Starting a business is hard. There are products to sell, people to please, connections to make and processes to get in line. Not to mention the branding. Without good branding the business runs the risk of hitting the wrong target market, or positioning in an arena the owners might not necessarily want to be in. This is usually where we freelancers get called in. To create an awesome brand design, story and marketing strategy. Sometimes this is more difficult than others, especially when you’re tight on time, budget or resources. Finding and paying for a photographer might be outside your limits, let alone engaging a design studio or content creatives to help you to build the brand story. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best royalty free image platforms online. You’re welcome.

Life of pix
New photographs are added to this mix of artistic, portrait and everyday photography each week. You can search for particular topics or view the latest to see what you’ve missed.

This site is set out in categories, making it super easy to find what you’re after. Plus they upload new photos almost daily. There is also a good mix of abstract and artistic with everyday and product photography.

Death to the Stock Photo
This neat little website offers a hit of visual inspiration right to your inbox. You can sign up for free and receive emails with a range of photos and stories attached, or you can pay to gain access to the entire photo library. The photo library is still small however, so we’d recommend testing the monthly email out first.


Focusing on architecture, art and travel photography, Unsplash offers 10 new photos every 10 days. These images make great website backdrops and wallpapers; think big landscapes and pretty details.

Free Refe Real Life Photos 
This tumblr blog is filled with lovely, dream-like travel and lifestyle photographs. Think dreamy days of reading books by the window, exploring nature and food that looks too good to eat. All free to download.

Picjumbo has a huge range of photos, and all categorised into handy groups so you can find what you need quickly. They also run with the seasons, offering non-cheesy holiday photos amongst other things. You can sign up to get a letter in your inbox when you pictures are uploaded.

Ryan McGuire, the man behind Gratisography has a very peculiar, but engaging photographic style, a mix between advertising and artistic. He shoots an impressive range of subjects in both brilliant colour and black and white, ideal for marketing campaigns and striking advertisements.

IM Creator 
This website is huge. The photographers upload hundreds of photos at a time, which means quality may not be as good as on some other free websites, but the variety is huge.

Jay Mantri
If you need simple detail or landscape shots Jay Mantri has a range of stunning shots. These photos are definitely of a high quality, but there aren’t a huge amount available.

Public Domain Archive 
Public Domain Archive is a hive of inspiration. There aren’t photos of anything and everything on here, but the range of old and new is impressive. You can sign up to get free weekly images here too.

Magdeleine is like a prettier version of shutterstock. The images are all beautifully captured, and the subjects range from food and people to technology and abstract.

If you need excellent food photography, this is the place to head. They release packages monthly with over a hundred photos for you to use, or you can browse the website as you need.

Photographers can submit freely to Picography, so there is a wide mix of photos on here, which is ideal when you’re working across different projects and industries. It’s not split into sections however, so in order to find anything you’ll need to use the search function, and be creative with your search terms.

Isography is categorised into sections based on popular locations and searches. There are also sections for different topics including architecture, textures and urban.

New Old Stock 
This site is a collection of historical photos that are free of public license. You’ll find great photos of Paris and New York, famous moments in history, and other antique pictures.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a writer, marketer or designer, having access to great imagery is important as a freelancer. Keep this list of sites on file, they will come in handy when you’re struggling to find great imagery to use on a project.

NB: I was not paid to promote any of these websites, they’re just great resources you all ought to know about!

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