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How To Take Photos For Stock Photography

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You might be the about amazing social media director in the world, with an impeccable social strategy and well-honed posting schedule — just that doesn’t mean you know how to take a picture. Maybe you should exist looking into free stock photography instead.

That’due south okay! We’re not blaming yous! We can’t all be good at everything. (For case: even Grammy-winner Michael Bublé doesn’t know how to eat corn like a normal homo.)

Even if you’ve studied upwardly on how to accept adept Instagram photos, sometimes it’s just best to go out imagery to the professionals. Which is where free stock photos come up in.

And, lucky for you, the internet is brimming-a-block with gorgeous, royalty-free, copyright-free photos, just waiting for a hazard to dazzle your followers.

In fact, we’ve managed to round up 38 (30 eight!) of the best complimentary stock photograph websites to share with you. So if y’all’re looking for photos for commercial utilise that don’t cost a penny only will brand your social feeds expect like a meg bucks, read on.

(Looking for free stock video sites? We’ve got you covered in that location, as well.)

Go the ever-upwardly-to-engagement social media prototype size crook sheet.
 The complimentary resource includes recommended photo dimensions for every type of prototype on every major network.

How to know if a stock photograph is free to use

Earlier you continue a shopping spree (or… whatever it’s chosen when the thing you’re shopping for is totally costless), it’s important to clearly sympathize
how to know if a stock photo is free to apply.

If you accidentally share something that doesn’t give you commercial rights, y’all might be in violation of copyright law — which could hateful some serious consequences for your brand, or even y’all personally.

And unfortunately, “I didn’t know” won’t fly as a legal defence.

So look for articulate descriptions on the stock photo website that say “commercial apply allowed,” “commercial apply and modifications immune,” or “no known copyright restrictions.”

Anything licensed under the Creative Commons or public domain is fair game too.

But when in doubtfulness, read the fine print.

You can dig more into agreement paradigm copyright here, merely here’s a handy flowchart that cuts to the chase:

Source: Hootsuite

And at present, onto the good stuff: gratuitous resources for social media photos that will wow your followers and get those likes rolling in.

38 free stock photo websites


Gorgeous, editorial style pics are everywhere hither. Photographers upload their content in hopes of catching someone’due south eye for futurity paid work. In the meantime, low- or no-upkeep brands tin can benefit from the wealth of stylish shots. Not certain what to search for? Browse featured collections similar “Athletics,” “Travel,” or “Applied science” to spark some inspiration.

two people walking along the banks of a river

Source: Kevin Lang on



Gratisography is actually pushing the whimsy here. Download whatever of their costless high-resolution stock photos for whatever use you lot want, thanks to a “peace of mind” license. Lots of illustrations are available, too.

person holding mini doughnuts on each finger

Source: Gratisography

Adobe Stock Free Collection

Observe costless photos, vectors and videos courtesy of Adobe, which all meet the verbal same licensing standards equally the company’due south paid content. Some shots look a petty more posed and stock photo-y than others… but mayhap that’south what yous’re going for!

Heads up: you do demand to create a (costless) Adobe account to download.

smiling person wearing sunglasses and looking up towards the sky

Adobe Stock Gratuitous Collection


You lot guessed information technology: more free stock photos for editorial or commercial apply. No attribution required at all here, so if yous don’t desire to requite credit to the person who shot this person holding a pumpkin, you don’t have to.

person holding a pumpkin and wearing a black dress and black nail polish



RawPixel has a decent collection of Public Domain images (either photos that have fallen out of copyright, or has been dedicated to the public domain). Yous might detect just what y’all’re looking for hither… though you do need to sign up with a free account to get information technology.


Instantly download free high-resolution stock photos. Skilful news, because when you’re in a rush to get that Instagram post scheduled, sometimes at that place’s no
to log-in!

traveller walking through the white alleyways of Greece



Burst (by Shopify)

Shopify wants its clients to have nice looking websites, so they’ve helped ‘em out with a collection of sleek, high-quality photos. A lot are (surprise) retail or service focused.

retail stylist arranging coats on hangers



25,000-plus photos and 1,500-plus vector illustrations are at your fingertips here… including this chubby ocean king of beasts!

sea lions sitting on rocks in the ocean




Pixabay has some beautiful shots…
of them, in fact. What more do y’all demand to know?

view of Cinque Terre




Sometimes, you want your free stock photo site to focus. FoodiesFeed exclusively offers beautiful food photos. Non a slap-up place to be looking if you’re reading this round-up just earlier dejeuner, FYI.

maple syrup pouring onto stack of pancakes with walnuts




Hundreds of new, free, high-resolution stock photos are added weekly here, in categories like “Nature,” “Dog,” and “Family.”


Talented creators share their best gratis stock photos on Pexels. You can even explore the most-viewed photos for a hint of what’s really resonating with audiences at any given moment.

