly by the deadlines and the budget. Sometimes the budget is so tight that there is no room for a stock photo in it – designers have to waste their time googling for the perfect image that would fit into the design – and with zero costs, of course. The list below will help them save a lot of time, and provide them with access to hundreds of high quality stock photos offered by their authors with a Public Domain license – meaning that they can use them as they like, with no restrictions whatsoever. And the time saved by using them they can spend as they like – working on other projects, begin playing online or having some well deserved rest.
1. Death to Stock Photo
Death to Stock Photo is a website with two plans: the premium one costs $15 a month, and offers subscribers access to a library of thousands of high quality pictures, and the free one, that only requires users to subscribe, and fills their inbox with a free pack of photos each month. The only legal restrictions apply to the sub-licensing and re-distribution of the images, and the owners prohibit their use on hate-speech, adult websites and “anything that would embarrass them”.
2. Unsplash & Little Visuals
These are two sources, but they are so similar that I will describe them under the same title. Both websites offer their subscribers a pack of free stock photos regularly, under the Creative Commons Zero license (this basically means that all the photos are public domain). Both websites are run by advertising and design companies that have a network of photographers working for them. Unsplash gives you 10 photos every 10 days, while Little Visuals offers its subscribers 7 new photos every 7 days. Completely free.
This website is also run by a design company, but has chosen a different path compared to the two above: instead of sending you a new image package each week, it simply lists the pictures on the website for designers, bloggers, visitors or anyone else to freely download and use. All photos are offered under a Creative Commons Zero license, but users can decide to contribute to the Bells Design coffee fund (the company behind the project).
+1 – Freeimages (SXC)
A website that has started out as a Hungarian photo sharing project, and was later bought by Getty Images, SXC (Stock.xchng) is one of the most powerful stock photo website out there. It has a collection of over 400,000 images – its library is built out of the contributions of its registered users. Each image comes with its own license agreement – some require users to notify the artist of their use, others require them to give credit to the owner, or other restrictions may apply. But with an image library so vast you’ll surely find what you are looking for.
Khalid Janjua is a business owner and entrepreneur from Manchester, United Kingdom. Khalid is currently working on Saturn-Tec, a website which provides design & cheap web solutions. Follow Khalid on Twitter: @hybridlava. Follow the development of @saturntec.