I want to start this post off by saying that I really enjoy taking photos myself. Most mornings I take my Nikon D60 with me as I go off about my day. However, most of the time I end up taking photos of my students or of work-related things that I don't post about in here. I rarely have time to take pictures for my own art projects.
When I get home from work and want to get on to practicing drawing or painting, I mostly look for reference images on the following free stock photo sites. I am extremely thankful that these kinds of sites exist and wanted to share them. All of these offer a large amount of high quality, attractive images that can be searched for by category. Some of them may require you to register, but images can be downloaded for free.
It is important to keep in mind that if you are serious about pursuing an art career and this is more than a hobby for you, at some point it will be essential to start a bank of photos taken by YOU. I am SO anxious to finish this school year and be able to dedicate more time to my art career.
Pexels offers free pictures that can be used for personal or commercial projects. Images can be modified, copied and distributed without even asking for permission or linking to the source. Attribution is not required.
Pixabay offers free images that can be copied, modified and distributed, even for commercial uses, without asking for permission or crediting the photographer.
Freerange Stock also provides free images for commercial and non-commercial use. They give their collections away hoping that ¨they will be useful and enjoyed.¨
These photos can be downloaded and used for both personal and commercial uses as long as the user gives credit to the source. It is suggested to share the site with friends.
Kaboompics offers free photos for bloggers, website owners, small businesses, freelancers, etc. for non-commercial and commercial use. No attribution required. Whenever possible, photo credits and sharing the site with others would be nice.
Free Images is a resource for photography that is free to use on websites, printed materials, design work and anything else.
FancyCrave offers free images to designers, small businesses, students, bloggers, and online marketers that can be used for both personal and commercial projects. Every single image is free of copyright restrictions.
In their own words, they offer: ¨Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.¨
I hope this list was useful for you. Remember that, even though you will not get in trouble for not linking back to original sources or crediting photographers, it would be awesome to share these websites with friends. Also, some of these sites let users donate money to photographers, which is a pretty awesome thing to do.
Two examples of how I used the reference image to create a little artwork!
See what I am up to on: