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Five Great Free Stock Image Sites in 2016

Creating beautiful demo is a challenge. You have to combine a great template or theme with imagery that complements your overall design scheme. Unfortunately, images are expensive, especially if you want to use them on a live site.

Thankfully, there are many alternatives to handing over a small fortune to stock photo providers in exchange for a handful of images. Free stock photo resources are popping up all over, and their libraries are full of useful images that fit virtually any look you need.

In 2013, we created a list of some of the best image resources (paid and free) on the Web. Many of these sites continue to thrive and provide excellent service to their visitors.

However, we wanted to create a quick list of five of the best free resources out there right now. Here they are, five great free stock image sites in 2016.


Pexels is a gorgeous website filled with absolutely free stock photography with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. Like the other resources in this list, attribution is appreciated but not required.

Images are catalogued and searchable by nouns. For example, you could search “MacBook” and see dozens of photos of MacBooks, almost instantly.


Pixabay is a stock photo powerhouse, featuring over 620,000 searchable stock photos that you can download in full resolution for free. Many of these photos are unique to the site, and have been contributed by its members.

You can sign up to download photos for free, but if you contribute 10 or more of your own images, you will be able to access the site completely ad free.


Unsplash is a long-time favorite of ours and for many developers around the world. Each week, a handful of new stock images are added to the site’s growing library. These images are generally gorgeous, and include animals, landscapes, artistic shots, macro photography, and more.

One of the coolest features of Unsplash? The site makes it easy to find the image you’re looking for and, if are so inclined, the photographer’s information so you can give attribution and discover more of their work.

You can sign up for the Unsplash newsletter and get a new batch of stock photos delivered to your inbox each week.


Fancycrave is a lot like Unsplash, though instead of weekly new photo drops, it adds two new photos each day. Artist information and links to their portfolio are available at the bottom of each image page, and you can download each image with a click.

Fancycrave’s library is broken into about a dozen categories, and you can search it for specific keywords. While it isn’t the largest library you can find, it does have some of the best free artistic stock images out there.


If you want a gigantic source of gorgeous, ultra high-resolution stock images of food, there is no better resource out there than FoodiesFeed. This site has everything you could want from apple pie to zucchini.

These are just a handful of the many sites out there that can connect you with the perfect stock photos for your next mock-up, demo, or website.

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