I often use photos to dress up my classes, my blog posts, my computer wallpaper, my phone wallpaper, for creating invitations … in short, I love a great photo.
The question of course is:
Where can I get great photos for nothing?
I want photos that I can do anything I want, put where-ever I want, create anything I want…
I don’t want to have to worry about paying, about attribution, about copyright issues… I want photos. That’s it!
So here are the places I get my awesome images from:
Pixabay maintains a catalogue of high-res photos and illustrations which are free for you to use however you like. Really.
You can search by picture tag (e.g. tree), explore via photographer (really useful if you have a favourite), or go through the editor’s selection.
You can also refine your search by choosing only photos or illustrations, landscape or portrait and category.
This is usually the first place I go.
Unsplash is another place to go for reliably high quality, high resolution photos. There are no search capabilities here, it is simply a never-ending (seemingly) feast of photo after photo. I have yet to get to the bottom, I have no idea how many photos there are – it loads a new selection when you get near the bottom of the page (like Facebook’s timeline). You could lose great amounts of time here simply gorging on the meal of superb photography.
Again – do whatever you want with the photos. It says so, right at the top of the page.
EveryStockPhoto is simply a search engine for finding other photos which are either completely free, or have permissive licenses. It doesn’t seem to have it’s own photos, but aggregates across a large number of other photography sites. The list includes notaries like: Flikr, imageafter, NASA, morgueFile, Wikimedia Commons + others… While some of these sites require you to sign up and the quality differs from photo to photo, it is a good place to go if you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere.
While not a photo site, I will occasionally be looking for an icon or graphic to spruce up my work. IconFinder comes in handy here. It has a huge catalogue of icons, and – after easily modifying your search – you can find png, svg and ico files for almost any concept. Very useful indeed.
Again, TinyPNG is not a photo site, but it is an indispensible tool for anything web based. If you are using PNG files in your page (.png) then you really should be shrinking or compressing them. TinyPNG does all that for you easily and quickly, and I’m yet to see any noticible loss of quality. Simply upload your file, it works on it, then download it. See the example on the left for an idea of what it can do (BTW: it was TinyPNGed itself).