YO. I’m taking a break from rolling my eyes at all the super lame stock photos I see out there so I can share with you 5 amazing resources to download FREE “not stock” stock photos. It’s for the greater good, so keep reading.

You’ve seen those typical stock photos–the plain white background, perfect studio lighting, person with the perfectly bleached, straight teeth, person wearing a suit that was pressed 20x before they arrived on set that morning, the perfectly placed cheek dimples, the perfect messy desk… just SO much perfection!

I’m over it. It’s not cool anymore. It’s too common. And if you use images like these, I can’t take your brand seriously. I’m serious. It’s a thing we like to call “stock-art-itis”–it’s the inflammation of human eyes and brains when they come in contact with branding that lacks even a smidgen of creativity and uses basic stock art. Just stop it. Stop, stop, STOP.

The good news is there are generous professional photographers in the world who take amazing pictures that you and I and even our cousins can download for FREE. Below are 5 free “not stock” stock photo resources where you can search huge databases of creative photography to find the image that truly captures the heart of your brand, visually speaking. Just search keywords–vintage, technology, art, team, suit, job,etc.–and these sites will curate those images for you:

  1. Death To The Stock Photo (free monthly email download. clean, modern)
  2. Pexels (my #1, so many options)
  3. Gratisography (very unique, quirky)
  4. New Old Stock (vintage, black and white)
  5. SplitShire (one of my most recent discoveries. edgy, grungy, clean)

You’re welcome.

Elizabeth Dickerson

Elizabeth Dickerson is the Creative Marketing Lead at Kinetix, specializing in Graphic Design + Video Production. She uses her mad skills and desire to make an unforgettable visual impact to bring all things media, design, and video to life in the HR and Recruitment Marketing world. Want to hang? She's probably in the gym or the editing room drinking cold-brew coffee, so find her best on Twitter or LinkedIn, or email her at edickerson@kinetixhr.com.