Snapwire Snaps

Vii new stock photos are uploaded each week. It’s a mixed handbag, but they’re all beautiful… and, as you probably guessed, they’re all gratis.

Befouled Images

While they practise have images of barns, they also have images of other things: hands holding cell phones, cute vistas, and cups of coffee on a messy office desk.

cowshed with pigeons on the roof


Barn Images


Three photographer pals create stock images in their spare fourth dimension. You’ll observe a lot of documentary-way shots here, which tin requite a social feed a much-needed dose of authenticity.

Go the always-up-to-date social media prototype size cheat canvas.
 The complimentary resource includes recommended photo dimensions for every blazon of image on every major network.

Get the gratis cheat sail now!

cyclist on bike path in urban centre



Okay, I’thousand going to start getting repetitive at a certain point, because it’southward hard to say something new about another collection of royalty-free images and stock photos. Simply that doesn’t mean it’due south not worth doing a little search here for some Insta-inspo!

Life of Pix

A “lensman of the week” feature puts the spotlight on Life of Pix’s talented contributors weekly.

Jay Mantri

Lensman Jay Matri has made a big selection of his photos available for free commercial use (“Do anything,” he says). Nosotros hope yous like trees and waves!

misty trees


Jay Mantri

ISO Democracy

No restrictions on whatever of the ISO Republic photography — download to your hearts’ content and go to posting.

person with face painting of pride flag holding fist for Black Lives Matter movement


ISO Republic

Styled Stock

Self-described as “femine” stock photography, the collections here are airy, bright, and generally have an “Instagram influencer making smoothies in the ‘burbs” vibe. Which sometimes is exactly what y’all need.

influencer setup with booties watch laptop and jewelry


Styled Stock

Negative Infinite

People, places, things: all the usual fare you would want from a free stock photo website.

IM Costless

1 neat distinction from IM Free is that they also offer free web templates and icons, in addition to royalty-free imagery.


Freerange promises “great photos”: what’s not to love? New free images daily.

Gratis Images

I hateful, the name actually says it all, doesn’t it?

basketball net set on backdrop of blue sky

Free Images

Deposit Photos

All these gratis stock photograph websites kind of look the same too… information technology’s like one endless collection. Only that’s skilful! It ways you accept infinite sources to find exactly what you need to build engagement.

Flickr Commons

Hither’due south a trick to find costless photos on Flickr: search for images that photographers have labelled with “Creative Commons” licensing! Or, just poke around the Flickr Commons, a database of public photography from around the earth.

old image of pilots on plane




Beautifully lit, high-resolution photos that have been “hand-picked,” whatever that means!

curious cat perched on office chair



They’re gorgeous, they’re high-resolution, they’re (you guessed information technology) freeeee.

New Old Stock

Want to give your social feeds a vintage flair? Catch some of these free historical photos from the public athenaeum.

historical black-and-white image of man standing in front of a New England gold mine


New Former Stock

Realistic Shots

A lot of disembodied-easily-holding-smartphones. A lot of beaches. A lot of women in beachy hats. It’s a stock photograph treasure trove!


Photographer Jan Vasek shares their work, gratis for websites or commercial projects.

person in kitchen chopping kiwi and other fruit




Explore the broad world of public domain through SkitterPhoto’s library. One cool feature: you lot tin can see how many downloads an prototype has had… helpful for avoiding an embarrassing copycat situation

Little Visuals

The late photographer Nic Jackson’due south work remains bachelor to use any way you lot want — his family has ensured all of his images will stay attainable and open up to the public.


Morgue file was started back in ‘96 every bit a free prototype exchange for creative professionals and teachers. Information technology’due south all the same alive and well, with images now available for anyone and everyone to utilise however they see fit. There’s a lot of apprentice stuff here, but also lots of hidden gems.


Want Picjumbo to just cull photos for you lot? Sign up for their newsletter and they’ll deliver free stock to your inbox weekly.

woman holding cup of coffee and working on laptop


Kaboom Pics

Find stylish (and very Instagrammable) photoshoots here at Kaboom. Hot editing idea: some of the textured photos could make cool backdrops or borders for any of these other stock photos you’ve merely downloaded.

close up image of a rose with raindrops


Kaboom Pics

The Gender Spectrum Collection

To aid improve representation of gender in all its forms, Vice has compiled a collection of Creative-Commons-lisenced photos of gender-diverse and not-binary models for anyone to use.

two non-binary models napping together in bed

Vice Gender Spectrum Collection


Some other cool initiative to improve representation in stock photography, Nappy only features photos of Black and brown models.

Black woman holding newborn baby



Whew! If yous can’t find a stock image to suit your needs in this exhaustive listing of resources… well, we don’t know what to tell you. Possibly consider using a stock video instead?

In one case you’ve found the perfect prototype, use Hootsuite to easily upload, schedule, and promote them beyond multiple social networks.

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