Beautiful images can elevate your website or blog, and transform an otherwise dull presentation. But stock photos can be very expensive, and often look posed and unnatural.

I’m often surprised to see how many people think they can get around the expense by simply yanking images off a Google search. Using copyrighted photos without express permission can get you into hot water, and it’s just not worth the risk.

If you can swing it, taking your own photos is a great option. Done right, original photography will give your materials that unique edge. Of course, organizing your own shoots takes time and preparation, and the vision you have in mind is often downright impossible to recreate. (Quick jaunt to the Grand Canyon for that cliff shot, anyone?)

Fortunately, you now have a powerful new opportunity at your fingertips. There are a wealth of websites that offer stunning photos, absolutely free for personal and commercial use. And I’m not talking about generic business scenes of staged handshakes and posing executives smiling at the camera. Many of the photos you’ll find on these sites will make you smile. Others will literally take your breath away.

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I’ve listed more than 40 of my favourite free stock photo sites below. Please make sure to bookmark and/or pin this page, because I’ll be adding new sites as I uncover them! 

Also, please do check the licensing restrictions before using a photo. Terms can sometimes change.

I hope you’ll enjoy these photos as much as I do. If you do, let me know in the comments below!

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