Before we delve into the list of places you can find kick ass stock images to use in your design work, one thing needs to be clear:
If you can use your own photos, you should.
The price of creating good quality photography is dropping everyday with technology becoming both more affordable and advanced. Understanding the basics of photography and composition also gives you a running chance at producing good quality images which are suitable for your design work.
Licence to Kill
Another benefit of using your own work is avoiding licensing issues. Stock images online will be available for use depending on certain license terms and conditions. You can get a better understanding of the various licensing type here. It is SO important to adhere to these terms and be aware of the legalities involved with using images, especially if you are doing so in the name of a client. Stay on the right side of everyone and your designs will be both beautiful and legal.
Best Places to Find Stock Images
Here are a few of my favourite places to find stock images to use when designing for fun and for clients. Enjoy!
A Note on Royalties
Royalty free images are not necessarily free as you may need to purchase the right to use them. The big benefit with Royalty Free images however is that you don’t need to pay every time it is used.
Don’t Be a DickThe Universe
For free images you really need to keep an eye on what license the image was released with. Some images require attribution and image credit to the original producer, some don’t. Other images may not require attribution, but you are forbidden to modify or edit. We are all for breaking rules here, but not at the expense of either your client, your reputation or the hard work that someone put into creating the image you are using. We want you to be a rebel, not a dick.