5 Free Stock Photography Ideas for Freelancers

It used to be that whenever us freelancers needed an image for our work, we’d either have to look up an image that complied with various Creative Commons licensing requirements, or even photograph something ourselves. Nowadays, though, finding compliant (always check for statements like “free for commercial use), high-quality images is often no more than a few clicks away, thanks to the myriad of free stock photography websites out there.

1. Unsplash
I’m continuously impressed that so many exceptionally talented photographers share their work here. I particularly like how, if I’m searching for a certain image topic and don’t find anything that will work with my corresponding content at first, suggested results often yield something much better than I had anticipated. The only thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, these images are quite large, so will need to be resized accordingly.

2. Pixabay
I learned of Pixabay through a freelancing gig I had a while ago – in fact, it was that gig’s preferred source for images. In addition to the 1,000,000+ free images here, there are also videos, illustrations, and vector graphics to choose from. I find that this is an especially good resource for recipe/food images, which brings me to…

3. Foodiesfeed
As its name implies, this resource is solely dedicated to free images of food. However, for me, this is a work in progress, because the images vary in quality (it seems like some photographers really like to use filters that don’t do their images justice), and are nowhere near as numerous as Pixabay. Still, it’s something to bookmark in the hope that more/better images are added to the collection.

4. Pexels
Pexels is a resource that really has a lot going for it in terms of not only the exquisite variety of images, but also in how it encourages photographer participation through photo challenges. Another thing that’s laudable about this site is how it allows visitors to search for images by color.

5. Negative Space
I’m somewhat on the fence about this resource, yet still intrigued enough by its potential. Like Foodiesfeed, many of the images have been unnecessarily edited with filters. Instead of “pristine” images, the options here tend to be more poignant/avant garde.

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