High quality images, like high quality fonts, often is the key to a great website and while there are many sites offering great fonts, finding stock photos on a budget is more than a challenging task. If you have been scouring for free stock photos, a few sites will undoubtedly come up again and again – Stock.xchngmorgueFilePixabay would be most common. By all mean, they are great and serve their purpose but some are just plainly of a higher standard. Here are the best free stock photos sites that Sysnovo team has found and used in 2013.

Reminder: Sysnovo is a web design team, not a law firm, we cannot attest to the claim made by these sites. For each image we use, we make sure that their copyright status is what the source claim to be and advise that you also use your best judgement when downloading and using images from any source.

Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr Creative Commons is the Goliath, the Titan of free stock photography. It comes in many flavors, some with just a simple attribution (give credit where credit is due) , some with more baggage than you ever want to touch. With millions of images in its database, there bounds to be a solution to your need.

Pro: Millions of images to choose, from many different topics.

Con: Take time to weed through all the junk.



StockPhotos.io is another great site. It boasts a 25,000 images database, seemingly selected from creative commons images around the web. Its selection is wide enough to accommodate most design need, and the quality is high.

Pro: Pre-selected high quality images with decent database.

Con: Not all subjects are available.


Unsplash is unmatched in quality and the images are CC0 licensed – i.e. the best kind of free, free as in free beer. The site creator has gone out of his way to select some of the best photos, though the scope seem to limit to nature, city scenery, animal, and apple products. The site vows to add 10 images every 10 days but we are not keeping track. Scroll away and grab them all, there has been reports that images are removed after a while.

Pro: Highly selected images, vows frequent update.

Con: Limited number of subjects, scrolling hurts finger 🙁

Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock Photo takes a different approach; once signed up, you’ll receive an email each month to download the monthly package. The pictures are very high quality as in the case of unsplash, and each month is a different subject, so there are actually more subjects than unsplash. However, because each package contains only a few images, the selection is very limited, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to download packages for the months before you signed up, so sign up now!

Pro: Awesome photos, each month comes with a new subject.

Con: Selection is awfully limited.


So there you have it, the best free stock photos sources to spice up your web design projects. Share you favorite links and clue us in on what we’re missing. As always, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join our circle on Google+.

The Sysnovo team wish you and your family a happy and safe New Year =]