It’s no secret that for today’s bloggers, there’s many websites offering free, high-quality stock photography.
While lots of these websites are wonderful, the sheer volume of images available on them can be overwhelming to mine through. These sites tend to be generalists, offering a smaller number of photos across a broader range of categories. If you’re looking for something unique, specific or offbeat, you might end up searching multiple sites to find that one perfect image you need.
Luckily, there are a handful of free stock photo websites targeted toward a specific niche or category. If your blog caters to foodies, history buffs or creative freelancers/marketers, it might be worth checking out one of the websites below.
Note: Each website has its own licensing rules; check before downloading and using any photos. Also, different rules may apply if you want to change an image or use it commercially. You’ll also need to verify whether any of the photos you select require attribution.
Gratisography is a great place to find free, high-resolution images that are quirky, offbeat, and just plain fun.
All images are taken by visual artist Ryan McGuire, with new pictures added weekly. Images can be used for personal or commercial use, and no attribution is required.
You can filter by big bucket categories (e.g., Animals, People, Nature), or do a custom keyword search. Pictures range from whimsical (ex. piglets donning party hats) to wacky (ex. a man mowing the lawn wearing just his undies and a beer helmet).
If you or your client approaches content with a sense of humor or satire, then Gratisography should definitely be added to your stock photo toolkit.
2. New Old Stock
If you’re looking for free vintage stock photos, New Old Stock is a good place to start.
Free of known copyright restrictions, these photos have been thoughtfully curated from participating institutions on The Commons on Flickr. (Note: It’s a good idea to double-check the institution’s rights statement, which can be found by clicking on the link for the image’s original Flickr posting provided for each image.)
Browsing New Old stock, you’ll find a variety of beautiful, vintage stock photos from the world’s public archives—great for historical topics, blogs, and societies/organizations.
Whether you’re looking for antique images depicting city life, farming, or transportation (e.g., automobiles, trains), this website is a great one to bookmark for sourcing snapshots from bygone eras.
As the name suggests, FoodiesFeed offers free, high-resolution food photography — perfect for food bloggers and food-related businesses.
Its collection of food photography is available for personal or commercial use, and images are grouped into broad categories like Coffee & Drinks, Cooking & Baking or Grocery & Ingredients. The numerous display ads are a bit annoying as you scroll, but the array of appetizing imagery makes it worth the inconvenience.
In addition to its collection of free images, FoodiesFeed offers a few Premium packages, which grant you lifetime access to hundreds of more photos, regular updates/notifications, and thematic photo bundles.
4. Startup Stock Photos
No stuffy suits, phony smiles or post-meeting high fives here — Startup Stock Photos offers freebusiness stock photography for the modern creative professional.
Founded in 2014 by Sculpt, an Iowa-city social media marketing agency, Startup Stock Photos caters to creative freelancers, agencies and the startup community.
Its collection of photos features plenty of casually clad workers (think flannel and beanies), either working solo on MacBooks or participating in a brainstorming session at a coffee shop or downtown warehouse loft.
Many big names have used images from Startup Stock Photos; their client list includes Mashable, Forbes and The New York Times (among many others).
While not targeting one particular niche, these free stock photo sites cater to a particular aesthetic:
Here you’ll find beautiful images related to fashion, food, and interior design—often pairing modern elements with rustic accents (ex. an iPhone and laptop on a flannel blanket in the grass).
Images are free and can be used for personal or commercial use.
Modern, minimalist photography (think lots of white space and clean lines, with purposeful pops of color). Categories include nature, objects, animals and architecture.
All images are free to use for personal or commercial use.