Social Media Savvy: 3 tips for finding free stock photos, graphics |

Social Media Savvy: 3 tips for finding free stock photos, graphics

If you’re in a position where you find yourself making a lot of graphics and blogs, then you’ve probably run into a common problem.

You’re on a stock photo website that you thought was free, you’ve picked out the perfect image … but then bam! It turns out that image of the businessman you needed is somewhere between 30 and 150 dollars.

You don’t have that kind of budget, you’ve wasted time you didn’t have to begin with, and are left wondering: Where are all the free photos?

Next time you get stuck, try out some of these tips for finding free images and graphics:

1. Refine your Google search: Once you search images, you can click on “search tools.” then “usage rights,” then “Labeled for reuse with modification.” This naturally whittles down your results amount but there are often some great finds!

2. Check open source clipart for graphics: If you’ve thought of it, chances are someone else has thought of it too — is a great website for free simple graphics that can help spice up images for blogs and social media. Also, is another great open source clipart website, and is a great resource for vector images. The site divides your search by free and premium.

3. Make a favorites folder of stock photo websites that have search bars: There are some great websites on stock photos out there, but if you can’t search the site for specific topics, they’re going to waste your time. Searching through 100 gorgeous indie photos is not going to help you find the stock image that you need.


1. MorgueFile: Morguefile has a great, searchable database of photos that are absolutely free. You can pick the size, download them without any risk to your computer, and at no cost —

2. Canva: Canva is an amazing free graphics maker in general. They have a ton of free photos that you can add to your graphics directly in the program. The drawback is, some of the more specific graphics are a dollar. However, a dollar is usually significantly less than what you would be paying for a stock image in the first place —

3. Flickr: Did you know that you can search Flickr by a creative commons license which you can specify is for commercial use? The only catch is that most artists ask you give photo credit —

If you know where to go, finding free stock images does not have to be a frustrating, time-consuming process. There will be times when you need something highly specific and need to pay; in which case I recommend Shutterstock or Corbis Images.

For our top 10 list of free stock images and graphics, visit

Milena Regos is principal and founder of Out & About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. She can be reached for comment at This information first appeared on

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