My top 5 sites for FREE stock photos and icons

I’ve compiled a list of free stock photo and icon sites that have images appropriate for social issue advocates. It’s hard to find interesting and high quality stock photos for free, so bookmark these!

Stock photos

  1. Unsplash – Gorgeous, hi-res photos. Some highly conceptual. I love these because most are evocative of ideas.
  2. StockSnap – Just as the site says – beautiful free photos. I’m working on some transportation issues for a client so searched “transportation” and found 194 images.
  3. Negative Space – You’ll see a list of category names (landscape, people, business, etc.) along the left side of the page. If you use the search function and the site doesn’t have anything, it will search Shutterstock for you, which is a paid site.


Both of these sites are terrific, and have tens of thousands of free icons. The free downloads require an attribution, and each site explains their very simple attribution guidelines. To get royalty free versions, you can sign up for a  monthly membership, currently at $9.99 on either site, that you can cancel any time.

  • Flat Icon – I LOVE this site. Need a map icon? A ruler? A dollar sign? A gear? A thumbs up? You get my drift. Thousands of wonderful icons.
  • Noun Project – Here you can also download icons, and must give credit to the author if you download free versions. You can pay $1.99 to purchase royalty free versions.