Need a fresh photo for your graphic? There are many online sites that offer free graphics, illustrations and photographs. Depending on the site (and the size of the graphic you’re looking for) they are free or at very low cost. (You can spend anywhere from $200 on up for a high resolution photo!) Typically the free images are small files, but perfect for websites or draft printed work. If you need a larger sized version then they are available for purchase at lower than average prices.
Bigstockphoto.com – Owned by Shutterstock, this site has over 13 million images. Purchase them by the size of the image. Small images start at around $2.00 for a single, small image, up to $6.00 for a high res vector file.
Creative Commons: This is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to 13 search services provided by other independent organizations.
Dreamstime – Download Royalty-Free stock photos, illustrations & images for as low as $0.20 / image or free.
Flickr : Flickr is a convenient way to store, sort, search and share your photos online.
Free Digital Photos: Offers a unique way to download photos and illustrations. ALL the images on the website are available free of charge, for business, personal, charitable or educational use.
Free Foto: They claim to be the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet. They feature exclusive images with new pictures being added every week. Original images are free to download but if you want higher resolution you will need to pay.
Freerange Stock was formed with the goal to provide free quality stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use. How do they do it for free? Photographers get paid when users click on the ads that appear next to their submissions.
Graphicriver.net : Graphics from $1 and up from an online marketplaces allow anyone to buy or sell digital goods like WordPress themes, background music, After Effects project files, Flash templates and much more.
Istockphoto.com: Not free, but offer high quality vector graphics that you can use for future projects.
Microsoft Image Gallery– A great source for stock images, clip art, icons. Not a lot of high-res files suitable for print work, but a great selection for web and email.
Morgue File: The term “morgue file” is popular in the newspaper business to describe the paper folders that hold past issues notes and information. The term has also been used by illustrators, comic book artist, designers and teachers. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. “This is the world wide web’s morgue file.”
Photo Rack: Easy to use and navigate this free stock photo provider features over 27,000 free images categorized in 149 categories. There are no search options and no required registration. Just find proper images and download it, it’s that easy.
Shutterstock.com: For tight budgets, they offer a one-month plan for $249 that lets you download up to 25 images a day. Great way to build a big library of hi-res images for current and future projects.
Stock.XCHANG: Owned by Getty Images. There are many free photos to choose from. Some require you to notify the photographer / get permission or credit them on your site; but many others have standard permissions that don’t require notification. There is a community feature that allows you to send a note letting the photographer know how you have used their work…a nice way to acknowledge their expertise.
Stockvault.net: A stock photo sharing website where photographers, designers and students can share their photographs, graphics and image files with each other for free.