Some of the major agencies are offering free stock images and vector illustrations. They can be used for websites and prints – even without paying for the license!
The system behind it is simple: photographers and illustrators donate single files from their portfolios to get wider exposure and more clients. It is a great way to run a small ad campaign for your work without having to pay for it. If you upload a picture, make sure it is representative for your portfolio!
And of course this system is great for people to get access to completely free images as well. I put together a list of all the big agencies with a free section.
Fotolia’s free image section is offering you three free downloads a week! The pictures and vector illustrations can be used in any kind of project. If the selected few of the week are not for you, just skip through the categories until you find the right image.
Dreamstime offers a free section, that is fully searchable and constantly updated. The images downloaded from the free section may be used under the terms mentioned for the regular Royalty Free license, with a single additional restriction: the maximum amount of physical copies in any form is limited to 10,000 copies. This is called a Limited Royalty Free License (RF-LL). If you exceed this amount and you already purchased credits you may request to download the Media under the regular RF license.
The free image section of Depositphotos has some especially nice vector illustrations. It’s not a huge collection, but it is definitely worth visiting from time to time to check out the newest free submissions. Sometimes quality is worth more than pure quantity!