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Sites for Free Stock Photos That Are Perfect For Start-ups

As the Marketing Manager of a start-up for start-ups I need a lot of stock photos for our website, social channels and print collateral. I have a set budget for marketing and I don’t want to waste it on getting cheesy stock photos. I think that aligns pretty well with the challenges start-ups face when it comes to stock photos so I’ve compiled a useful¬†list of the best places to find stock photos for start-ups. I even sorted them in a handy way. You’re welcome.
The requirements:

  1. They have to be free because ain’t nobody got money for that.
  2. They can’t just have a bunch of white guys shaking hands because the world doesn’t actually look like that and no one wants to see another one of those bad stock photos.
  3. It has to be really really really re-hee-eealy easy to figure out if you are going to get a strongly worded letter about using it.

person-woman-apple-hotel-largeI Need Something Specific

This is my personal favorite, being mostly in tech this site has a huge selection of pictures of phones, laptops and tablets to use.
The search on stock snap is great. The tags are easy to use to find high quality royalty free stock photos.
Pic Jumbo
There is a ton of variety on Pic Jumbo. You’ll find a few borderline cheesy stock images but for every one of those you can find 10 really great ones.


Scratching a Niche

These guys do one thing and do it well. Working in a niche? Scratch with one if these sites.
Foodie Feed
Warning! Do not browse before lunch. This site is full of appetizing food photos fit for any food based start-up.
New Old Stock
Looking for a great vintage photo? Browse the archive of vintage public domain imagery at New Old Stock.


Send Me Inspiration

Even the best marketers run out of ideas from time to time. Sometimes you need to find something specific and sometimes you need something to spark a little inspiration. Get these stock photos right to your inbox to get your creative juices flowin.
Receive 10 high quality artistic stock photos everyday from Unsplash right to your inbox.
Snapwire Snaps
7 hand-picked snaps every 7 days that are completely free to use.
Death To Stock Photos
These guys are sending you packs monthly. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to watch them travel the country in search of the best stock photography.

I’m Just Browsing

These sites let you get lost in the never ending scroll of beautiful imagery.

These user generated photos are gorgeously curated for your viewing/using pleasure.
Get user generated photography for free from Refe.

Do you have a favorite free stock photo go to? Leave it in the comments, I am always on the hunt for more great places for images.


  • Tatyana Sussex

    June 2, 2015

    THANKS for this gold mine of a stock photo reference, just what I needed!

    • Nikki Barron

      June 2, 2015

      Thank you Tatyana! We pride ourselves on being “scrappy and happy” here at thinkspace! I am glad I could help!

  • Grace

    June 3, 2015

    Nikki strikes again! Love the resources you complied. This is like… the golden link to everything/anything a stock photo connoisseur needs.

  • Peter Chee

    June 3, 2015

    Great job with this Nikki. I’ve never heard of many of these and it’s great to learn where to find the free stuff! Who doesn’t like free!

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