Stefani Wilkens
Stefani Wilkens | Graphic Designer


Stock Photo Resources

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Certain things can make or break a project. Photography is one of those things. You can have the most beautiful layout and typography on the planet but if it's next to a lackluster image your design is no good. While it would be lovely if every client had the budget for personalized photoshoots, the reality is that every designer will have to work with stock photography at some point. That's why it's important to have a few go-to resources for good stock photos hidden up your sleeve.

I'll cut to the chase, below are my favorite (and FREE) places to go for stock photography:



Unsplash is my number one recommendation for high-quality large-format photography. That being said, they're pretty well known at this point so you will likely see some of their more popular photos floating around Instagram, Pinterest, and other websites.


You'll have to really search through this one to weed out some of the junk, but you can find some real gems here. While they don't have the largest image bank, new photos are added weekly so be sure to check back regularly to see if the perfect photo has made its way to the site.

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For some truly gorgeous and artsy photos, this is the site to visit. Their featured work section is always immensely beautiful and the search function is most helpful for finding the right image for your project. Plus, they've recently partnered with Adobe Stock, so you know there will be some useful integration happening soon.

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Looking to add some nostalgia to a project? New Old Stock is a unique resource in that all the images are sourced from public archives – meaning that you'll get some great vintage shots that are actually authentic. No filter required!


If you're wanting something a bit more standard and less indie than the above resources, Picography is where you should head. Here you'll find the cafe scenes and cityscapes that more corporate clients are drawn to. The selection isn't huge, but if you're stuck, it's worth giving this one a look.


Lastly, this list would not be complete without my mentioning Pexels. This one is a bit different because they aggregate images from other free stock photo sites rather than just accepting submissions directly from photographers (although they do that too!) It's super handy though, especially if you need a very specific image – their search function is the best on this list.

Did I leave anything off the list? Let me know your favorite stock photo sites by leaving a comment below! And don't forget to sign up for email reminders on new posts!