36 (Free) Stock Photography Sites to Inspire Your Content

The internet, not unlike a budding teenager, has grown and matured so much since it boomed in popularity at the beginning of the century. With that the world of web design has changed drastically too. 10 years ago, you could have probably gotten away with a bsic text-based website, using frames (remember those?), and html tags were king. Fast-forward to present time, and you have Javascript, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and a whole host of even further advanced programming languages dedicated to the web environment. User expectations have grown just as exponentially as well. In order to capture the attention of users, your wbesite has to have stunning visuals that capture an emotion that draws prospects in. Most businesses simply don't have the marketing budget to be able to afford a photographer to produce every single photo asset for their website, so where do companies turn?

You could just search Google for images based on a few keywords that describe what you're looking for, maybe use Google's Search Tools to narrow down your search to photos with a specific colour quality, minimum pixel definition, right click, download, and slap on the front of your webpage. Done. Right? WRONG. Ooops! Now you have a business sending you nasty emails demanding you take down photos that they paid for and rightfully belong to them.

Stock photogaphy comes to the rescue in these cases, and while in some circles of the idustry Stock Photography has developed a reputation, thanks to companies that stick their watermark on seemingly everything and want you to pay hundreds of dollars a year to use their photos. Luckily for us designers, there are plenty of websites that simply want their creative work to be used, and offer them royalty-free and attribution-free! Here's our list of our favourite places to find that one perfect photo that changes everything:

1.  Unsplash unsplash.com )

If you're already a fan of Unsplash, and you've read any of my blog articles, then you can tell just by looking at the photography, that I am too! Unsplash is my #1 go-to stock photography site, because it just makes things simple. While it may take you a couple searches to find a collection of photos that match your specific theme, when you do they are golden. Unsplash features photography that meets the expectations of modern designers and will add a touch of sophistication to any web design project. It's not hard to put Unsplash at the top of the list, because if you stop reading this article right at this precise moment, you've already taken away the best!

2.  Foodies Feed foodiesfeed.com )

By far my favourite new addition to my marketing toolbelt, Foodies Feed literlly has JUST FOOD. And it's AWESOME. As a marketing professional that specializes in the restaurant industry, I love to see websites dedicated to food, and as I scroll through their enormous collection of mouth-watering photography, I think about all the inspired ways I could use their photography in upcoming projects. For restaurant marketing professionals, this is easily #1 on this list, but because this isn't just about food, they are easily at #2 on our list.

3.  Pexels pexels.com )

4.  Pixabay pixabay.com )