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A while ago I wrote a blog post on why you should never use stock images. Since then, the stock photo scene has developed and a growing number of professional and amateur photographers have started sharing their amazing photos with the public. This means that there is more attention to the aesthetic of the photo and the overall look is more artistic rather than posed.  

Still, it can be hard to find high quality, high-resolution free stock photos for personal and commercial use so I’ve created a list of my eleven favorite sites that have great and free styled images. 

Most of the photos you will find on these sites are free from copyright restrictions or are licensed under a creative commons public domain dedication. You can copy, modify, distribute, and use them for even commercial purposes, all without asking for permission. Some photos may require attribution, but they are still all free to use.

When you upload the image to your site, test the images at a few different resolutions to determine the best size. Don’t default to saving your image at the highest possible resolution — doing so can increase the file size unnecessarily.

 We all know how important first impressions are, especially on the web. Using a styled image will make a great first impression.  It will also help you and your website look professional, even if you’re just getting started. 



One last note: although the images are free to use, please consider recognizing the artists and their work. You can mention their name when you use their images, send a thank you email, or even donate money on their site. 


Need more resources? Check out some of my free goodies below 


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