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Label: stock photography

Friday 15th July 2016The Best Free Stock Photo Sites

Ah, the stock photo. The very name probably conjures up hilariously bad images of business executives in meetings with clients or some other such nonsense, and rightly so. The classic stock photo is sort of a joke in most design circles by now, and even reached a point where actor Vince Vaughn and his co-stars for the movie Unfinished Business conducted a photo shoot sending up the traditional business settings you find in such photos.

So what are the alternatives? Fortunately as a result of the backlash against these junky stock photos, a number of sites have sprung up with the goal of redefining what 'stock photo' means. We've combed through the web for some of the best stock photo sites. The only thing that's better is that they're all free!

Morguefile is one of the older free stock photo sites, and it has a very eclectic collection that may not always have what you need but it's always worth a look. Despite the seemingly gruesome name, it's actually named after the files kept by oldschool photojournalists of all the images they didn't use previously. Visit it here at http://www.morguefile.com and see for yourself!

FreeImages, formerly known as the StockxChange, is also an old site with a great collection of images. Just be careful that you don't accidentally choose one of the paid images, as they integrate them into their search results to gain affiliate commissions. See the options here at http://www.freeimages.com

Those are great choices if you're looking for something that is a bit more traditional, but if you want to take things to the next level there are a number of other free sites available.

One of our personal favourites is Death to the Stock Photo, partly because of the great name and partly because they have some amazing images that are all free to use. Visit it here at http://www.deathtothestockphoto.com. If you sign up for their newsletter, they'll mail you regularly with new images, and they have a paid option as well if you don't have time to wait.

Another great option is Unsplash, which has a large collection of images and is actually entirely free. It's a bit harder to find exactly what you want, because all tagging is done by the photographers who upload their own images, but you can find some incredible gems in there as well. Check it out at http://www.unsplash.com/

Last but not least, there is the excellent PicJumbo. This site walks the fine line between high-concept stuff like Unsplash and the more traditional stock photo sites, but there are some amazing images available for free (and some available for purchase if needed). Check it out at http://www.picjumbo.com/ - just don't use an Adblocker!

Posted on July 15th 2016 on 08:19pm
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Wednesday 13th May 2015New Stock Photo Resource Roundup

Using stock photos in your work can be a bit tricky. A well-chosen stock photo can complete a design or mockup perfectly, but choosing poorly can make your piece look like a bit of a joke. In an effort to maximise their earning potential, many photographers looking to make some extra cash will take endless streams of photos in the most forced and contrived settings in the hope that someone will come along one day and need a photo of an actor playing a stockbroker with a banana on his head, or something equally ludicrous. Even actor Vince Vaughn got in on the action as part of a marketing campaign for his latest movie, when they lampooned stock photo conventions using the actors from the movie.

But naturally, many artists and designers want more choice than the stock photos that are acceptable for use in Powerpoint presentations and annual reports. This has given rise to an entire new style of stock photography, and a number of websites have sprung up to cater to the need. Best of all, there are also a new crop of websites that offer these types of stock photos for free, no matter whether you're using them for a commercial project or just for fun.

Having just found a few of these sites for our own design projects, we decided to share them with you so that you can avoid the bad stock photo curse. One of the best is 'Death to the Stock Photo', which clearly pulls no punches when it comes to their perception of the classic style of stock photo. A simple sign up for their email list will get you a monthly pack of stock photos delivered right to your inbox. If you like their style, they offer a premium option as well. Picjumbo also offers non-traditional stock photos, but they don't make you wait for monthly packages. Their free photos are also carefully organized, making it easier to find something appropriate, although their collection is still getting started and is nowhere near as large as more established stock photo sites. Finally, Unsplash rounds out the options with completely free stock photos that are released under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means they can be used for any project, private or commercial, with no attribution required whatsoever.

Hopefully, you'll find something that will inspire and complete your latest project, or if you're a photographer, you might want to consider submitting your own work!

Posted on May 13th 2015 on 10:36pm
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