The vast majority of stock photography can be boring, it has a tenancy to appear staged and unnatural. Having worked with stock photos for years in different day jobs, I have seen and used many photography services in the industry, both paid and free. There is a fine art to discovering some excellent photos that doesn’t resemble traditional stock.

Over the last 2 years, there has been a large movement by independent studios and photographers to capture high quality, natural images. Images that can complement a piece of artwork, a website, a presentation. Here are some of the best websites from which I source the photos for my featured image.

1. DTS Photo

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2. Picjumbo

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3. Jay Mantri

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4. Pexels

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 5. Unsplash

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6. Good Free Photos

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Bonus: Stocksy

Stocksy is my favourite paid stock service. It boasts a large collection of independent photographers and eclectic images, offering an alternative style to traditional paid stock services. They’re a unique, forward-thinking collective of photographers.

Some of these stock sites overlap in some images. But each has a unique angle with promoting the photos on their sites. For instance, Good Free Photos categorises their stock by location allowing you to see where and what part of the country a photo was taken.

Thanks to these fantastic sites for providing a free and fantastic service to fellow creatives and artists the world over. Stock photography is in a very good place right now.