Make Your Project Pop! Top 5 Free Stock Image Sites

Popcorn from Marathon Restaurant in Islington UK 2019

Great images make great impact!

Have you ever been in a presentation where the main speaker comes on and says those dreaded – oh so dreaded words – “Let’s start the PowerPoint.”

No, just no meme

It’s Monday and I haven’t gotten through the first ten emails in my box and my coffee is getting cold at my desk and now this? UUUUUGHHHHH!!!!

Yes, here it comes in all its glory. That first beautiful logo/title screen followed by gobs and gobs of bullet points, long lines of disassociated text, and those horrid clipart illustrations mixed with stock images that were stolen from every single 1990 website still live today. Then the speaker in monotone reading each bullet out loud, line by line, punctuated by a series of “Ums”… I’m living the dream.

“And next slide, please…”

Has anyone in the scheme of the universe ever seen one of those that actually was fascinating and captured your attention? Made its point clearly and effectively and even – shudder – with a touch of humor or levity that actually lent itself to furthering the point of the presentation? Well, yes – yes I have, and those that do all have something in common.

Great images!

I’m talking about images that trigger an emotional response in relation to the slide in which it is on. I’m not talking about images such as this lovely “Contact Us” image that is in way too many forms on way too many sites… (No offense iStock, we love you and your images, just not these ;))

Is there anything else I can help with? Portrait of a call centre agent working in an office with her colleagues in the background Contact Us Stock Photo
Why are they always so happy? Where are these happy call centers? I want to do business with that company!

I’m talking about powerful, resonating images that are related to the point on the slide, but don’t hit you over the head with it. The ones make you stop for a second and think, or laugh, or sit back and go “wow”.

Now, images are not the only thing to make a great presentation, there are lots of other factors that go into it. I just happen to have had some pretty terrible images sent to me for a project recently and in desperate need to change them found some great resources I want to share with you. If you want to know about the other highly important items that go into a great presentation, and how to put it all together to impress and engage, check out Seth Godin’s “Words on Slides” and Mattan Griffel’s Slideshare on building great slides for some great tips to make your presentation sing.

So let’s get back to great images!

Images that resonate and can add interest and emotion to a website or a presentation – even print material will always be better off with more thoughtful imagery.

Well, I’ve just found an amazing website where you find some pretty top-notch images to use for your project – FOR FREE! Yup, you read that right, free.

Here are the rest of my top 5 picks for cheap and free images’s main page image of the day, easy search and fantasticly artistic photos. My go-to for 2021.
  1. has just made my month. My first go-to for all things “image”. Easy to search, easy to find really high-quality images that are perfect for pretty much anything you might need. No bottom-of-the-barrel “free images but the good ones cost more” thing happening here. Really professional images that will allow you real professional results. They ask you to credit the photographer and thank them on social. A very small price to pay for some pretty amazing creative you get to use for free. easy to use search.
  1. has some really nice images. Lots of nature and lots of non-typical models as well. I fell in love with a few artists on that site already. They have video as well as standard images. Some of these are a bit more “Stock-y” than others, but they are really good quality. It’s free here as well but they ask you to credit with links or donate to the photographer. I am a big fan of artistic support and a few dollars to be able to use a great image is well worth it in my book.’s Shutterstock integration interface makes immediate editing super simple – not to mention the cute kitties!
  1. has some great business as well as leisure-focused images that are fun and highly professional. Again, all top-quality images here. Shutterstock, who? Now that being said, this site is partnered with Shutterstock. You can open the images in the Shutterstock editor as well as see other related images that Shutterstock offers directly on the Stocksnap site. It’s not a bad thing and doesn’t take away from the experience and if you have a Shutterstock account, it’s a good first place to go before hitting up your old staple image source. The images are free, they just ask you to credit the photographer and have a quick copy link feature that most of the others have as well to make it easy.
Download page for a beautiful lake image on that offers easy donation and photographer crediting.
  1. is partnered with iStock, similarly to Stocksnap’s upsell model, but it also has completely free and very high quality and artistic images that can be used commercially with no attribution required, although they do offer the opportunity to donate to the photographer for the usage and suggest crediting and following them on social. Again, a small price to pay for great art that can transform your presentation or website.’s video search where you can sample the videos quickly and easily.
  1. is a site that also allows photographers and artists to directly sell to the public. It’s not always free, however, unlike the others, but the prices are typically so low (starting at .20 cents when it’s not free) it might as well be free and the quality, like the others on this list, is quite high. They are also currently donating 10% over royalties to covid relief, so good company to do business with if you care about businesses that care. They have some incredible videos as well that will create feeling and depth for your next project.

Now as a disclaimer, I love Unsplash as well as these others and use them for clients and other projects, but I try very hard to be sure that all the images on (besides products, people, memes, and books that I suggest) are mine.

So now get out there and get yourself some quality images and make a real impression.

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