Finding the right picture for your project can be time consuming and costly. The best source of photos are the ones you take yourself but sometimes that is not possible to do. I am sharing my collection of FREE “royalty free image sites” that took many many hours to find over the past couple of years. You can use the stock images from these sites for personal and commercial use. They are great for web sites, book covers, CD, DVD covers, projection projects, marketing materials, etc. However many do have restrictions on print on demand templates for sites such as Cafe Press and Zazzle, whereas the picture is the main selling feature.
Keep in mind that “Royalty Free” does not mean the images are free. It means that you don’t need to pay the photographer a royalty each time you use the image. However, my selection of sites offer “free royalty-free images”. My personal word of caution is that any photo(s) of a trademark product should be used carefully as well as pictures of people, especially children unless they are not identifiable. If you can see their faces, I would suggest requesting a model release regardless where the photo is taken from. Those are my words of caution. These sites are creditable. I will update this page as I run across more creditable sites.
3dXTRAS http://www.3dxtras.com/index.asp?page_cmd=download 10000 free models.
Very unique artistic site that has an active forum. Free but registration required.
Photo Rack http://www.photorack.net/index.php –Editors Pick-Photo Rack has a huge collection of over 27,000 images, nicely categorized. Really nice and very well organized.
http://www.photl.com/–great –Editors Pick– You can download up to 40 Mb of photos daily. There are from 7000 to 10000 new photos monthly. All photo images are made specially for photl.com.
Free Pixels http://www.freepixels.com/ Free 4,645 Images in 40 Categories, with 8,647,497 Views and 2,626,970 Downloads (3,123.15 MB). Very Very interesting.
Free Foto http://www.freefoto.com/index.jsp –Editors Pick– FreeFoto.com is made up of 132516 images with 182 sections organized into 3639 categories. FreeFoto.com is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet (link back and attribution required). See FREE USE RULE. Commercial print small fees.
Free Stock Photos http://www.free-stockphotos.com/ Small collection. High Quality. Free Stock Photos for Your Personal or Commercial Design Projects.
Free Stock Photos Biz http://www.freestockphotos.biz/ Freestockphotos.biz is a source for free stock photos and clip art illustrations. This collection contains 14,244 free images available in a variety of commercial and editorial licenses, including public domain, creative commons, and custom agreements.
Free Digital Photos http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ extremely nice. Many catergories Download free and premium stock photos and illustrations for websites, advertising materials, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, book covers and pages, music artwork, software applications and much more. All free images are of high quality, produced by the community of professional stock photographers and digital illustrators. Royalty free photos for corporate and personal use. Every image is free, with an option to buy larger images at reasonable prices. Images are mostly of people and business.
Morguefile Http://www.morguefile.com/ Morguefile is a completely free source for stock photos. Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not! This morgue file contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.
Greek Philosopher – http://www.geekphilosopher.com/GeekPhilosopher.com/photos/photos.aspx Geek Philosopher has many categories, and all the photos are free. There’s no registration. They request that you list a photo credit if you use a photo, but otherwise, there’s little restriction.
Public Domain Pictures http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/ – Public – Editors Pick– This site is a repository for free public domain images. They boast 17,931 free pictures. You can download high quality photos or upload your own pictures. You can donate funds to buy the photographer or illustrator a cup of coffee or buy premium stock photos starting from $1.00. This site makes it easy to to find a favorite photographer based on their work.