When I started in ministry I started to create promo for church events, social media and for my blog. With a budget in mind, I had trouble finding good royalty-free photos and design elements to use at a decent price. So, after some researching and using a number of sites, I’ve found a number of FREE sites that have helped me greatly!! That’s right I said FREE. I’ll share these sites with you and hopefully they can be helpful for you as well.
Pexels has a searchable database of great royalty-free photos that’s growing daily. This is a great site and one that I use regularly. There’s usually something there to at least consider. One piece of advice would be to check out the popular download section. It’s easy to navigate and is based on the past 30 days – so you know it’s a current list of the best photos on the site.
Unsplash has their photos setup within “collections.” You can still search for photos, but each photo is grouped together in a set. Unfortunately, each set seems fairly random and not thematic in any way. On the positive side, you can sign up to receive their newest collection every ten days (that means 10 photos every 10 days).
This site has the designer in mind, as many of the photos are of objects/ideas/concepts. I’ve also noticed a wider range of quality and style on this site which might mean some longer searching. With that said, the site is searchable and from time to time, I’ve found exactly what I was looking for.
4. Death To Stock Photos
This site has a “premium” paid-subscription section, and a FREE section. The free section, unfortunately, isn’t searchable. Instead, you sign up and receive new stock photos every month. From my experience, the photos are fairly random, but I have yet to look through a set and not find one or two that I’ve at least saved for future use.
5. Freebies on paid sites
Lightstock focuses on Christian photos, vectors and videos specifically for ministry and church related promo. Even though it’s a paid site, the prices are actually reasonable compared to other paid sites. If you’re interested in setting up a paid account they’ll even customize a subscription that works for you – you just have to inquire. On the free side, however, they offer weekly freebies for those who signup for their newsletter. This is a must for anyone doing ministry related design work!
Shutterstock.com & iStock.com
Both of the following sites are paid, but like LightStock, they offer weekly and monthly freebies. These paid sites are have high standards for submission, so it’s worth checking out the freebies from time to time!
Pixabay has a searchable database of 650,000+ royalty-free photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos. The database might be large, but the quality seems to range quite a bit. The advantage with this site is that it offers more than just photos – could be very helpful for promo designs.
7. Free Range Stock
I don’t use this site as much; but, to be fair, they offer free photos so it makes my list. From time to time, I’ll find something that’s of benefit and maybe you will too.
FREE Stock Photos Conclusion:
There will be times when you’ll need to go to a paid site and find the exact photo you need to use for a particular project. But there are many other times when budget concerns come into play and these sites can help drastically. For me, I’ve focused on using Pexels.com first, along with subscribing to Death to Stock and Unsplash. I also try to remember to log into LightStock, iStock, and Shutterstock to see what the free weekly photo may be and download them if it’s something I think I may use in the future.
What other sites do you use? Share them in the comments below so we can all take a look!!