Milky Way

Free stock imagery from Pexels

If like me you often need to access high quality free stock images for your work, then you may have found yourself hunting around the internet trying to find a library that offers just that. A few years ago the hunt was a long and arduous one, often finding the perfect image, but then realising there is a complicated licensing system attached. Well look no further!

A while ago we reviewed Pixabay.com, a large repository of high quality CC0 stock imagery. Pixabay is a huge library with so much to choose from it’s fast catching up (in terms of quality and quantity) the commercial libraries such as Getty. I highly recommend you check out Pixabay if you haven’t already.

But also worth a look is Pexels.com, another huge library of CC0 images (with over 40,000 as of this writing) meaning there is no restrictive licensing system and no attribution requirement on them. When an image owner uploads to the site, their work becomes CC0 and this license can’t be revoked.

There is no registration requirement to download from Pexels meaning it’s quick and easy to do so. There may be restrictions for non-logged in users, such as a limit to the number of downloads but I am not aware of any from my general use. They offer several sizes for downloading, from small, medium and large to original and even a custom size feature which is such a good tool if you don’t want to keep editing to size in Photoshop etc. I used it to download the cover photo for this post.

Searching for graphics is simple via the simple search box, or via categories and even popular searches. Again, these are great features and provide a simple means to quickly finding the right images.

Pexels also offer several tools to make working with their free content even better. Click on the tools link at the top of any page to find a Mac and Windows app, meaning accessing their database of images can also be done via your computer desktop. They also offer a Photoshop plugin that allows you to search and download pictures straight into Photoshop without leaving it.

Videos

Lastly, Pexels also offer videos that are also licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 license. There are not nearly as many videos as pictures but the collection does seem to be growing and the quality is again, fantastic.

Summary

Pexels is a fantastic library of stock imagery and videos that while not offering as many as other free libraries such as Pixabay, it does offer advanced tools that streamline the process of downloading and using the photos in your projects. You can’t grumble at the quality of the images and videos as they are simply stunning. So if you need free images, I’d highly suggest you check them out.

By Alan