Many churches run on a shoestring budget and can’t afford to pay for stock photos or hire a professional photographer. Here is a list of very useful and high quality free stock photo sites I’ve used over the years!
If you searched for free stock photos you will get literally thousands of sites of varying quality, licensing arrangements and ease of search-ability on the site. Below is a small list, but a seriously useful list!
Note: Ensure that you are doing the right thing by the site owner. Read the licence first before you use a photo!
The team at LightStock create high quality affordable stock photos for churches. They also have a free photo of the week which you can find here. I love the time and effort these guys take to create beautiful images without the cheese.
This is a new one (for me) but they have some lovely high quality stock photos. Find out more here.
3) Free Images
You may know this site of what it used to be called (Stock Exchange). Find some photos here. This site has a more of a mixed bag of great photos. While I love free I think they could trim down the overall number to increase the quality. You will also need to read the license agreement as they are very specific about how you can use their photos.
4) Death To Stock
This is an email subscription site so you are committing a little more. Find out more here.
Wow. Talk about quality. This site has some stunning landscapes. They release free 10 photos every 10 days. Find out more here.
Check out City Church Christchurch’s collection of stock photos that they have curated on UnSplash. Really lovely! Find out more here.
6) Little Visuals
The young man that created this free photo site has sadly passed away, but his family are donating any money raised for local charities. Find out more here.
7) Pic Jumbo
This site again is pushing you to a paid model but you it does have some sumptuous photos that you can access for free. Find out more here.
8) Morgue File
Don’t let the name put you off. There is nothing dead about this site 🙂 This site has some average to excellent photos on it. It does however have a very generous licence for adapting and reuse. Find out more here.
9) Creation Swap
This is a gated site (you have to sign up) that has free photos. Again it is offering free to up sell you to it’s paid model, but it has some lovely photos in it. Find out more here.
10) Negative Space
No catches. Very generous licence. Limited photos topically, but all very good quality. Find out more here.
11) Stock Snap
If you think that free is subtitles for poor quality, think again. This site has some lovely graded photos and also a very generous licence. Find out more here.
When you scroll down on this site it has one of those infinite scrolling things going on. The upside is that they are all very high quality stock photos! It claims it has over 4,500 of them. Amazing! Find out more here.
This site has some more eclectic and quirky images on it. Again it is completely free and has the best licence. Find out more here.
14) ISO Republic
While this site has it’s own ‘bespoke licence’ (read more restrictive, but still very handy) it has some great photos on it and the way they have categorised the free photos is very useful. The textured backgrounds are positively drool-worthy (Is that even a word!). Find out more here.
15) Jay Mantri
This feels more like a personal site, but still has some very high quality free photos on it. Just a little harder to search around. Very worth checking out though. Find out more here.
16) Life Of Pix
Like Jay’s site, this site has been created by an ad agency and it’s network of photographers (read good quality photos!). It takes more time to navigate through the site, but again it has a generous licence and has new photos coming in all the time. Find out more here.
17) Split Shire
This site has some beautifully graded photos. It does try and upsell you to it’s ‘premium package’ but still has many free photos on it. Find out more here.
18) Hubspot – Free Stock Photos
Hubspot is a huge digital online services company. They have here an awesome selection of free stock photos for your church. There is no up sell. It has an lovely searchable user interface which is simple to use. It’s licence is public domain. What more could you want? Find out more here.
19) My Site!
I’m sure I’ve missed some amazing free stock photo sites. If you know of some that I have missed leave a comment below.