The Truth is Out There – So Are Free Images

A few years ago, I was looking for some images to include in an eLearning module. I wanted to incorporate visuals into some of the more text heavy slides, but didn’t have a budget. I thought it would be easy breezy to find free images to use.

Man, was I wrong.

At the time, free images were scarce. I spent countless hours searching, but in the end, I used my personal account to purchase stock photos.

Thanks to today’s collaborative and open resource sharing culture, free high quality stock assets are easy to find, if you know where to look.

Free Stock Photos

In my first obsessive search for free images, I found this super helpful article that lists 14 Free Stock Photo Websites.

Jacqueline Thomas one-upped that list, providing the image-obsessed 73 websites to geek out in this Canva resource. It’s truly a gift!

These articles provide so many options for finding free images that it seems silly to compile my own list. Instead, I’ll just highlight a few of my favorites.


I’ve never met, or even talked to, photographer Ryan McGuire, but I really enjoy his images and the way he views the world. Many of his photos are offered as free images on Piktochart, which I thought was interesting.

I can always find something that inspires me or makes me laugh, like this praying mantis smoking a ciggy:

praying mantis smoking ciggy

Negative Space

This is a cool and easy to navigate site that I like a lot. They hooked me with this shot of a beautiful blue volkswagen beetle (sigh):


This list compiled by Adobe Stock is similar, but includes sources that offer additional free assets, such as video and illustrations.

Adobe Captivate Asset Store

This is pretty specific to eLearning developers that use Adobe Captivate, so I won’t dwell on it too much. I learned about this resource during one of my research binges for a class I was taking. It was perfect timing, and it helped me provide specific instructions in the reboot of a storyboard I was working on at the time.

Free Images

These next few sites may be considered something other than images, but I’m not exactly sure how else to classify them. All I know is they’re super cool and I’ve lost time – lots of time – geeking out and downloading my heart out.

Vintage Printable

This site requires a bit of patience to navigate, but I’ve found it to be well worth it. For example, I found this gem that I plan to use as the foundation for one of my next tattoos:


Vintage Posters

As I put together this post, I included Vintage Printable as an afterthought – I had actually forgot about it! When I went to find the site, I came across this Vice article that is a must read if you’re into vintage posters. I spent about a minute looking around before I found this gem:

Have fun exploring these sites! Keep in touch with any suggestions or additions to the list. Feel free to share this with your pals!

I’ll keep these free resource posts coming, so be sure to subscribe to my blog if you like what you see.

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